When the local newspaper interviewed me in Escuinapa, an incredible town in Sinaloa, mainland Mexico… wow…. Muchas Gracias al club deportivo de los Walikochis que me ayudan tanto. Son amigos que nunca me voy a olvidar. Los Walikochis, te quiero!
Maud Yoli viene desde EU con la intención de recorrer el País y llegar a Perú y especializarse en actividades médicas
Sugey Estrada – Noroeste
ESCUINAPA._ Sin límite de tiempo, salvo la meta de llegar feliz a su destino y vivir plenamente la aventura que inició hace tres meses, Maud Yoli arribó al municipio a bordo de su bicicleta como parte de su viaje que espera terminar en Cusco, en Perú.
Originaria de la región de Lyon, Francia, pero con residencia en Los Ángeles, California, en EU, la ciclista de 30 años inició su travesía que, aunque no sabe cuándo terminará, la meta es clara: llegar a Cusco e integrarse a las actividades médicas de una congregación local.
“En una ocasión visité a esa comunidad y me gustó mucho el trabajo que hacen porque es como un hospital en donde se utiliza la medicina tradicional…
One month ago, on the 29th of March, Christophe, joined by the colorful Lucas, decided to drive for 15 hours down the Baja Peninsula to join us and embark on the cycling adventure… living on the road, with new friends in a breathtaking environment was a guarantee for intense emotions and possibly a way to unlock new/old doors…
On my side, i was simply astonished to be able to live a part of my journey with my lover… I have a real need to do this trip by myself, but being able to share such magical and real moments, in connection with everything surrounding me, whilst riding alongside the man I love, was an experience as rich as emotionally destabilizing.
Il y a exactement un mois, le 29 Mars, Christophe et son acolite Lucas, ont décidés de prendre le volant pendant 15 heures, le long de la péninsule de Baja, pour venir nous rejoindre et s’embarquer pour une semaine d’aventures à vélo…
Vivre sur la route, sans programme pré-établi, avec de nouveaux amis était déjà en soi une garantie d’emotions fortes et peut être meme une occasion d’ouvrir quelques nouvelles portes…
De mon côté, j’étais tout simplement heureuse de pouvoir vivre une partie de mon aventure avec mon amoureux… J’ai un réel besoin de faire ce voyage seule, avec moi-même, mais me retrouver à partager des moments magiques et tellement « vrais », en connection avec tout ce qui m’entoure aux côtés de l’homme que j’aime fut une expérience aussi riche qu’émotionnellement déstabilisante…
On the morning of Monday the 30th, after a rich and intense night of emotions and wine, I woke up to my friend hangover and thought to myself I was starting the adventure being 5 with virtuosity and exemplarity… with grace and class, just managing to hold down what my body was trying to get rid of. I know, pure poesy.
Fortunatelly, our wonderful host Othon, saved my dignity by serving us an incredible “hangover breakfast”. Nothing better than eating well after a night of debauchery.
Maud the adventurer was ready to get back on the saddle and eat the km.
Le matin du lundi 30, après une soirée intense en émotions et quelques bouteilles de vin descendues, je me remettais peinement d’une jolie gueule de bois en me disant que je commençais l’aventure à 5 avec virtuosité et exemplarité… la grande classe, le raoul au bord des lèvres.
Heureusement, notre super hôte Othon me sauva la face en nous préparant un petit dej’ de roi. Rien de tel qu’un bon gueuleton pour se relever d’une soiree de débauche.
Maud L’aventurière était de nouveau prête à se remettre en selle pour avaler les km.
Once again, goodbyes left me with a lump in the throat but with a heart filled with joy to have met such beautiful people.
Une nouvelle fois, les aux-revoirs me laissèrent avec la gorge nouée mais le coeur rempli de bonheur d’avoir pu rencontrer d’aussi belles personnes.
A contradictory feeling of euphoria and calm embodied me this morning, feeling like I was part of a very special convoy, excited by our circus like group on the way to the next town, and incredibly peaceful to be living in each and every second passing by, in every turn of the wheel… cycling is bliss, especially with people you love.
Un sentiment contradictoire d’euphorie et de calme m’envahit se matin là, j’avais l’impression de faire partie d’un convoit très special, excitée par notre petit groupe aux allures de wagon de cirque en direction de la prochaine ville, et sereine du moment present, de chaque tour de roue se faisant.
Christophe was filling my heart with joy, It felt like I could literally see wings growing on his back… it’s so good to see people being happy and enjoying themselves.
The cycling routine started again, conversing, listening to music, spending time alone, stopping for lunch, deciding where to set up camp… and I started to feel glimpses of frustration about the “decisions dynamic” within the group. The more people we are, the more divergent opinions there is and the more time it takes to decide things in general… I am not always very patient with that :-s .
During the day, after our now famous tacos picnic, Lucas offered me to ride with bike so I could get a break from my heavy (but non the less beloved bicycle 😉 ). From a train, I felt like I was suddenly riding a Porsche….. wowwwww, it felt like I was flying!!! Without bags, it surely is a completely different experience!… almost too easy 😉 ! Thank you Lucas for coming with almost nothing and letting me use your beast!
Christophe remplissait mon coeur de joie, j’avais l’impression de pouvoir littéralement lui voir pousser des ailes… quel bonheur de voir le bonheur des autres s’exprimer.
La routine des km avalés, discussions, moments de solitudes, picnic, decisions sur le campement se remit en route et je sentais tout de meme quelques frustrations sur la dynamique de décisions à prendre tous ensemble pointer le bout de leur nez dans ma petite caboche…
le plus de personnes nous sommes, le plus d’avis contradictoires il faut prendre en compte, et du coup, prendre une simple decision peut prendre (ce qui me semble etre) énormément de temps… je ne suis pas très patiente avec tout ca…
Dans la journée, après notre picnic tacos en bord de route, Lucas me proposa d’échanger nos vélo, et d’un tracteur, je me retrouvais au guidon d’une Porsche….. vvvvvvouuuuuummmmmmmm, quel bonheur !!!! c’est moi qui volait à présent!… sans bagages c’est définitivement une autre aventure!!!! Merci Lucas d’être venu avec presque rien et d’avoir eu la gentillesse de me laisser piloter ton engin à réaction! 😀
At night, under the stars and after passing through Santa Rosalia (where you can see a church built by Gustave Eiffel himself —we didn’t see it though… 😦 — ) we finally managed to find an abandoned building, or something looking like an abandoned basketball court… the energy was quite peculiar… we found out that it was actually an abandoned shooting range! Oh well, it was not that bad after all… and we all made it through the nigh 😉 !
Le soir, sous les étoiles, et après avoir passé la ville de Santa Rosalia, nous trouvions un vieux bâtiment à ciel ouvert où nous abriter pour la nuit, l’énergie y était assez étrange… et pour cause, il s’agissait d’un ancien stand de tir… Hooooo… mais il était trop tard pour chercher un autre endroit et puis, au final, c’était pas si mal que ça du tout sans les pseudos cow-boys en surplein de testosterone 😉 …
The next day, we aimed our wheels towards Mulege, Playa del Coyote, some 80 km farther down south, were Gayle & Paul were waiting for us in their beach house…
Do you remember about my first Warm Showers adventure in San Diego where I showed up to a house without giving any prior notice? Well, it turned out that, Mike, the host from that warm showers’ house that i actually never got to meet, started to correspond with me by email and gave me some super useful information about Baja as well as the contact for some of his friends willing to host me down in Mulege.
The only detail that had changed was that I was not cycling on my own anymore… but with 4 other crazy people. hehehe!
I must have been selling our little troop very well 😉 , because after a few email exchanges with Paul & Gayle, they gave us green light to invade their property…. if only they’d knew! hehehehehe .
At this point, I even had info about the possibility to meet some incredible friends…the biggest fishes on earth: whale sharks… now, isn’t life incredible?
