15km Taftanaz to Idlib

The moon over the hills near ArihaSuch a short day, and yet such a long one at the same time. We left Aleppo after getting Friedel’s wheel fixed with a nifty new Chinese rim (how long it will last is anyone’s guess but hopefully long enough to get back to Turkey) and after fighting off a nasty stomach bug. We both felt worn down as we returned to Taftanaz by bus to collect our bikes and belongings and say a second goodbye to the family who had hosted us and helped us so much. As we waved and pedalled down the road it quickly became clear we were not going to get far. A fierce crosswind impeded every stroke and often blew us across the road. Syria’s streets are dusty at the best of times and the gusts blew heaps of dirt into our eyes. We were already tired and the combination of wind and dirt wore us down quickly so when we spotted a track leading back into a field we quickly decided to call it quits for the day. Funnily enough, none of the farmers milling around seemed to bat an eyelash at our arrival and we had a completely peaceful afternoon, aside from the wind blowing our tent around and rattling it. We collapsed for an afternoon nap, just managed to summon up the energy to make supper and then fell back asleep, hoping for better trails tomorrow.

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