Colombia Trip Planning I

Two in two suitcases, one by design the other not but can, a welcome evolutionary spandrel. Mountain bikes for a revised plan, one that involves airlines, buses for some big spans between altitudes, deserts, jungles, coffee plantations hillsides. Tracks, trails, gravel, accidental asphalt, village or through city day rides, mostly unlost.

Tabletop, coffee cup silverware candleholder aside. 1:1,400,000 paper map in tandem with the pinch and zoom and swipe of National Geographic’s iPad atlas, MotionX GPS road and terrain downloads, Bogota Maplet, Google Earth whir of the desktop machine then I’ll trace possibilities on ridewithgps. More detailed maps we’ll get there to combine with asked directions, locals’ advice. Two downloaded guidebooks, yet another with a tactile heft, each always wrong but together allowing for triangulation, like Borges’ character who simultaneously reads several history books to vector add toward truth. We type in place names but scan hardly read, we images search but only look at the first two dozen so as not to be oversaturated making places falsely familiar when we get there. Contacts and correspondence, a phone call. Holiday high season, fancyplace reservations. A sheet of paper with ruler pencil lines and cursive writing, where-ish that day, where to sleep, whether any travel.

Structure and scaffolding, irony of planning so as to allow the important parts not to be.