The 31rst was a tough day for me. the group dynamic was playing tricks on me… so many types of energies and emotions emanating from everyone, plus mine… it was simply too much for me to manage on top of the physical side of the journey. One more time, Lucas took my bike and I took his. Thanks!
With the group support (thank you guys!), we all arrived by the end of the afternoon in Playa del Coyote, Mulege, in what seemed like a postcard … we were welcomed with margaritas and ended up partying with some very cool friends of Paul and Gayle for a good part of the night. Welcome in Paradise!
Le lendemain nous partions en direction de Mulege, playa del Coyote où Paul & Gayle nous attendaient dans leur maison en bord de mer… 80 km plus loin.
—Vous vous souvenez de ma petite aventure warm showers à San Diego, où je me suis tout simplement présentée à une maison sans savoir si ils pourraient m’accueillir? Et bien il s’est avéré que Mike, l’hôte de cette maison warm showers que je n’ai au final jamais pu rencontrer, s’est mis en contact avec moi et m’a donné les informations d’amis prêts à m’accueillir sur une plage de reve à Mulege… sauf que là je me trouvais avec 4 autres cyclistes!!!!! et bien, qu’a c’la n’tienne! Après quelques échanges e-mails avec Paul et Gayle, nous étions les bienvenus! … et il paraissait meme que mes amis les requins baleines pourraient être au rendez-vous… ah non la vraiment… Elle est pas belle la vie ????!!!!—
La journée du 31 Mars fut éprouvante, la dynamique à 5 était trop intense pour moi,… beaucoup d’énergie qui circulait, plus la mienne à gérer… ca faisait beaucoup… Pétage de cable mais finalement, avec le soutient du groupe, nous arrivons finalement à bon port, sans savoir qu’une soirée de folie en compagnie de nos hôtes et d’un autre couple d’amis s’annonçait. Bienvenue au paradis.
The rest of the week was like some sort of awaken dream, Gayle & Paul, incredible hosts, taking us under their roof like if we were their own children.
Partying together, cooking and eating together, discovering town, doing yoga, learning how to make (or almost) dolphins out of glass with Paul, kayaking, boating, jet skiing, tubing,…. and so many more ings…
Very quickly, we understood that our week cycling together would en up in a holiday camp in Mulege… trying to check how much fun one can experience in the smallest amount of time… 😉
Thanks again to Gayle and Paul, 5 children, that’s a lot to handle !
Le reste de la semaine fut une sorte de rêve éveillé… Paul&Gayle, d’incroyables hôtes nous prenant sous leur toit comme si nous étions leurs propres enfants, partageant des soirée festives sous les étoiles et les melodies chantées par le maire du coin… (épique!), dévorant des repas cuisinés tour à tour par chacun (crepes, pizzas, plats mexicains…) , apprenant à travailler le verre et à essayer de fabriquer des dauphins… (c’était presque ca! ;-)), découvrant la ville de Mulege, de Loreto une centaine de km plus bas, kayak , bateau, ski nautique, « tubing »… la liste est presque sans fin …
Très vite, nous nous sommes rendus compte que notre aventure à vélo se transformerais en camp de vacances à Mulege …merci à Paul et Gayle pour leur patience 😉 … 5 enfants, ca fait beaucoup quand même!!!
And then, the magical day arrived, the majestic kings of the see, the whale sharks, graced us with their presence. What a tornado of emotions!
By the end of the week, we were all in an another dimension, on a roller coaster of emotions… barely realizing how lucky we were to have been living what we got to experience together and individually but also knowing that it was coming to an end…
On Monday, Christophe and Lucas would go back to the States… and they would do so with Molly who had decided that her own cycling chapter was coming to an end.
As all the cycles of life, this one was going full circle, bringing its fare share of emotions… I would now be on the road solo with Cameron, and I was very eager to push hard on the peddles to process and digest all those dislocations.
Good thing, nice hills were awaiting us on the way to Loreto.
et puis le jour magique est arrivé … les requins baleines nous on fait grace de leur presence… quel tourbillon d’emotions!
En fin de semaine nous nous trouvions tous dans un état second de toutes ces aventures partagés et d’une séparation difficile qui arrivait à grand pas… Christophe et Lucas repartirais ensemble… accompagnés de Molly qui décida de mettre un terme à son cycle de voyage à vélo… la fin d’un cycle et d’une dynamique aussi folle que fantastique. J’allais me retrouver sur les routes avec Cameron et je savais qu’il me faudrait pédaler fort pour évacuer et digérer tous ces bouleversements… ca tombait bien, de jolies montées nous attendaient en direction de Loreto…
It has been such an intense period of time since the last time I wrote!!! I left Tijuana to enter a place I had absolutely no idea about, discovered a peninsula filled with incredible people, always ready to share stories, food, homes and mostly laughters , and explored an environment that alternatively gave and took a lot, both physically and mentally…
I joined an incredible companion in the name of Molly and my world opened up to a whole other level … entering a realm of pure love, magic, and adventures, climbed up to 2300 feet, cycled in 107˚ F, bathed in an oasis, horse-rode on a mexican cowboy horse, came across many angels on the road, spent a day at sea watching finn-back whales and seals, and camped in the middle of nowhere, where only cactus dare to show the tip of their spikes .
But has the fun never stops, we were joined by another cyclist from New York State, USA: Mister Cameron… and all of a sudden felt much, MUCH safer having a male with us ;-)! hahahahaha!!!!
Lets get to the details of it… and there are many of them!
March 8th: (Tijuana-Alisitos, playa de misión)
After many wise advices from Elvis and Liz, a well hidden tear, off i went to cycle towards Iain and his daughter Molly (in playa de mission) that I had previously contacted through Warm Showers.
For almost 2 hours I climbed up hills on what was definitely a freeway… crazy… Have you ever cycled your bike on a freeway? well.. you just have to mentally erase every car going by your side and listen to meditative music… or… go the complete other way and crank up some hard core heavy metal in your ears… could work just fine for such an extreme situation.
The good thing about cycling is that you have time to wander away in your mind, digesting the experiences and encounters you just had… I love it!! I cycle most of the time with a big grimm on my face… except for hills… then I look kind of scary .
On the way to my host, I stopped at a « Nieve » (ice cream or sorbet) stand on the side of the freeway, and the guy selling it immediately gave it to me, refusing me to pay for it… yummmmyyyy! After a « few » drops of sweat, the coast finally appeared on the horizon with a nice sensation of relief… I feels so good to be cycling right next to water… this element can’t stop calling for me and I have a tremendous amount of respect for it.
As advised by Elvis, once arrived at Rosarito, I continued on the freeway and kept on having this weird impression of not belonging on that crazy road, cycling on a shoulder but non the less, right next to huge monster-like trucks ready to eat me alive… wowwwwww!!!!
After passing at least 7 signs telling me that bicyclists were not allowed were I was, I reached a toll-way. OK, NOW WTF!!!!! Since I was already there, I decided to go through pretending I didn’t exist… and it worked!!!! Still had a weird feeling, like the police would come flying behind me with sirens on to arrest me at any time… hahahahah!
The strong sensation of not being cycling on the right place kept on sticking to my guts and as I truly believe in following my instincts as well as thoughts being able to call for vibrations alike, I decided to exit the freeway and have my lunch at a local mariscos (fish restaurent)… I stopped eating meat in february, but still want to eat Baja tasty fish whenever caught by local fishermen.
I arrived at Alisitos, Playa de Mision looking for the « a sign featuring a cute surfer girl in a white bikini » and a « scary blue house » as Iain mentioned it on his warm showers page.
Bingo! Iain, was there… but immediately told me that he had sent me an e mail during the day, explaining that he could not host me as his house was already full of spring-breakers… damn spring-breakers…! I told him I was ready to sleep in the pantry, closet, bathroom, sink, washing machine, etc… (funny where you can be ready to sleep after a day riding your bicycle), but he finally showed me a bed in the basement, where his daughter, dog and himself were camping as well… this promised to be interesting… I was just super happy to have a place to put my sleeping bag down.
