After two days in transit, two days spent in non-places– Departures, Arrivals and that airborne metal transport tube with wings, I’ve arrived in China. Confusingly, I left Bogota on Thursday evening travelled for 24 hours and arrived 2 days later a bit spaced and very confused about what time it should be.
After working so hard to cover 10,000km on the bike for the last few months, steping on board an aircraft and arriving on literally the other side of the world two days later with out breaking a sweat is a bit jaring. Long Haul, really drives home the beauty of cycling- a reminder of how nice it is to see the world unfold gently at the speed of life. Sitting in transit for so long, I couldn’t help thinking about the nature of air travel (setting aside the effect of air travel on nature which I assume most readers of this blog are all too aware).
The two flights we’ve taken since leaving Greystones last Novemeber provide stark contrast to life on the road; cycling’s a mode of travelling from A to B, with intimate and unfiltered contact with the world along the way. Flying on the other hand is form of transport. Transport, that is in the star trek, “beam me up scotty” sense of the word, a way of getting from one place to another with little thought for geography or distance. On my way from Bogota to Shanghai, I came within 10 km of the plains of the American prarie, Ice caps of the Artic ocean, and the forests of Far Eastern Siberia. But in sensory terms I was preoccupied by “Transformers” and “The Shaw Shank Redemption” on the TV screen in front of me. As we flew over Siberia I did feel a chill, but that was due to the over active AC rather than any ambient environemntal effect of being at such a high latittude.
I’m really glad that we’re now back on the world island, and that we can travel west all the way to the coast of France under our own steam with our feet, or at least tyres, firmly on the ground.