This post has been lurking inside of me for a while now. In different forms, with different aspects on the same topic. But here I will focus on the aspect in which this post was born.
The post emerged on a cold morning when I’ve opened the door of the shed inside of which I have spent the night. Outside the wind was bending those few trees and the snow was falling almost horizontally. I was in Patagonia, middle of nowhere. In the direction I was coming from, the first town was 130km away. In the direction I was heading for, the next one was 230km away. In between is immense emptiness. Some might say, lots of nothing but I would disagree. There is something, there is emptiness. And in this emptiness is an endless steppe, there are colours that the sun provokes, there is wind that is chasing the clouds and in doing so pictures a movie in front of my eyes, there is Life.
There are no houses, no traffic, no people, no Wi-Fi. The only sign of civilization is the long, endless black asphalted snake that disappears somewhere over the horizon.
I’ve got somewhat carried away so let’s get back to the topic at hand. It’s morning and outside is freezing wind with snow. Far from an ideal situation for a cycling wandering in Patagonia. But I don’t care. No, it’s not that I don’t care, I’m actually happy, excited like a small boy and all because it is snowing. And not only that, in spite the inhospitable face that this morning mother nature is showing, I have a roof over my head and four walls that more or less keep me from the hardship outside. And in this moment I again become aware how lucky I am. Lucky that I’m Here and Now. Again, as so many other times on this trip, I’m lucky to find just what I need at the moment when I need it. Lots of times I do not even know that I need something until the Universe offers it to me and I accept it. And that is what has happened yesterday.
Yesterday Andres and I have started about 18km away from this small settlement of about 20 houses. By some turn of events (not coincidences, since I do not believe in coincidences) we found ourselves in front of some sort of health centre (it’s called Puesto de Salud which could be more properly translated as point of health). I had to use the toilet so we entered and were welcomed by Juan Carlos who works here as a nurse (and in doing so, he is the entire medical staff of this health centre). He allows me to use the toilet and so we start a conversation. This quickly leads to him offering us to camp here. Well, if we want, we can sleep in a shed. Apart from that, we have access to hot shower and toilet.
It’s still early, just past midday. But some internal voice (intuition maybe) tells both Andres and I to accept the offer. Take some rest, shower and tomorrow continue on. So we have stayed. Enjoyed the sunny day and a quiet evening without having to set up our tents. And the morning – well, the morning showed to us that we have made the right decision. If we wouldn’t have stayed, the morning blizzard would have had found us in the middle of the above mentioned emptiness. And I cannot imagine I would have looked at how the wind is carrying snowflakes horizontally with the same excitement.
And this was not an isolated case. Ever since the beginning of this trip, luck is on my side. I will not go into naming all the times I was lucky since in doing so this post will become more like the novel War and Peace.
But seems that my good friend Toni was right in one of our many conversations. He said: “Luck needs to be provoked. You have to do something in order that luck has an opportunity to show itself.” Maybe this means that when it has just started to rain you have to lift the gate off of its hinges to gain access to a big roof that by design serves as a shelter for the cows. But it seems that they haven’t used it for a while. This way you spend the night under the roof and in the morning you start a new day with a dry tent and equipment. Or you might have to do 130km crossing the Patagonian steppe to reach Juan Carlos. Or something else, but for sure you have to do something to allow the Universe to enable you to experience Luck.
And yes, it does help if you can recognize the situation. That you know that when someone unexpectedly offers you free camping in the middle of the day, that you have to take the offer. Or that you see the roof for the cows and that for miles around there isn’t anyone that will use it. During the following day we saw several other cyclists that didn’t recognize the situation and had to dry out their soaking tents and clothes.
I believe that we all have the capacity to recognize these kind of situations. That we all possess intuition. Experiences serve to polish this intuition. I cannot imagine that those soaking cyclists haven’t noticed the roof under which Andres and I have made our home. But probably for the lack of experiences or because they were in their mind already focused on reaching a campsite that was 30km away, they simply did not stop, did not listen to intuition. This is how the rational part of their brain led them soaking wet to their goal.
After almost three years on the road I believe I have some experiences. But in no way am I imagining that I master the topic and so I’m being surprised over and over again every time the Universe shows to me that I have taken the right decision. And that is when I realize that I’m Lucky.
With a Smile on my face, until next time!