The night settled down and Iain cooked a delicious meal on a camping stove, in a wheel barrel… yep, told you it was promisingly interesting! After listening to Iain’s life stories and adventures around the world, (working with my childhood’s favorite singer Jonnhy Clegg, living in south africa, Thailand, France, England -he is actually from Chiswick in London… funny reminder of a time…-, USA, Australia,Mexico…and so many other places i can’t recall). Iain is a true Englishman, with this very particular sense of humour and way of interacting as well as moving around, « hummm…ohhh well…never mind… » (I would not like to see him getting angry as I feel this is something that he had worked a lot on)… he has obvisouly lived and experienced a lot. He must be in his late 60’s but I can’t quite tell his age, his hair are still vibrating with a fire-like color and and his heart seems to be irradiating the same tone.
The next day on March 9th,
I got to meet Iain beautiful and colorful daughter Molly, 10 years old, and I exchange with her about the ups and downs of moving a lot around the world. She had a life intelligence that amazed me, and even though she told me she would love to keep the friends she is making every time she moves somewhere, she also had an incredible gift in her hands… knowing at her age that life doesn’t stop at the reality and perception of your home-town, country or even culture and religion is priceless.
I wrote all day long and took pictures of this place, small community alongside the pacific ocean. It had, in my opinion, nothing special or even to be said about, except from what every small town has: gossips… and with it, people also helping each other.
At night, Iain told me that the septic tank will be overflowing from the amount of showers and toilet flushes coming from our friends spring breakers upstairs, and that I should be moving my stuff and maybe sleep in Molly’s room. I finally accepted it and decided to leave for Ensenada the next morning, when a septic tank is pushing you out of a house, you better be listening to it….or smelling it, it’s up to you! meal shared with a worker
March 10th 2015: (playa de mision-Ensenada)
On a monotone, without any fuss, Iain and I said goodbye to each other and I chose to be heading towards the mountain on the old freeway #1, in order not to get stranded on the crazy freeway and go through toll roads again…
I freaked out a little on the sight of the montains awaiting me… but well, I wanted it, I had it, just as the crazy heavy load I was and still am pulling behind me. 🙂 The climb was somehow a little intense but the scenery I was gifted with was well worth the work… and as a bonus, almost no cars. yes!
I came across an interesting guy from the US, on the side of the road, telling me I should check the sky at night, that the UFOS are everywhere in Mexico… I didn’t know the sky was different here than in the States! I should follow his advices 😉 .
I said hello to a mare and her baby and finally reached the top of the mountain road at 1148 feet…. haaaaaaa, going down after an effort like this is one of my favorite side of bicycle touring!
In the afternoon, I arrived in Ensenada and rejoined the insanity of cars flying by me. I shared few tostadas de ceviche de pescado (raw fish in lime juice, cilantro, onion and tomatoes)with locals at a delicious fresh stand, and then took pictures with americans (Hi Ahmad!) going back on the carnival cruise ship (I found it funny that they were coming from the same place I started my trip from, long Beach in California).
Around 5pm, I arrived near my hosts’ house and came across a restaurent called (le Pinche Frances… Pinche means 2 different things: it is used in Mexico as an insult enhancer like fucking …, but it also means kitchen boy. Frances means French ) and started to laugh at loud… those frenchies are everywhere!!!! I met Antonin, Vivi (the 2 founders of this incredible truck-restaurent on a terrace) and Antonin’s mother, and we exchanged travel stories as well as their business story sipipng on a fresh coffee they offered me (once again… something that I want to share with you in my « beautiful people and stories on the road »section… I’ll work on it!).
I arrived at my host’s house and was welcome by Norma, helping the family with the house chores. To my surprise, she showed me my own quarter and felt like a vagabond queen… A shower and a bedroom, just for me… thank you Carmen and Tomas Valles !!!!
Later on in the early evening, I met the whole family and they made me feel just like at home… Tomas exhibited proudly 2 huges books filled with pictures and informations about all the cyclists that came through their house… super impressive and highly inspiring…. I had no clue how many crazy people existed in this cycling community!!! (unicycle touring with paneers, bamboo tandem bicycle, families touring with toddlers, and all sorts of crazy machines…)
The next day on the 11th of March (Ensenada-San Quintin)
after a ruff night of ovaries cramps, my favorite time of the month arrived and I struggled with the idea of making a move…
Molly, my soon to be cycling partner, was waiting for me 200 km down in San Quintin in a warm showers family’s house, and I didn’t want to make her wait for me for too long …
I resigned to write her an email about my body requiring me to rest, and to my surprise, she responded that she was in San Diego, that she was on her way going back down in a van, with her host…that she would be going through Ensenada, and that they could take me and my bike with them…. WHAT?!!! Sounds like the universe, one more time , was listening to my thoughts very carefully. 😀
I gave Molly a meeting place at Le pinche Frances and at 6pm, a fairy like girl, surrounded by glitters and colors , popped out of a white van, followed by a man (Gabino) with a huge smile on his face and eyes filled with tenderness and love. WOWWW.
My bike was going for a different kind of ride this time, taking the wind on the roof of a vehicle filled with stuffs picked in good wills, that americans didn’t want anymore, and ready to get a second life in Mexico.
After hearing over and over that the road between Ensenada and San quintin was ultra dangerous, I didn’t feel guilty for a second for skipping this part of the ride, and was just happy to be finally meeting Molly.
We arrived late at night and after briefly meeting Lupita (the woman of the house) and saying good night to my new friend, I closed my eyes to rest . A new chapter had just started.
On the 12th of March,
my body was starting to giving signs of uncomfort and I realized I would be going down with some kind of sickness soon… it is so interesting to see how every shift brings its fair share of body and mind reactions… interesting to observe it too.
Lupita, Gabino and their daughter Estefania were out of the house all day, working and studying. Molly and I spent the majority of the day exchanging thoughts, views, life experiences and silliness. The Universe, once again, worked at the highest frequency, connecting what I believe to be 2 very much alike spirits… what will be the teaching coming out of this unique experience was my question at the time.
At night, the whole family was united and I enjoyed a beautiful talk with Lupita, strong, funny and beautiful woman speaking entirely with her heart.
—the more I go on in this journey, the more I feel I am part a gigantic human family… bicycle has the power of putting every (or almost) walls down and connects people directly from heart to heart… making lights shine brighter and higher.—
Lupita and Gabino have this very cool world map in their kitchen where every cyclist passing through their house can put a pin to show where she or he is from… wonderful idea to be re-used later on ;-). They started hosting people 1 and half year ago and already had 170 cyclists resting and recharging batteries in their peaceful loving home. They are looking forward to doing their own bicycle tour.
13th of March: Its Official, I am sick! I slept almost all day and at night prepared some « tacos frances »! (the new mexican name for crepes given by Gabino)…. fun fun fun… the shift mobile will soon become the crepes mobile! I love staying with this family, they have so much love to share!
14th of March (San Quintin-Socorrito):
Molly has been with Lupita, Gabino and Estefania for almost 2 weeks and I feel her excitement and impatience about getting back on the road … I know I have to be listening to myself independently from what I feel from people surrounding me, but it seems that this is still something I will have to work on… I decide to go, telling Molly I am fine and feeling excited to start my first ride alongside my new friend . My body shouted otherwise…
Of course, our first ride together couldn’t have been a quiet, peaceful and easy one… 2 scorpio ladies, with an incredible strong appetite for life, riding in the desert… Some strong winds hit us immediately, sandblasting our bodies and the little amount of energy i had left while fighting the sickness. Every truck passing us made me feel like i was playing a dangerous game, being sucked in way to close to those monsters each time. I felt like I was trying to go against every obvious sign to stay and rest… this was just ridiculous.
Did I forgot to mention that the temperature rose up to 107˚ F? Yep, every sign… I had to stop 3 times as my body was simply shutting down, I couldn’t see, wanted to throw up and was basically very near to a heat stroke. 😀 … this is when our angel showed up in his flamboyant green truck, 35 km farther down from our starting point. Alejandro, you are my hero!
