Back on the Saddle

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Dear friends,

I would like to thank you all for your patience as it’s been a while since I last posted anything on BikewithDiabetes.com or on the other social media channels. You may hence wonder where I am and what I have been up to. As a matter of fact, I have good and bad news to announce. The bad news is that I had to set the project on hold after reaching the south of Egypt in early January 2018, after injuring my back and right leg. I was forced to return to Brussels to seek medical treatment where a scanner revealed a hernia in my lower back, which compressed the root of my sciatic nerve, hence the pain in my right leg. Besides being painful, the sciatica greatly affected my mobility.

While temperatures were falling below 0˚C in Belgium in February and the hills of Ardennes were being covered by snow, the temperatures in Sudan, on the other hand, were reaching up to 50˚C in the south of the country. Continuing the journey in those conditions, once healed, was out of the question, given the insulin temperature problematic.

I looked into practical possibilities to skip Sudan and reach Ethiopia by plane. But, as I was exploring my options, unrest and agitation grew in Ethiopia. The situation slowly settled down throughout the months of April and May 2018. Yet, besides other challenges that Ethiopia represents, skipping Sudan implied having to organise the logistics: as I had left my bicycle and my gear in Aswan, not aware neither of the gravity of my injury, nor of the time needed to heal it. As time went by, it seemed that sticking to the initial plan, even with the delay of one year, was the better option.

The good news is that temperatures in Sudan dropped during the last few weeks, as winter is settling in. This means I will soon restart my journey, again from Aswan, where I left my bicycle and the gear, and from where I am writing to you now. I will post articles about how my journey went so far in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned for more!

Last but not least, I would like to send a very special thanks to Nicole Bureau, Philippe Meert, Philippe de Buck and Nafisa Hasanova for the great help and the countless hours spent on this project.

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