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Blog 37 Shari to Buraydah

23rd October

I left the hospital early and the wind was light. There was very little traffic on the road and the coolness of the morning made for a pleasant start to the day. Yamaha are doing everything they can to help make this journey a success and the Director of Marketing for Europe, Paolo Pavesio emailed me at 3am - obviously he was travelling across different time zones - but he made it quite clear that I have the full support of Global Yamaha and the top people in Yamaha India and Thailand, that they would help me in any way that was necessary. That was a weight off my mind and I could now focus solely on progressing to Dubai.

The village of Shari was a quiet farming centre and as I entered the small municipality an array of shops stood open, shop keepers sitting patiently in their jellabas drinking tea. The entrance to these settlements are ornate lacking anything that would describe them as simple, not forgetting acres of artificial grass.

At a small car mechanic garage I oiled my chain whilst next door a man hails me over for tea. From a small office with shelves stacked with binders, he sits drinking tea whilst his two workers, one from Sudan the other Egyptian typing away, photocopying and storing into volumes of bound documents neatly stacked on shelves behind where they sat. 30 miles further up at the first gas station a driver buys me a bag of cold drinks and says how I am a guest in his country and I go and rest in the mosque which is adjacent and populated outside with a queue of people standing next to their wheelie luggage. The heat is building as is the density per cubic metre with flies. Heat agitates flies and as the wind drops they fly faster and follow me with increased determination. As an obvious non- Muslim I am still invited into the mosque to rest signalling the over arching kindness of the prophet Mohammed and his teachings in the Quran. It is quiet and cool and a wonderful way for my body to calm down. Every molecule of my body is vibrating with heat and stress and I am trying to slow everything down.

Soon a police vehicle starts to follow me and when we finally meet I notice a smile and a flash of humour in his eyes. I set off and puncture for the second time on the journey. I repair the inner-tube and within a few kilometres puncture again. My plastic tyre levers are beginning to bend, hard plastic softening in the suddenly very hot sun. The police are now tailing me, not because they suspect political activity, simply to protect me from harm. I puncture again and as I enter the outskirts of Buraydah it is dark and traffic on the overpasses are now as agitated as the flies, and I puncture again. It is 9pm and I have been riding since 7.30 this morning and my exhaustion is almost beyond repair and then I get lost. My google maps app is stressed out but getting lost is when a sudden adventure begins.

Getting Lost

When I reach my hotel I immediately fall into a sleep so deep I am in a diving bell

Map of the Day

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Gary Lang
Gary Lang
Oct 25, 2023

Hi Nick I'm a little confused regarding your opening sentence. Why did you leave the hospital? Was it a slip of the pen? Should it have been hostal? All the same, you are obviously okay. Keep us in the picture you're doing brilliant. Couldn't you use goo/foam in your tyres to save faffing around in the heat. 😉


Steve Turner
Steve Turner
Oct 24, 2023

Nick what are all those green round things scattered in the sand? And why so many punctures? Did Yamaha not think to give you tubeless tyres that can be fixed from the outside or maybe filled with anti puncture goo? Must have cost you a fair bit of time dragging out the inner tubes and sticking on the little patches and rubbing the chalk on the sandpaper? Childhood memories...

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