In about 6 months from today, on December 12 2013, one of the greatest biking expeditions this jubilee year will be kicking-off from Nairobi as a team of 15 seasoned bikers embark on an arduous 10,000km ride through 6 border crossings and 4 African nations to raise funds for a high school scholarship fund. The destination of this amazing journey will be the fabled ancient city of the Pharaohs; the land of the great pyramids itself – Cairo, Egypt.
The tour christened the jubilee ride 2013, has a special affinity to the number 50. The ride, which will be kicking-off on the day Kenya turns 50, will be a 50-day return trip to raise funds to support 50 needy students through High School. How is that for having a thing about the number 50?
The ride will be flagged-off on Jamhuri Day as part of the national Jubilee Celebrations and will come to an end on 31st January 2014. The riders will have to endure a tough terrain of gravel, stones and sand as they traverse the dry lands of Marsabit, home of the Marsabit National Park where the famous Elephant, Ahmed, protected by a presidential decree freely roamed. They will then enter southern Ethiopia via the Kenyan border town of Moyale.
The team will then ride through the picturesque landscapes of Alba Minch to the spectacular Omo Valley with its more than 200,000 of some of the most fascinating tribes in Africa and indeed the world including the Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bodi, Bumi, Daasanech, Dorze, Hamar, Karo, Konso, Kwegu, Mursi, Tsemay and even the Turkana who call this amazing place home.
The riders will go through the legendary city of Aksum where it is believed the Ark of the Covenant rests today. History also records Aksum (or Axum) to be the possible home of the biblical Queen of Sheba. The city is famous for its giant Obelisks constructed 1,700 years ago to mark the tombs of emperors and nobles. The most famous of them all is the 24-feet tall Obelisk of Aksum that weighs a whopping 160 tonnes.
The team will then exit Ethiopia through the border town of Metemma to enter Khartoum in northern Sudan through the border village of Gallabat in the town of Gedaref which, in Arabic, literally means ‘he who has finished selling or buying should leave’.
The story of the origin of the name began at the Market of Abu Sin where nomads would come to exchange their commercial commodities with the indigenous people and towards the evening, as the sun began to set, a herald would call at the people asking everyone who had finished his deal to leave so that the market could be closed in time.
The 15 bikers will then proceed on through the ancient city of Meroe, famous for its Nubian Pyramids, before entering the inhospitable 400,000 km2 Nubian Desert in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert. They will ride though the small coastal town of Wadi Halfa to exit Sudan, probably, through the controversy-ridden border town of Halayeb and into the final leg of their journey in Egypt.
Wadi Halfa is well-known for its numerous ancient Nubian antiquities. It was was once the focus of much archaeological work by teams seeking to save artefacts from the flooding caused by the completion of the Aswan Dam.
The final leg will take the riders through the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor regarded by many as the world’s greatest open-air museum. The ruins of the city of Luxor are a major tourist attraction in Egypt today. Millions come to see the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor.
Luxor is also believed to be the site of the old Greek city of Thebes locally known as Waset. Waset was once the capital of Egypt during part of the 11th Dynasty and most part of the 18th Dynasty (The 18th Dynasty, also known as Dynasty XVIII, produced Egypt’s most famous Pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Hatshepsut, the longest-reigning queen-Pharaoh and of course the ‘heretic Pharaoh’, Akhenaten with his queen wife, Nefertiti).
By the end of this monumental Kenyan expedition, the team hopes to have raised KES 15 million to see 50 students complete high school. The expedition is an initiative of The Nairobi Chapel through their Social Justice ministry. If you are interested in sponsoring this event you can get more details here. We shall keep you posted as the ride takes shape.
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