Not so long ago a friend of mine, Brane wrote me an e-mail that encouraged me to write a post on not so “romantic” aspects of travelling. I will not be all philosophical about it, I’ll just describe a day when I did not feel exactly olympic.
I woke up around 2am with a feeling like someone is calling my name. It felt like dreaming (which it actually was) but nevertheless I have opened my eyes. All around me were lightnings and thunders. It hasn’t started to rain yet. I went out of my tent to tighten the guylines to make the surface of the tent nicely tense and ready for what it seemed as inevitable downpour. Before returning in the tent I had a cigarette and hoped that the storm somehow bypasses me.
First rain drops came when I was already inside my tent. And then – nothing. In spite all odds the storm did bypass me.
Next time I woke up it was 6am in outside just started to rain. Not too much, but enough for me not to be able to go outside normally and perform my morning routine of taking down the camp. It rained in intervals and so I have managed somehow to make myself breakfast and just after 9am set off to the nearest town.
The day was murky and the clouds were laying low when I stopped in front of a McDonalds where for a 1 USD you can get just black and hot enough liquid to call it coffee. I took my computer with me into the restaurant. To check where I am and how to get to my tonight’s host. But mostly afraid what is in store for me when I open it up. Yesterday it fell on the floor and until today I did not dare to take a look.
First impressions were fine and full of hope, I’ve opened it up. One look at the broken screen shattered all my hopes. Nope, cannot even switch it on.
Angry with myself for letting it fall on the floor in the first place I just stare at the mosaic of broken glass on the screen and shortly felt sorry for myself. But the reality of the situation was that what has happened has happened and before I reach the city in the evening I will not have any means of knowing what my options in terms of repairing it are.
Not really excited by the way how the day has been progressing so far I sat on Lou and cycle out of the town. Flat terrain and cloudy weather are just perfect for cycling. No tiresome climbs or exhausting heat and direct sun without any shade. But I just cannot push it. The peddals are turning slowly and a headache is starting to develop. I’m getting sick. Absolutelly marevlous – I managed to catch something. You do not necessarily have to go to Zimbabwe to ingest something your body does not agree with.
City and evening with the promise of rest are soo far away.
After half an hour I stop for a break. I take something against the headache just sitting and sinking into self-pitying. I struggle with myself to find the motivation to continue. If the events of today knock me over, then I can just forget about continuing my journey.
I eat some peanut butter sandwiches and start to burp. The next 20 minutes I just burped constantly and in doing so I start to feel better.
By the time I mount Lou I already feel better. Energy level starts to rise and the peddals are easier to turn. It seems the whole situation is not as bad as my brains were showing it to me.
By half past three I manage to cycle 60km, have a longer brake during which I manage to dry the tent still wet from the morning rain, I avoid a downpour but not a small piece of wire that punctures my tube.
There is a fence and a tree on a nearby sideroad. Fence to lean my bicycle on and tree for shade. If the puncture had to occur then it did on a good location.
Not overly excited but still accepting the situation as it is. In about half an hour I replace the tube and wash my hands at a nearby gardening store. I also fill up a bottle of water and push on.
I make my way into the city by about 6 and in wait of my host to come and pick me up I do treat myself with an iced coffee.
Just one more day on the road!