Cyclist take road to Makkah

The four cyclists traveling across Africa to Makkah to perform the obligatory pilgrimage of Haj with their bicycles had made it to the Karoo by Tuesday and gave the assurance that they were fully prepared for any challenge they may encounter enroute to their destination. The men who hail from Cape Town are Imtiyaz Haron (24), Ismai-eel Adams (25), Natheem Cairncross (27) and Mogammad Najjaar (30). They set off from Athlone on their lengthy journey on Sunday.

“Mentally we are preparing ourselves,” said Cairncross. “One of the challenges we are predicting is health problems.” He said that the group carried with them basic medical kits to meet their medical needs. However, thus far, the toughest part of their journey has been the steep mountain passes. “The most strenuous thing was just getting through a couple of steep passes like Hex River pass,” Cairncross told VOC from Three Sisters in the Northern Cape on Tuesday. “It took a lot out of us because it was so steep and it was so long.”

The foursome were now heading north to Pretoria from where they would turn towards Gaborone in Botswana and then up north to Francistown. From Botswana they will travel to Bulawayo and Harare in Zimbabwe and thereafter to Mozambique and Malawi. The journey will continue along the east to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. In preparation for trip, Cairncross said they had spoken to African immigrants in South Africa about the condition of the roads in the various countries.

“They reckon the roads are quite good,” said Cairncross, referring to the roads on the African continent, adding that feel “fairly good” about their ambitious journey for which they have set aside 6 – 7 months. “If it should be a gravel road then I suppose you must just … make the most of it. We are preparing for the worst if that should come our way,” he added.

The group of four planned their trip in December last year. “We’ve calculated everything and drew it up on paper,” said Cairncross. “So far we’ve covered the distance that we’ve calculated and put on paper. I think we’re just one day behind and we’re going to try to catch up tomorrow. So far things are looking good and we are going according to what we planned.” VOC (Faatimah Hendricks)

Original article can be found here.

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