Alejandro later on told us that he had seen us riding while going shopping for groceries, came back home, and felt guilty about leaving us in this horrible weather condition, and decided to go back to let us know that his door was open to us… thank you for listening to your heart Alejandro.
Our savior’s house was based in Socorrito, a very small community of houses, mostly owed by Americans and right next to the ocean. Alejandro himself is Mexican-American, grew up in the states but from Mexican parents, and decided to finally build his dreamed house in Baja, after retiring from a californian gaz company and being tremendously involved into the union forces, workers rights, and Mexican immigrants rights. Someone very human to say the least… not to mention that he is the descendent of the legendary Joaquin Murietta (also called the Mexican Robin Hood), from whom the movie « the mask of Zorro » was based. You got to love life when you end a crazy bicycle riding day being sick in the shelter house of Zorro’s descendant!!! Really!
15, 16, 17 th of March 2015
What was initially an invitation to shelter us for one night ended up being 3 days and 4 nights!!!! I felt and still feel so grateful for the incredible amount of generosity Alejandro granted us with, opening his fridge, pantry, beer stock (Oh Oh dangerous!), heart and personal memories …We even got fresh towels displayed for us when we arrived… never felt once I was a disturbance to him. Just pure, real generosity. My heart still feels the warmth of it while writing about it almost a month later.
… and yes, I was able to heal and get back on my feet (or pedals) during this amount of time… as well as meet 3 « rad! » american surfers (Jordan, Collin and Scott) and their van, 2 girls (Stevi and Margaux) celebrating their 30th birthday on Baja’s best, and Tom a biker on the roads to himself… we all shared fire-camps, laughters and beautiful conversations… I felt so alive, enjoying the company of new friends and getting ready to finally start riding with Molly in good conditions.
18th of march 2015: (San Quintin- km 80 after san quintin)
The weather was perfect, the sunscreen applied, and our minds and bodies fully rested and prepared to face the wilderness ;-). We were ready to go! After the traditional group goodbye picture, Molly and I were finally cycling, wind blowing in our hair and freedom accompanying us. We knew we would leave the coast for a quite a while, and with it, the freshness of the water, so we said our goodbyes to our beloved pacific ocean with emotion.
We stopped at El rosario to stock up on water and food for the next 2/3 days as we knew we would be riding in pretty deserted area and would have to camp… YIPPPYYYYY… I love to camp!!! At a gaz station, we came across our girlfriends from Socorrito , what took us 2 hours to ride, took them 20 min by car… crazy!
-I realize that it might be very difficult for people back home to understand the full-extend of the world I am living in right now… time has such a different meaning, and so is every little aspect of life such as knowing where I will sleep, when will I take my next shower, what I will eat tomorrow (well I am guessing tacos though!) , when will I be able to get internet and give some news etc… It cant get better than that in terms of living in the present and I catch myself realizing that my head feels much clearer than usual, I don’t think as much, and don’t dwell as much either.-
After El Rosario, we enter a challenging section of the ride, lots of hills… and I am so heavy…. I am grateful that Molly is carrying our 10 liters water bladder…) The scenery becomes almost surreal, the cactus get bigger and bigger and I feel like I am becoming a lilliputian in a gigantic, very harsh world… I never guessed that this is what desert was all about, making you feel like like you could be disappearing at any given time. RESPECT. After 55km, we decide to look for a nice hidden spot in the middle of the spikies to establish our camp, and are welcomed by a spotted owl. good sign!
I close my eyes and feel very peaceful. The adventure I « threw » myself into is incredibly incredible. 😉
March 19th and 20th (km 80 after San Quitin- Km 115 after San Quitin)
First Flat!!!! We were just ready to give our first pedal push of the day, and here it was, my front tire was giving me a very sad face ! I think i asked for it, just so I could see I prepared I was 😀 !
More and more cactus, more and more ups and downs… the desert was eating us alive… fortunately, trucks and cars passing by were encouraging us, giving us more energy… It is so good to see how people get so excited to see cyclists!… my ego, but also my heart love it.
Tom, our friend from Socorrito, drove by us on his motocycle and the we ended up talking, sitting and overlooking the mountains on the side of the road for 2 hour… Bliss.
I can’t stop thinking about the load I am carrying… so heavy…
The morning of the 20th, we realized that we had been sleeping right next to 2 of the numerous memorials, built in remembrance of loved ones who ended their journey a bit earlier than expected… I was wondering who wanted to join me in my tent last night…
The road finally got more flat, but the temperature rised a lot and Molly started to feel sick… we decided to stop, rest and ask some people for cold water… and were often offered beer… HAAAAHAAA … see the difference in perceptions and realities? 2 american cars pulled over and gave us 6 small cold water bottles, gatorade and even baggies of candies initially destined to « mexican kids » (?!).. .(I did ask for chocolate the night before 😉 )
—I am very thankful for the cold bottles of water people sometimes give us when we are on the side of the road… but I have to say, I do wonder why the F*** people carry such small water bottles in their huge cooler… It makes no sense in terms of environment… especially when we find them afterwards on the side of the road, pilling on top of empty beer bottles and other trashes . RRRRRRRRR…. ok I said it!—
At the end of the day, the scenery changed drastically and gigantic rock formations appeared in the middle of nowhere… it reminded me a lot of Joshua tree in California, USA, and Hampi, in karnataka, India… promising as I love both of those places.
We were reaching Catavina and there was something definitely special about that place… the energy was getting so different from the one we were bathing in for the last 2 days…
As we were Indiana Jones like exploring (not quite, but hey… lets romanticize the travel for some more 😉 ), we discovered an incredible oasis and natural swimming pool in the middle of the rock formations… Crazyyyyy!!! I went crazyyyyy… this place was absolutely magical!
We started to go back down from our view point, when we saw a cyclist with front and back panniers parking his bike right next to our…. It was Cameron!!!! Molly had been in contact with him through « crazy guy on a bike » website for quite a while, knew that he was coming by bus from Tijuana to join us quicker, but we were not sure if he had been able to go through the workers protests that were happening around San Quintin area. (you can check what this protest was all about right here: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/03/27/why-mexicos-farmworkers-who-harvest-our-food-are-strike )
Cameron, 25, is from New York state and bicycle toured across the states in 2014, he now wants to check how the rest of the world is doing, and in the same wheel spin, broaden his mind and perception of life…
We went down to meet him and were so happy to become 3… what a beautiful place to meet our new road companion!
We checked to see if we could camp right next to the water and to my disappointment, voted that it would be too dangerous to be camping where people could come and see us… those natural pools definitely were the center activity of this place.
We finally found the perfect spot, well hidden from the road, and as we were transporting our bikes and gear over the cactus and rocks, a motorcyclist stopped, thinking I was in distress on the side of the road… I waited to see his eyes and to talk with him a little more to tell him we were actually about to camp here. Eddy (that was his name) told me that he was himself looking to camp some 100 km farther up north… I suggested that it would be safer not to ride at night and to camp with us, and from 2, we became 4… the fun never ends.
At night we star gazed and talked about the power of travels …the stars are amazing to gaze at here in Baja… and it took an extra magical dimension, being in the middle of this place.
March 21th 2015:
Spring!!!!! A new season! And to celebrate it, we spent our afternoon in the natural pools, gathering incredible crystals (the area is filled with quartz) and getting the 3 days road and desert’s dirt, off of our bodies… so peaceful and relaxing…
We ate both our lunch and dinner in a very peculiar restaurant, across Desert Inn hotel, built with local material, cactus wood and rocks. The people were super friendly, the food was great, and the decor, something to be remembered!
Cameron, Molly and I were quite excited that morning… we were just about to start cycling all together for the first time… a quick internet session at the Desert Inn Hotel (was not easy to get it) in order to reassure friends and family, and we were taking the road over. The more we are, the bigger we look on the road, and I felt a lot of joy and energy flowing through me having an new friend cycling with us. :-).
