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66 days remain. I know this because I finally caved and set up the exact same system of daily mailers that I so derided previously as being overkill. So now I receive a pretty picture of something East African in my mailbox every night at seven thirty sharp (today was the Simien mountains) and a countdown to the number of days left (today was 66 days to departure). Sixty six. As in, less than ten weeks. A little over two months. Three fortnights. Not very long.

Given the move to Grahamstown that must somehow be magically completed before I depart, it dawned on me this morning the enormity of the management task I in fact face, having to ensure that every last scrap of clothing, bedding, hanging or whatever else which is not coming in my pack to Cairo gets moved down to and stored (no idea where yet) in the Eastern Cape. The nights before I leave will quite literally be me, in my sleeping bag, on the couch. So yes, readers, there is a lot to do.

Three, as they say, is company – though four would be even more handy in medical emergencies.

On a more Cape-to-Cairo (and less pack-and-freak-out) note, we have an enthusiastic new recruit to the trip in Lesley – recently sold on the idea and quite possibly joining me from the very first Cape Town leg of the adventure. Three, as they say, is company – though four would be even more handy in medical emergencies. We may have a fourth (since Audrey missed a calling in the church and has instead taken to proselytizing African adventure in the last few days), but only time will tell.

I, on the other hand, have spent my time getting excited over gear catalogs, visa requirements websites and other journey-related minutiae that I can roll around in like the happiest of piglets, savoring every last drop of pre-trip excitement.  During the course of such rolling, the extent of the instability in Northern Kenya has started to become clearer – focusing my attention a great deal more on how we intend to navigate from Nairobi to Addis Ababa via Moyale. The Internet is largely in agreement that inter-tribe violence, exacerbated by severe resource shortages, has resulted in at least a few hundred dead over the course of a few massacres in recent months (in truth stretching back far longer than just this year). All of this makes journeying right through the area in available transport something that should probably be well-thought out beforehand. So while my list of things to read about and people from whom we will be seeking advice has grown rather large in recent days, so too has the determination and excitement that nothing will put us off finding our way up the continent now.

Hmm. It just passed midnight.

Sixty five days left.