Food. One can not do otherwise than loving Indian street food, in particular the dishes available at truck dhaba’s. The inventiveness of African mom’s is not to dismiss either. They cook up delicious meals with leavy vegetables and home-made palm oil. A delight for a cyclist on sandy roads through the few patches of virgin forest. I vividly remember my breakfast at restaurants lining the streets in Sana’a, though busy with clientele I would eat in quietness. Fresh fish perfectly fried, while goat heads would simmer next to where I sat. In the far away past I would wander the streets of Bangladesh and Pakistan in search of a restaurant mentioned in the Lonely Planet, sometimes it took me hours to find such place, not seldom wandering off forgetting to eat. Though my own prepared sugary tomato paste pasta in the desert was tasty and bread fried in olive oil whether at a soppy wet Patagonian patch, the hostile windy pampa or a sweltering Argentinian yerba mate grove was always good enough. Food mixed up with sand in Mauritania, quick decaying beef in warm sunny Bolivia and constipation enhancing dishes in Paraguay, it all had its charm.
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.
Why would someone live in a truck?
Let’s start with why I decided to live in a truck? I dislike to live in a house. After being on the road for 5 years where I camped mostly in a tent I distanciated more. Then I met my husband on a farm in Paraguay. Geo, came with this extra ordinary idea (to which I had to get accustomed). He wanted to move out of his house too and I soon was appealed to the idea of living in a truck.
German world-cyclist Heike Pushbikegirl asked me to participate in a post about tricks to make life living on the road easier. Although daily life is full with tricks and tips one has adopted over the course of a few years, I came up with 5 (not necessarily life saving ones though).
The only choice I have -and count on- for safe camping is the border check-post, 7 kilometer before the actual border crossing. Having arrived here after 110 kilometers cycling in a heat of 40 degrees, I surrender to the customs. That means I must first drink the offered tereré, as if I am not tired and hungry but tranquillo is the key to success.