Upon seeing my bicycle, I view it still as my only possible mode of transport but the hooks and eyes are apparent. Besides the usual things such as lack of battery energy means I can’t read much would I have the time for it. Tending friendships are eating up my battery power, if only I had time to write because usually when I am a day in camp I am full with activities which push and pull each other to be done or wanting to be done. I feel my life is brimming to the rim with simplicities I simply can’t get done nor keep up with.
When Koen squeezes his fists together, he comes to an abrupt halt in front of the door I sit behind. We meet at the Shell station, a person I have never seen before, with a twinkle in his eyes, moving with the ease of an adolescent youngster, one of 45. He’s having a bright smile, and when I see him I jump of my chair to greet him. Funny, not to know a person except by typed words over Messenger.
Cycling in the Pampa is nothing spectacular. Since December the vast agricultural lands have changed into swamps, large masses of wetlands have become plain lakes. Mosquitoes dwells happily alongside snakes, storks, owls, foxes, nutria’s and everything in between with wings, feet or no feet crawls around, is caught against the speeding wheels of trucks and cars and… receives the occasionally secretive hair cut.
An update of where I am at the moment follows soon, but first this adventure: 3 days out of a truck-driver’s life are the highlight of my trip in Patagonia. I am leaving the gloomy south of Argentina for warmer, sunnier and happier feelings.
I would never cycle in the rain for fun, luckily once in Argentina I feel the sun working as a super Prozac on my system. Six weeks cycling in the rain did me no good. But now, all is dandy again and cycling on the hardened mud track, not so long ago a mud pool, I feel life circulating through my veins.
So, what precisely is a micro climate? People told me it is pristine out here, how pure is that? And how exactly does Patagonia looks like? Carretera Austral, everyone who has been to Patagonia talks about it.
You may call me stubborn, but I have learned that when people tell me something is impossible, complicated, or difficult, it often isn’t. Now, when people tell me there is a meter of snow, I don’t believe it. Even though these people are the firemen to whom drivers ask about the situation on the road. So, when those people tell me to stay until the snow disappears, I continue on.
Easier said than done, the title above. Outside it is cold, or wet or snowy or the combination. Then, having my periods; fiddling with the Cup I incidentally go through a little poop accident right besides my bicycle. And not before long I step into the pile and the brown colored spread is all over my snowy white camp, now beautified with patches of sienna.
For some occult reason I had given my dad a woolen thermal shirt, woolen socks and a fleece sleeping bag liner when he visited me in the Atacama desert.
The rain, for me at this moment, is a sound of elegant yet forceful fingers tapping on a tight drum, stretched cloth above my head; my tent, my home.
Patagonia towards winter means the start of serious wind. I am heading to a hostile place on earth, this not being part of my plan, I let my happiness guide me. For now, the wind is in my back. Blowing across the vastness as a large cloud, like a passenger in a big haste.
Anxious I was about the climb towards the Cristo Redentor pass. I counted 18 perfect symmetric curves. It turned out to be 30, and I took them in only 1,5 hour. Hail to Cindy indeed!
I am a comfort junkie. I don’t mind, and still be happy, without a shower preceding the number of 14 days.
I really don’t know what to do: route 40 with the highest pass in Argentina? Or route 51 which runs parallel but is lower, asphalted and has traffic. I don’t even want to throw a coin because what if it tells me to take route 40? I simply can’t.
‘I will take all the high passes there are’
But that was what I’ve said back home in The Netherlands. Now I am on Ruta 40 and the prospect of climbing yet another pass is not too joyful. Though, I am enjoying way more than I was in Bolivia, only because everything falls together, just right into place.
It must be because he had recognized me as a shepherd. A shepherd of piglet. He, an attractive Argentinean man a copy of an artistic talib, his beard more than four fists long.