We took our lunch break in a deserted house, in the middle of nowhere… such a recurrent thing we come across here in Baja… like if, once again, the desert had decided to take back its dues, only leaving vestiges of human life… Deciding to build a house and establishing a life here, in the middle of nowhere, requires in my opinion either a big trust in your capability of facing and getting around one of the toughest environment I have came across, and/or, pure insanity.
50 km after our starting point, we decided to stop and camp at one of those side road restaurant/Ranch, a truck stop, the only one still surviving since Catavina.
Eugene, proud owner of « el rancho Chapala » , definitely loves having an audience… he couldn’t stop telling us stories about his family, what had happened to this micro town throughout the years, and we all felt like we were listening to some kind of story coming right out of a book… fascinating how things can get so exciting where they are told by an incredible story teller who loves attention 😉 !
I spent some time talking with the vaqueros (cowboys), getting ready to gather the cows grazing freely on rocks near by. They told me they would go the next day, and I asked them if I could come join them… hahaha …. did you know that riding horses is a male thing in Mexico?
–I knew somewhere deep inside of me that having balls between legs had a lot to do with the balance you need while riding a horse… but what about riding a bike…Shit, I might be doing something very very wrong.–
Jokes aside, they were actually quite opened to having me riding with them and I really enjoyed exchanging with these guys… they had this incredible depth in their eyes…like a direct connection from nature’s wisdom to their own soul… reminded me a lot of my friend Reno back in France, also working with horses.
At night, we had the pleasure to be joined by a French father Rody,and his two sons, Yogi and Shiva. I was very excited knowing that I could speak in French for a little bit… excited to be meeting people coming from the same place I was born in… funny this need for appartenance to something, isn’t it?
Rody, the father, really inspired me. He is travelling everywhere with his sons, teaching them life on the road, and living mostly on an exchange basis with people they come across. They work often in exchange for food, shelters and teachings. When I asked him what was his job, he simply responded: « I am just a full time dad » ! I find it very captivating how many « solo father » I already met while journeying on this trip.
After a quick jump on the rancho’s internet Wifi (yep!), I jumped in the confort of my sleeping bag, listening to the sweet lullaby of the trucks’ motors resting for the night, some 30 feet away from our tents.
March 23rd 2015
I woke up early and spent some time with the ranch animals, talking with the peacocks, chickens, dogs and horses. Animals are, since the biggining of my trip, omnipresent and I enjoy their presence, love and way of communicating with me…
The vaqueros came to get their horses ready for the day, and to my wonderful surprise, offered me to ride « Quartero », one of the horse. The energy of these horses is quite similar to the vaqueros’ one, asserted, a little resigned and somehow at peace. Life can be hard, but so it is.
After another of our wonderful camping stove breakfast (oatmeal, nuts, fruits, spices) , we left the ranch and continued our journey going south.
The weather was beautiful, temperature perfect, and with no hills, we were able to cycle side to side while talking about our projects, love life and other subjects… Cycling with a girl who has similar points of views and a wonderful will to share, truly is enjoyable, and my heart sometimes feel like a fireworks… once again I felt incredibly alive at that moment.
We cycled for 60 km and decided to turn east towards Bahia de Los Angeles, 60 km farther. We agreed to hitchhike so we could arrive early in town and appreciate the sunset without having to rush to find a camping spot.
1 hour later, we were pilling our gear on top of Andrea and Ruben’s load on a very ingenuous trailer built in a truck…Cameron stayed on the back insuring nothing would fly off, Molly rode with another car that helped us as well, and I stayed with Andrea and Ruben.
At the sight of the sea of Cortez, I shouted like a little girl, reminiscing my childhood summer vacations, when after a year of inland life, I would finally see the atlantic ocean. WOWWWWWW WATER!!!!!!!! Our « on the road friends » dropped us at the entrance of Bahia de Los Angeles and we were not yet thinking about the next step of our day, when a couple in a sand buggy stopped by us with their 2 dogs. Susie and Don, from Laguna beach, were seemingly very enthusiastic meeting touring cyclists, and told us they met each other some 30 years ago while touring in the USA… 😀 isn’t life filled with sparkles and glitters????
They immediately invited us to set up our camp in their front porch and to use their shower… Unbelievable!
Their cosy house, overlooking the sea of cortez, was the first american house to be built by Don’s Parents (Joyce and Wally) in 1972. At the time, they would fly from San Diego directly to Bahia de Los Angeles in a propeller plane piloted by Wally himself. Now, that’s what I call adventure!
Don explained to us that the house was mostly built by his mother, in the States, where she would make sure everything was working fine, and then dissembled it, to put it back again together in Bahia… ingenuity at its paroxysm !
She seemed to be quite A Woman and the house was filled with her energy and art. Once again, we were blessed with a beautiful encounter, and by sun set, were sitting with new friends, on a balcony watching the see, with beer in our hand. Haaaaaaaaa
Meet Don and Susie!
March 24th 2015:
During the night, I dreamt that we were following a family of 3 whales… and guess what? Don and Susie offered to take us in their boat to see the whales today… needless to say, I am VERY excited!
By 11:00 am , we were 5 humans and one dog in Don and Susie’s boat on an exploration mission around the local islands… Few hours later, we were gifted by the sight and « PHOOOOOO” exhalation sound of a Finback Whales, second largest whale in the world (they can grow up to 90 feet long).
We tried to follow them for a little while, having to stop our motor and hear them breathing as they clearly, unlike Grey whales, don’t appreciate the company of humans and prefer swimming away from us… We even got lucky enough to see 3 whales coming back to the surface at the same time… interesting huh?!
By the end of this incredibly rich day, we stopped on a white deserted beach where the only soul left was the one of a boat wrecked on its shore. The scenery was at least to the level of a James Bond’s movie … only my lover was missing…
Cameron saved us all while diving « baywatch style » in the sea to get back our boat who was trying to make an escape, and we all went back safe to the house. What a day!
At night, we cooked together and met another incredible woman, Carolina, who came in Bahia some 40 years ago and fell in love with a local man. She is now very involved with the local cultural activity and archeology, and created the first and only museum of the town, helping the local economy as she created jobs within the community.
Another trend of this travel: being surrounded by strong, beautiful and luminous women.
March 25th 2015:
The night was crazy, with winds blowing super hard… this town is well known for that… they sometimes blow up to 100km/h, and i wondered if I wouldn’t go fly with the stars that night!
Don and Susie are going today and after 30 years of doing it themselves, thy offered us to stay one more night on our own and close the door of their house ourselves… so grateful for that offer!
I am going to miss Susie’s joy, beautiful smile and young heart, she is such a light and I enjoyed our talks about life and her intake about marriage life so much…
We spent the rest of our day doing our own things, I decided to build a little shell and wood mobile for Don and Susie’s house and then went wandering with my camera for a few hours to take pictures of the incredible birds living around… turkey vouchers, seagulls, hummingbirds and pelicans were giving me their best profiles.
Time for us to go!
We cleaned the whole house and after a quick internet session to get in contact with my lover monsieur Christophe (he was about to come 3 days later 😀 ), we were on the road again.
We left Bahia late and arrived just before sunset at the cross point between « the One »and the 12 where we slept under the protection of a palapa. 😀
(« the one » is the only road in Baja going all the way from Tijuana, up north, to Cabo San Lucas, completely south)
March 27th and 28th 2015:
We cycled for approximately 30 km under 110˚F when Molly truly realized that she had had enough with the desert. Her body was shouting her to stop pushing limits.
