(42) “Where are you Winstoooooon?”
We are writing this short post to let our blog followers know some recent events. This is a piece from the diary:
Friday 18th January
‘We packed our panniers and gave the bikes a final check ready to leave for Ethiopia the following day. We had been so well looked after by Yousif and Huda and were sad to be leaving our new friends. We sat down for an hour before heading outside on our way to dinner, and Tim went to lock up the bikes. We kept them next to the window by the TV where we could see them. Tim turned to Sharon and asked where his bike was thinking she had hidden it as a joke but this was no joke. It was gone.
Tim ran through the high-walled garden and out of the gates; there was only one guard outside when there was normally 2 or 3, and he was in a hut watching something other than the road. Tim asked if he had seen anyone go past on a bike? He gave Tim a vacant look so he went to get a torch to try and follow the tracks we had noticed in the sand. This soon became a pointless exercise as the sand road turned into tarmac and the bike could be anywhere.
Tim returned and went off to the police station with Yousif to make a report. It felt frustrating filling in the numerous forms for the next half an hour while he imagined the thief to be riding away further and further – the police seemed keener to watch the football on the TV. Two plain-clothes policemen went back to the house to make enquiry’s but we didn’t hold out much hope.
How can things go so wrong? We felt so bad as we had already stayed far longer at Yousif and Huda’s place waiting for a bike part, and they were now helping us with the police. We were in a state of disbelief – Tim knew every inch of Winston (that’s his bike’s name!) and we were so sad to have lost a team member. It was like a scene from the film Castaway with Tim calling for Winston across the garden; with his big beard but a much larger belly then Tom Hanks due to Huda’s amazing cooking.
We have looked for a replacement bike but they are mainly single speed which wouldn’t get us over the Ethiopian mountains. If Tim’s bike is not found, we will probably order one from home but we run the risk of it not getting through customs here – we have someone looking into this for us. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have offered us help both here and at home. We have been shown nothing but warmth and kindness by the Sudanese people and this could have happened anywhere.
We’ll keep you posted…
Cowburt heading off to look for Winston
Cowburt returning only having found flower petals…
Biscuit the’ guard-puppy’ was keen to help