Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Hey, it's my blog, I'll spell it anyway I want...
In June of last year, I made arrangements to meet my friend Kate and her daughter Tyrzah in Cusco, Peru. Like me she is an adventurous spirit. Our plan was to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in March. My plan was to cycle down at least as far as Panama from Yucatan, Mexico and meet them. I landed in Cancun on December 18th. I could have made Panama but didn't.
I'm such a putterer and a procrastinator, I made it to Antigua, Guatemala and ran out of time. I had to fly all the way to Lima from Guatemala City. But there are some very real reasons I procrastinate and putter. I am terrified by this whole cycling thing. I mean not the actual riding my bike thing. I love riding my bike both at home and in the land of Far Away and Outrageous. It really does offer a sense of freedom and I am priveledged to see the world in a different light.
However, at times I feel paralyzed by self doubt and fear. I get stuck. We completed the trek on the Inka Trail and I am back in Lima. Been here three days too many. I am leaving tomorrow by hook or by crook. It's a big city, very noisy and altogether too many people and cars. There is a great blog by a woman who articulates very well, the kinds of things that are always in the back of my mind. The issues are real but just "How real are they?"
Here is a link: http://www.thatemilychappel.com
In any case, I met a couple from Spain yesterday who cycled from Canada. I think it's awesome! I'm sure their trip has been fraught with it's own challenges. But I don't think people who never cycle alone long distances understand how difficult this can be. There is always safety in numbers even if it's only two. It's helpful to bounce ideas off someone else in terms of routes or get a reality check. "Is this route even possible?" That would be a great question to ask someone I happen to be cycling with. The truth is I am envious and maybe a little resentful at the "happy couples" cycling their way to bliss. Don't get me wrong, I know it's equally difficult attempting to do ANYTHING with one or more other persons. Sometimes, I believe I'm socially retarded. I have posted time and again to internet based websites and forums looking for cycling companions. So far I have received two responses, which by all estimates is better than none. However, the first one turned out to be a gal who had no cycle touring experience at all and very little if any camp craft skills. The other was from a woman who isn't available until September or October. Maybe she'll turn up. In the meantime, I'm still out here cycling alone.
It has it's advantages. I can do whatever, whenever, wherever. I'm not beholden to anyone. I do actually have a few companions. But they are nags. Their names are Self doubt, Fear, Anxiety and Plain laziness. And there are two radio stations I can pick up. These exist purely in my head of course. The first is KFUK Radio. That's the one that plays all that dark Death Metal crap. You know, songs like, "Give Up Now", "You're A Whimp", "You're Going To Die A Slow Miserable Death" and of course, "Why Bother?"
Thankfully, there is another station playing hits like, "Wow, Look At That!", or "God's Love Is A Perfect Love". And the greatest recordings of all, "These People Are Amazing!" and "I Get To Do This!" On a good day that's the one playing while slogging up some endless, nameless mountain pass.
The point is this shit is hard. Maybe that's why I do it. But isn't life like that? Difficult?
All life is hard. But I'm grateful! For some people just getting out of bed is a chore. It is for me. But I do it anyway, the adventure keeps me going. Especially thinking about the road ahead. Tomorrow, I've got 44 miles of desert sun, heat and wind to contend with as I head north along the coast of Peru from Lima. Which by the way is one hell of a congested cluster fuck and I'm glad to be leaving it.
I'm fairly close to the water now so I think I can follow for a few miles until I get near the airport. I don't have a decent map but as long as I keep the ocean on my left, I should be alright. I'll have to get around the airport somehow and then who knows?
Thanks for reading...
Posted by Where is she now?