Monday, 16 May 2011

Chasing sunshine

Chasing sunshine,

Its cold at night, the outer zip on my tent has broken so the wind and frost get in. My sleeping bag and foam mat, the self-inflating one got ruined ages ago and binned, are not really up to this so I am going to get a cheap sleeping bag to go in my other sleeping bag. I find I wake up all through the night having strange dreams only to realise I am actually still in my little tent in south America, its one crazy dream straight into another. Yesterday it rained I got soaked the wind made the rain sting, I pitched the tent early the desert floor just became mud that stuck to everything soon everything was covered and I was feeling wet, cold and pretty miserable. The next morning was hard to get packed up and into wet clothes in freezing conditions. I pack up in the dark and get going as soon as there is enough light, today I was lucky there was no wind and soon the sun came up it started to get warm really warm I dried all my stuff out and soon I was down to just shorts, top and arm and leg warmers. I'm hoping I'm far enough north now to catch the odd warm day.

Today I was going to get to a small town according to the map and small it was I almost cycled past it thinking it was a farm; it was a grand total of three buildings. The old petrol pumps caught my eye. It was the first place I had seen in four days. Outside the petrol station/general stores was a man standing in a suit, a dark navy blue suit, double breasted with great big gold buttons and flares. It must have been 30/40 years old this suit. Next to him was a stick, a hat, a small leather satchel and a rolled up duvet. I cycled over and said hello as I went past "where are you from" he asked in very good English, England I said and asked where he was from, Germany. I asked him is that seriously all your stuff for travelling pointing to his four things "yes... but I have too much" he said. He explained he had got rid of everything to achieve total independence and freedom. He had been stuck in this place for days waiting for a lorry or car to take him on his way. I didn't point out that he was now completely dependent on others and as a result had lost his freedom. He may have turned his nose up at all off my possessions, but all I need is some fuel for my stove and food (and maybe a 70s suit, it was pretty cool).

Inside the petrol station/general stores was exactly how you imagine a small store out here to be. (Outside was a bar to tie your horse to, people do still use horses as transport out here, I leant my steed of steel against it). There were shelves with packets of food where some that had been in the sun had faded compared to the rest and tins with spots of rust on. You could buy spares for your saddle and calendars of 2009. I loaded up with food that probably went out of date years ago and got back on my way.

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