I'm still enjoying Cairo - the quarter called 'Garbage Town' - because today's the first aniversary of the revolution and the demonstrations against the interim military control has created a bit of instability among the citizenry. I've got a route figured out but need to be taken about 40 kilometers south of the city to a point where I can begin. Knowing the starting point with certainty is a key element of the successful arrival at the destination. Today's not a good day to travel, everyone among the warm Coptic community tells me. Tomorrow's better. Enjoy the Egyptian hospitality and cuisine. I can easily and enjoyably do that!
This pilgrimage differs from all the others I've made. Each time previously, I got up and walked each day, except the very few days I had good reason not to - head cold, boot repair, holiday... This pilgrimage my steady program of walking has been punctuated with extended time-outs... I've hunkered down for planning and thinking quite a few times now... would it have been the same if I had been able to start on the day of St Michael the Archangel instead of St Jerome the thinker? The point is moot. Tomorrow, inshallah, I'll finally be able to begin the desert trek - eastward up one long dry wadi to the top of a plateau then southward down another... Doh! it rained last night in Garbage Town... I hope my wadis are still dry!
Oh, and boot update... The durable, inflexible, heavy soles have been holding up remarkably well. The interior lining at the back of the heal have been troublesome having gotten warn and frayed cutting into the skin on my Achilles giving me blisters. Each repair has only lasted a short while. Calluses are thick by now, so it just doesn't matter any more. Sitting idle in Cairo, I thought I'd go ahead and have the extra heals I've been carrying put on for the last rather rocky 1,000 kilometers I face but the cobblers I've talked with don't have the tools to deal with molded soles. It's all been a folly. Lackaday!