Things have been a bit odd in the revolution camp for the last few weeks. We arrived in La Paz to a home from home in Loki Hostel. My stomach was still playing gastric tricks on me so I laid low for a while, munched antibiotics to combat the bugs and probiotics to combat the antibiotics. Then, Simon and Marina climbed a very big mountain while I headed to Lake Titicaca, leaving the bike and traveling by bus to see my Mum who had some business in the jungle near Iquitos with a shaman.
When I got back to La Paz Si was Cuzco bound as he too had a rendevous with his folks on the 28th. So I headed off all on my ownio. It was refreshing to cycle by one, stopping when I felt tired, and going as far and as fast as I liked. It gave me a good chance to reflect on the last few months in Bolivia and the road ahead.
Cycling by one also allows for more headspace, with my body engaged in the kineasthetic mantra of spinning my mind relived previous tours as the kilometres rolled by; I smelled the pine forests of Poland, and the eucalyptus trees of Victoria, I relived eating black cherry tarts in Germany and dill pickles in Estonia. I indulged in long forgotten memories of grey kangaroos eyeing me with suspicion by the roadside.
At the border town of Desaguadero, shabby and restless and full of the dodgy types that seem to thrive in liminal and lawless places, I was reminded that a team of one is not all freedom and space, as I darted through immigration trying to keep one eye on my bike outside. A pack of 6 kids with dull glazed eyes had offered to look after it for me, and I had to leave it unattended while I queued for a passport stamp, so I wasn’t exactly relaxed.
Arriving in Peru, a new country with new material culture to oogle was refreshing, as was the notable increase in the quality of food; fried trout and potatoes never tasted so good. I arrived in Puno, the tourist hub for Lake Titcaca, after dark, and during yet another thunder storm, drenched tired and, no thanks to the erratic driving of peru’s taxi and bus drivers, in one piece. Luckily Simon and Marina- who is en-route to Cuzco by bus- were still there so we all headed out for a nice meal in the touristy district and they regailed tall tales of their mountain.
Simon left for Cuzco the following day hoping to make it to the Inca capital in time to welcome his folks. I opted to hang out with Marina, who was waiting for the blockades erected by some unhappy miners on the road to Cuzco to be lifted, and see some of the sights.
Tomorrow I’m back in the saddle, and if my wobbling Bottom Bracket allows me, I should be in Puno in time to catch Machu Picchu with Emma our next revolutionary. I’m also really looking forward to catching up with Simon and hearing his tales from the road over a Pisco Sour or two.