Yesterday stinking stinging sweat blind over an unrelenting sine wave of shoreline dirt, dense atmosphere hours: still, cloying, deaf. Left camp after 8am, pulled the plug at about 9pm with the sky plenty bright to […]
Cross into Chile, now on the famous rough gravel roads. Feather the brakes, blur the reeds and broad leaves that line the periphery of attention, grinding the big tires indulging my too lazy to pick […]
Haze curtain horizon, or like always looking through a old windowpane. Otherwise so much Alaska, BC here, here there, no shock the antipodal symmetry, then along a latitude to New Zed Land. I’ll soon be […]
Looked at the bicycle, really looked at it. Dirt rust spots wear that at home would get immediate attention, just marks of movement press ahead and making do. Tired of my clothes so for the […]
Northwest Argentina, cultivated loveliness, easy urbanity to the towns, Jujuy, Salta, allusions to some collision of Spain and Germany and here. Always a plaza, sleepy during the siesta and then alive abuzz until late into […]
High pass border, there’s a man in a shack that has rickety wooden double doors that let the whistling gale in, we chat, this solitary Bolivian functionary thumps the stamp and pats me on the back, thanks me for visiting his pais. Nearby a pole with a sign, another few K then over a small edge bump, suddenly Larry whrrr on pavement, asphalt, blacktop, I wasn’t necessarily longing for it, in fact I like it less, but it’s nice not to have washboards.
Transitions, boggling descents, hillfolds, soon riding in sunshine warmth headed to hot. The words are a little more articulated, but also snappier and with sh ch jjhuh sounds where I don’t expect, I have to focus and interpolate at pace, smartly trimmed roadblock police, calm friendly questions. I’m expectant for observing the source of gravity here, entering Argentina the back way, literally and metaphorically, Buenos Aires as distant from this landscape as Tokyo or Helsinki are. And for days it’s a swimming flotsam of impressions. Far greater wealth than Peru or Bolivia, of course, shiny pickups, zippy recent model cars, at one highway crossroad there is a gas station with an interior all of white and metal surfaces, could be at an off ramp in Missouri, panini sandwiches lined up waiting to be microwaved and the woman behind the counter in a smart polyester uniform. One day for breakfast I stop at the village corner shop and buy a wedge of divine cheese and a baguette and a square of chocolate, sit in the tree shaded plaza not particularly nostalgic for the empty tiendas of the last weeks. Soon I’ll be shuffling confusedly through a bonafide grocery store, frightened by the largesse. It all makes me feel more self conscious in my stinking riding clothes and permanently dirt infused shoes.
Famous hot spring nearly sunset all to myself washing the chalk white grime and drag and my battered threadbare from me. Hard wonderful days on tan orange greyblack windswept tracks close to the clouds. Now […]
This high country lakes area draws tourists in 4×4’s, first a dust geyser in the distance then the suspension screamingdancing through the chop. They bull charge alongside without slowing and I see the gringos looking […]
Rattlebuzz hands numb, the tingle in my right ring finger will last through the night, been gasping eightnineten hour days, noon slicing heat and an hour before sunset all my clothes on. Patterns in the […]
Into the Salar a second time from Uyuni, just a corner of it, standing water splashing salt onto my legs and gear, reflected skies rainclouds on the ground and harlequin above. I cease and just […]
Meet a couple on bikes, these encounters almost always jolly, fellowship of the road and all. The first thing out of his mouth, before “hello” or “lovely day” is about how he read a careful […]