The desert is an incredibly harsh environment, to say the least…
—In those moments of extreme conditions, you can fully realize the power of the mental, and I believe it is really important to make sure you are not crossing the boundaries your body has set for yourself. Boundaries and limits are for sure here to be pushed and crossed, but only gently and gradually, while listening well to where you are at with yourself and your journey, and letting the ego aside as much as possible. Putting those thoughts into actions is sometimes very interesting, challenging as well, having you realize some aspects of yourself you had no clue about… —
We decided to hitchike one more time and skip a big part of the desert. Many cars stopped by, many american tourists with cars filled up to the top… they could obviously not take us with them, but offered us cold water, which was a blessing as our water was lukewarm and was doing no good in cooling down our body machines… « nuts, you guys are nuts! »
After an hour or so, a car racing convoy on their way to Cabo San Lucas stopped and agreed to give us a ride. Warren and Werner loaded our bikes in a huge trailer, alongside broken parts of a racing car just coming back from the Paris-Dakar (this car race is now happening in Argentina for safety reasons).
Molly rode with Warren in a truck carrying a load of 30 tires and a 50 gallons gaz tank (!!!) and Cameron and I rode with Werner.
It was crazy to be sitting down in a truck, with AC seats, bluetooth, mp3 player and full on luxury, after riding our bikes in the desert…The power of those truck was so impressive…
It also felt very weird to be sitting in such comfort and watching km fly by at an incredible rate… the travel perspective was so different!
We also had a lot of fun conversing from one car to another through the radio… Molly and I couldn’t get enough of it 😉 !
After 2 or 3 hours, we arrived in San Ingnacio and discovered a sign for a « casa del ciclista » (house for cyclists) and followed the indications like if we were on a treasure hunt. (super well indicated)
We met Othon the father of the house, Sugey, the mother, Eric (their 16 years old son) and Juan Miguel (their incredibly smart 6 years old son) and had wonderful conversations about education and meaningful family life.
San Ignacio has an incredible feeling after hours of dry nothing… it was the second time (after Catavina) that an oasis had such an impact on how I felt when reaching civilization… water truly is the center of life.
We could relax and explore the town until Christophe (my lover) and Lucas (our friend) would join us, 2 days later. Molly (did I tell you she is also an incredible artist who paints beautiful and rich murals?!!… see her work at http://paintingmolly.com), painted a world map on the outside wall, so that cyclists coming through could put a dot on their home town, Cameron went exploring and cooked some meals, and I cooked crepes (again), as well as wrote on my journal, gave news to friends and family, and organized my pictures.
I was getting quite excited, but also anxious about my lover coming to visit us.
29th of March 2015 (morning and early afternoon):
I could barely keep my mind focused… Christophe was on the road with Lucas and by the end of the afternoon, we would be together again!!!!!
I know fairly well that during this last month, we have been in complete different world… as I already talked about, time is much different being on the road…let see what this week together, as well as being 5 on the road will bring us…
This is for everyone who can understand French, while waiting for my new post…
Cet article est destiné à tout ceux qui parlent français … en attendant mon prochain article qui devrait arriver sous-peu… J’ai été fascinée par ce Ted talk qui resume bien mon état d’esprit au tournant de l’incroyable époque que nous sommes en train de vivre. Bonne écoute à tous… et prenez le temps de vous écouter, de savoir si votre compas interne vous indique toujours la direction de votre propre bonheur… unique moyen de pouvoir le redistribuer, à votre manière. 🙂 plein d’amour a vous tous 🙂
Note:pour les français, le texte sera en italique et de cette meme couleur,
Here you go! I am finally in Mexico!!!!!
After all the anxiety it generated, I have to say… well, it was not that bad at all to cross the border and spend some time in Tijuana. I guess all this anxiety was just preserving me from being a little too confortable 🙂 .
But lets get back a little in time as I had some quite interesting interactions with the « livings » in general.
Me voila enfin au Mexique!!!!
Apres toute l’angoisse que je me suis presque imposée en pensant à la traversée de la frontière Mexicaine et à mon arrivée à Tijuana, je dois bien avouer que je me trouve aujourd’hui un peu rigolote … pour ne pas dire autre chose :-)… ca n’a franchement rien eu de si terrible! J’imagine que ces angoisses étaient tout simplement présentes pour me préserver de me sentir quelque peu trop confortable.
Mais avant de passer au chapitre « Mexique », petite retrograde…
On March the 3rd, I finally encountered beautiful weather and was able to make a move towards the south.
My initial plan was to camp at a camping called camp land on the bay on pacific beach (San Diego). It all sounded very promising with supposedly a Spa, internet wi-fi and what not… of course it also sounded a little too good to be at a reasonable « i just want to put my tent down » price… $60, BAMM, in your face… needless to say, I did not take it…. and the rest of this story is for later on. 😀
I had decided not to ride the bike for too many miles on that day, one of the reason being that I had quite a good climb between Cardiff and San diego, and I knew fairly well that my legs were not ready for that, so I opted for slowly but steady.
The scenery was extraordinary , cliffs, ocean, trees, animals, and with the blue sky and sun, I clearly could not have asked for more.
Before the « deadly cliff » at the Torrey pine tree reserve, I had the chance to meet a gentleman who granted me with a beautiful story on how he decided to give another life to a Torrey pine tree that had been destroyed by beetles, by converting it into an art piece. (I’ll definitely write about this story more in-depth in a page that I’ll probably call « people’s stories on the road »).
I completed my first ascent of the Mt Blanc….well, the Mt Hill would be more appropriate, and was surprised to see how incredible the impact of the mental truly is…I had imagined something way crazier than this and, looking back, I can barely remember even doing it!
After THE ascent, I required to empty my bladder and decided to have some fun with the people working at a club called« The Lodge at Torrey pine ». (the kind of place where you know you need to be invited —or at least this is how I see it) I asked to the valets if they could park my “shift mobile”, and after getting a friendly response, asked them where I could go do my business. To my surprise, they indicated me their place/palace and a few second later, I was sitting on a golden toilet seat. 😉
I then answered their questions about my journey and got insane help from Roger who was ready to help me in any way he could, trying to get me on a local radio, giving me advices… I left the place with $40 in my hand, given by Roger, not knowing how to thank him… I sometimes feel very peculiar in those kind of situations… It really was huge for me!!!!
The day went on and I had my lunch with another long time traveler, Ross, who invited me to join his table at La Jolla. He then showed me around and after spending a good amount of time with the seals, I decided to head to my camp….
As I explained, the Camp land place didn’t quite work out, so,as it was already 5:30 and had very little time before the sun would go down, I thought of a back up place that I had in mind from warm shower. It was too late to contact the person and after checking the address on the warm showers’ website, decided to go there anyway!
I arrived at the address but nobody was there. The neighbors got involved, and eventually I got to meet one of the roommate (Chris) of the guy I was looking for.
Within minutes, I was in, welcomed and reassured not to be spending the night outside, with a beer in my hand and a meal in front of me ! What did you say? Yep, life’s good!
Mike, Thank you so much for being on Warm showers and having such amazing room-mates… It really helped me that night and I hope that our path will cross one day :-).
Le 3 Mars, le soleil fit son apparition à grand renfort de ciel bleu et je pus reprendre la route pour les cités d’or… ou du moins en direction de…
Mon plan initial était de m’arrêter le soir à une sorte de camping de vacances (Campland) avec, comme leur site internet l’indiquait, une tonne de caractéristiques carrément attrayantes: wifi, piscine, jacuzzi… le truc de pacha de la route quoi…Ca semblait aussi trop beau pour être à un prix raisonnable… 60 dollars . BAM, prends ca dans ta gueule et va dormir sur le trottoir miserable vermine.
Cela va sans dire que je ne me suis pas attardée au pays merveilleux du camping à paillettes… et … le reste de l’histoire un peu plus bas :-). ..
En quittant la maison de Kristin, j’avais décidé de ne pas faire trop de km, la raison principale concernant ce choix étant l’ascension de ma premiere bonne montée (tout le monde m’en parlait comme d’un truc absolument abominable)…et je savais éperdument bien que mes petites guibolles n’étaient pas vraiment prêtes pour ce genre de choses. :-s … doucement mais surement était donc le mot d’ordre du jour.
