Cycling the desert, the Atacama in particular, is a state of awareness, a way of living, a manner of being perhaps best comparable to be on a high. The swollen covering of such an opiate is simply all encompassing. Of course, such a state can not last, unless perhaps one sinks into it and finds himself unable to reach the utmost crosspiece of the ladder, instead hovering half way, at best, most of the time.
I’d like to say I live a slow life. A slow life in the sleepy countryside. We are relatively detached from negative influences and time does not have a play in our lives. A slow life.
Distance: 332 km. Days: 7. Average distance a day: 47 km. Maximum speed: 56 km per hour. First week of June 2021.
Time for a tour. The mountains in the distance surrounding lake Balaton beckon me. One hill after another passing a shade onto the one following up, the light crisp, the color of the lake a blue I can not describe. The hills are calling out for me for some months now.
My new experience of a winter in Hungary, for The ‘Farmer’ I feel, was challenging, to say the least. There was no soil to turn over (well… not that I knew of). There were no weeds to discover (well… not that I knew of). There was no comfort for a tour, not even a little one. I tried.
Total distance: 170 km. Average speed: 10 km per hour (fully loaded). Days: 6.
My patience paid off: the weather forecast showed more than 7 sunny symbols in a row. It is the second half of February and the temperatures at night still drop below zero. But it ought to be dry, so fires will warm me (and stretching too).
Daytime temperature: zero. Daylight hours: 7 AM to 4.30 PM. Distance: a stunning 13 kilometers.
A short tour in January stretching from east to west at the North Balaton in Hungary is a very plausible plan.
A very short update about the Iveco truck which Geo and I fetched from Spain. In times like these, we´d waited for long to get this done. Mobile diary notes with Instagram snapshots on my creative weblog. 5 days of driving an overloaded truck through 5 countries, how´s that on the pshyche of one who passionately dislikes cars?
First a taste of Slovakia, a big difference to the absurd neatness and maddening quantity of agriculture in Austria, where I cycled a mere 25 kilometer through. Cycling through a corner of Slovakia goes via a levy surrounded by thick lofty forest. A forest with such an easy access I am tempted to ride right in, if not I have no food. I am cycling for hours without seeing people nor steeples nor villages. When I do see people, I am happily surprised to see they have lost their Czech ‘fearful’ expression.