Toute la journée, le paysage fut incroyable, des falaises tombant dans une mer oscillant entre le bleu et le vert, des animaux, des arbres de partout,… et un temps merveilleux pour accompagner le tout… que demande le peuple?!
Ayant le temps, je décidais de m’arrêter à chaque fois que le coeur m’en disait, et ce faisant , j’ai eu la chance de me retrouver nez à nez avec une personne en train de sculpter un aigle dans un arbre coupé… une belle histoire dont je parlerai plus longuement dans un dossier qui s’appellera très certainement « histoires sur la route ». En resumé, un locale avait eu decide de remuer ciel et terre pour honorer un arbre centenaire et lui redonner vie sous forme artistique. Une très belle rencontre qui m’a donné la pêche pour entamer l’ascension du Mont Blanc, enfin, de la colline géante quoi.
La fameuse « montée de la mort », s’est avérée être bien moins difficile que ce que j’avais pu imaginé— c’est fou ce que le mental peut arriver à générer! Je crois que tous les encouragement des personnes rencontrées peut aussi aider… nous sommes capables de bien plus que nous ne pensons—au final, j’ai même de la peine à me souvenir avoir monté cette fameuse côte et ça me donne du courage pour ce qui m’attend par la suite.
Après la montée , l’appel de ma vessie s’est fait pressant et je me suis dirigée vers un club très privé (ou du moins c’est l’image que je m’en suis fait) à côté d’un club de golf.
Prise d’euphorie et fière de mon effort accomplie, j’ai demandé à un des valets si il pouvait garer ma « shift mobile » (le nom de mon vélo … shift signifiant le changement ). Ce dernier à commencé à rigoler et j’ai demandé plus sérieusement ou je pourrais trouver un endroit pour soulager mon envie pressante. A ma grande surprise, le valet m’indique l’intérieure du club et en moins d’une minute, je me trouvais comme une reine assise sur son trône (désolée, je fais dans la fine fleur, je le sais, mais a défaut de vous faire sourire, moi, ca me fait bien rire 😀 )
Une fois mon devoir corporel accompli, je fut assaillie par une tonne de questions sur mon voyage, mon vélo etc.. et Roger, un des réceptionniste, époustouflé par mon projet, fut éprit d’une envie soudaine de tout faire pour m’aider, essayant de contacter un de ses amis pour me faire passer sur une radio locale… Il me laissa repartir après m’avoir donné 40 dollars dans la main… « tu vas en avoir besoin, et bravo! » WOWWWW, merci Roger!!!!!
J’ai ensuite pris mon déjeuner avec un voyageur de longue date,Ross, curieux de me voir passer avec mon vélo et tout mon barza. On a pas mal échangé sur les voyages et il a prit du temps pour me montrer ce petit coin mignon qu’est La Jolla, juste avant San Diego.
Après avoir passé pas mal de temps avec des mamans phoques et leurs bébés, je suis repartie pour arriver avant le couché de soleil à mon campement…
Comme je l’ai eu expliqué plus haut, l’option camping aux paillettes n’a pas vraiment fonctionné et j’ai du trouver en urgence une solution de secours… Je me suis donc rappelé d’une personne qui habitait non loin de là et que j’avais vu sur le site « warm showers » (c’est un site qui connecte les cyclistes du monde entier et qui demande, à ceux qui le peuvent, d’héberger ceux qui sont en voyage… super principe!) , ne l’ayant pas prévenu au préalable, j’ai quand même décidé de me diriger vers l’adresse qui était fournie sur le site avec le contact…
En arrivant à la dite adresse, je me trouva face à une maison vide… arghhh, je ne vais quand meme pas passer la nuit dehors non! Très vite, je demandais aux voisins de m’aider et alors que ceux ci étaient prêts à m’accueillir, un des colocataire de la personne que je cherchais (Chris) arriva. En moins de 30 minutes, je me trouvais assise à la table de la cuisine un plat devant moi et une bière dans la main. Elle est pas belle la vie?!!!
The next day, the 4th, I went with Chris for the dog’s (zeus) morning walk and spent most of the day trying to figure out if it was ok or not to go from where i was, directly to Tijuana. —It really is the beginning of the adventure and I, sometimes, don’t feel very sure of what I am doing and what I will be able to accomplish within a day worth of riding. — I finally asked Chris if I could stay one more night and offered a crepes feast in exchange (!) (nobody can turn down a crepe feast… clever 😉 )
Chris accepted my offer I used this opportunity to try to calm myself down about the journey to Tijuana, get some cash, groceries for the journey and the crepes and watch a beautiful sunset on pacific beach. Later on, we had a very wonderful evening with his friend, eating crepes, listening to music and Chris’s insane knowledge about the subject, and talking about dreams, life and projects.
Le lendemain, mercredi 4, chargée d’angoisse concernant la route jusqu’à la frontière et Tijuana (la premiere grande ville après la frontière Mexicaine, ville de fous selon presque tout le monde) , je demandais à Chris si je pouvais rester une nuit de plus en échange d’un festin de crêpes… maline la Maud… ca ne se refuse pas un festin de crêpes ;-).
Chris accepta mon offre et après avoir passé du temps avec Zeus le chien tout fou, fait quelques courses pour les crepes, fait un tour sur la plage et arrangé les derniers préparatifs en vue de mon arrivée au Mexique, nous mangeâmes la spécialité hexagonale en compagnie d’une amie à Chris tout en discutant de musique (domaine dans lequel Chris excel), poésie, voyages, rêves et projets de vie.
On Thursday the 5th, Chris took a last picture and with the help of my beloved googlemap previously uploaded into the phone, while still having an internet connection at Chris’s house, I headed towards the Mexican border and eventually, Tijuana.
The journey went fine and felt like I was on a mission, nothing could set me off.
I met an incredible spirit in the name of Desserine, sailing the sea and oceans of this globe with her husband.It’s heart warming to see how some people are genuinely happy and enthusiastic about my journey and to see at the same time that they are living an incredible adventure themselves. 🙂
I stopped at a bike shop who offered me their restroom, had a taco for $1.25 in San Isidro and got a free avocado at a stand that was selling 20 of those for $5, can you believe that Christophe Lautrette? 🙂
Around 15 minutes before crossing the border, somehow, the map that i had uploaded into my phone before leaving in the morning, disappeared. I had the address but didn’t know how to get there!
Crossing the border was fine, it felt like a no go zone type of area (not like the ones in Paris though, don’t be crazy! 😉 ), with money exchange bureaux , a Mc donalds , some shops and a weird depressive feeling hanging in the air. A constant line of people was crossing the border back to Mexico . Some of them filled with bags of goods bought at a local 99 cents shop, and some, probably back from a hard day of work, a few young Americans here and there too, probably getting ready to party over the border for the week end! Youhou!
I had to ask the help of somebody to be able to get my bike and my trailer on the other side as the turnstile were not allowing me and my load to get all at once… and of course, I could not go back once on the other side…
Ahhhhhhhhhh VICTORY!!!! I was in Mexico!!!! It really felt like a first accomplishment and the beginning of the real adventure, my heart was ready to burst and my eyes about to let the river flow… so much emotions already . After refusing kindly the offer from a guy who stank of alcohol to go and stay at his place, I asked direction to go to my host’s house (thanks to Molly and Warm Showers), Elvis and Liz. I got lost on the free way (yes you read, no comment) and after 45 minutes instead of 10, I arrived safely.
Liz and Elvis immediately got my poor spanish back in action, and with the weigh of the day on my shoulder, all the emotions and stress i went through, (excuses really!) talking was not easy… but I could almost understand everything and was actually pleased with that!
Le jeudi 6, Chris pris une dernière photo souvenir de moi devant la maison et je poussais le premier tour de pédale en direction du Mexique.
J’avais l’impression d’être en mission vers Mars, rien ne pouvais m’arrêter si ce n’est la pause déjeuner (et une nouvelle belle rencontre avec une nana (Desserine) en tour du monde en bateau avec son mari) un avocat gratuit au bord la route (le gars les vendait normalement à 5 dollars pour 20 avocats!!!!!! Oui oui Monsieur Christophe Lautrette!!!) et le premier taco de ce voyage à 1.25 dollars (avec sa petite soupe s’vous plé!)!
A 15 minutes de la frontière la carte et le tracé de route que j’avais telechargé sur mon telephone alors que j’avais encore une connexion internet s’effaça et je ne savais désormais plus comment me rendre exactement chez mes hôtes à Tijuana. J’avais l’adresse, mais rien de plus 🙂 .
Arrivée à la frontière , l’ambiance était assez particulière , un mac do, quelques bureaux de change et une étrange ambiance assez depressive..comme une sorte de zone de non lieu ou no-go zone (enfin rien a voir avec Paris, Fox news, ne vous inquiétez pas!) . je traversa la frontière du cote piétonnier au milieu d’une file de personnes; les uns, les bras chargés de sacs de trucs achetés au magasin 99cents d’à côté , les autres , très certainement de retour à la maison après une journée de travail chez les gringos . Quelques jeunes américains également, surement en attente d’un week end de débauche (Tijuana est bien connue pour ses excentricités nocturnes… )hihaaaaaaa!
Je dus demander de l’aide pour porter ma chariote qui ne passait pas les tourniquets si attachée à mon vélo… tout une histoire puisqu’une fois de l’autre côté, je ne pourrai pas revenir en arrière.
et puis…. VICTOIREEEEE!!!! je suis au Mexique!!! J’ai l’impression d’un premier accomplissement et ne me sens plus de joie, le coeur remplie d’allégresse et les yeux au bord des larmes… bien sur, ce n’est pas grand chose à côté de ce qui m’attends mais je suis tout simplement heureuse… le Mexique c’est aussi le début de la vraie aventure 😉 !
Après avoir refusé poliment l’offre d’un mec puant l’alcool de m’héberger chez lui pour la soirée, je demande ma route pour aller chez mes hôtes, Liz et Elvis, qui m’attendent grace à l’aide mon ange de la route (Molly), rencontrée sur le site Warm Showers.
Je me perds sur l’autoroute (oui vous avez bien lu… sans commentaire) et 45 minutes plus tard au lieu de 15, j’arrive saine et sauve à destination.
Elvis et Liz sont des gens ultras ouverts, pleins de vie et à peine arrivée, je me dois de dépoussiérer la malle de mon espagnol enfouie loin dans ma cervelle embrumée. Avec le poids de la journée et des émotions, je comprenais plus que je ne pouvais parler… enfin, c’était quand meme assez satisfaisant de me dire qu’après toutes ces années sans vraiment pratiquer la langue, je ne m’en sortirais pas trop mal.
The next day, Liz took me to her work where she had to fill up some forms— Liz and Elvis work for the government trying to change and help, not without any frustration, their country towards something better and fairer for the Citizens of Mexico. They traveled, lived and studied in a lot of countries, including a big part of Europe—
We then went to get some groceries for the breakfast and I made « pain perdu » or « French toast » as the americans call them. Not the healthier breakfast you can ask for but yummy non the less! Liz made a delicious juice of nopal (cactus), goyava, banana, mango..with « la licuadora » (blender) and we had quite « el desayuno de reyes ! »
The rest of day, still with the kind and beautiful help of Liz and Elvis, I got to stamp my passport in order not to get a fine while leaving the country for Belize. ($26 instead of $100) , change some dollars into Pesos , went to a small but very interesting exhibition of photographies about the immigration , smelled , looked and tasted the local marked and bought a pan (local cake) and some real good tortadas (chips made with corn flour), along with some fruits. yumm
Everybody (Americans but Mexicans included) is telling me to be cautious, that Mexico is a dangerous place for women,… but interestingly enough, I can’t stop meeting people who wants to buy me food, help me and share words with me. 🙂 I am having fun!
We started the evening with Rene, one of their neighbor, going to the beach for the sunset.
I was stunt by the immense border fence, going all the way down to the water, the helicopters checking the water above and the US military on the other side protecting the american land from invasion 😉 … quite a specular thing to watch!
« …Imagine all the people, living for today…. imagine there is no country, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too… »
You may think I’m a dreamer… but I know I ‘m not the only one. 🙂
We ended the evening in a gigantic bar in the heart of every possible shenanigans, seemed a bit like Kao San road in Bangkok to me, but way less crazy (yes it is possible!). The place was filled with big TV screens showing music videos of diverse music from latina america and north america, sports, and sex and rock n roll! They served « buckets » of beers (10 for the equivalent of $7)… crazy! What a blast! Thanks my friends for an incredibly good day, your generosity is truly beautiful!
Le lendemain, Liz m’emmena à son travail pour qu’elle puisse remplir quelques papiers —Liz en Elvis travaillent pour le gouvernement, ils sont chargés de projets et essaient d’aider , non sans frustrations, leur pays à évoluer vers une économie et une société plus juste pour l’ensemble des citoyens… Ils ont beaucoup voyagé pendant leurs études et ont passé beaucoup de temps en europe. Liz et moi avons eu beaucoup de discussions sur les femmes notamment, un sujet qui lui est très cher. Elle participe à beaucoup de lectures de L’ONU sur le sujet —
Nous somme ensuite parties acheter de quoi faire le petit dej’ et nous nous sommes régalé de jus de nopal( cactus), mangues, goyaves, bananes et de pain perdu bien français. MIAM!
Toujours avec l’aide de Liz et Elvis , j’ai pu faire tamponner mon passeport pour 26 dollars histoire de ne pas avoir à payer une prime de 100 dollars en sortant du territoire du côté de Belize, changer mes dollars en pesos. Nous sommes ensuite allés voir une petite expo de photos sur l’immigration, puis partis gouter, sentir, et apprécier la vie du marché locale ou j’ai pu moi meme faire quelques photos et acheter un pan (sorte de brioche mexicaine) et des tostadas au mais (chips de mais géantes consumées avec du guacamole, ceviche, puree de flageolets…)
C’est marrant, tout le monde me dit (americains mais mexicains également) que le Mexique est dangereux, que je ne devrais pas voyager seule, que les hommes sont dangereux… et meme les femmes d’ailleurs… et pourtant, je ne fais que de rencontrer des personnes qui souhaitent m’aider, me donner à manger gratuitement, me conseiller… ces personnes étant souvent les meme qui me mettent en garde!!!! hahhahah
« -ne parles pas aux étrangers!
-mais monsieur, vous etes un étranger vous meme!
-ah oui, mais pas CE genre d’étranger! »
Moi je dis qu’en pensant au pire sans arrêt , le pire vous arrive, mais le contraire marche aussi!
En fin de journée, nous sommes allés sur la plage pour le couché de soleil et admirer la magnifique et monumentale oeuvre d’art américaine (ou frontière) construite dans une effort de conservation ultime du trésor économique et culturel américain. Le truc de ouf, qui descend jusque dans la mer et qui est survolé en permanence par des helicos qui surveillent l’ocean aux alentours et protegé de militaires du cote USA.
« …Imagine all the people, living for today…. imagine there is no country, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too… »
You may say I’m a dreamer… but I know I ‘m not the only one. 🙂
Nous nous sommes ensuite dirigés vers le coeur de la folie nocturne de Tijuana dans un bar avec des écrans géants diffusants clips musicaux, sports extremes, football américains et d’autres trucs vulgaires… haha ca m’a rappelé Kao san road à Bangkok mais en moins fou. Les bières étaient vendues par « bucket » (sceau ) de 10 au prix modique de $7… Merci les amis pour ce bon moment de rigolade!
On Saturday, March the 6th, we started the day with … Crepes! Yes!!!! Because why not eating crepes everyday of my journey!
I tried to get to my serious work of writing, route, checking for places to stay in my next town, managing pictures and videos of the trip and wash some laundry… because laundry is very important… stinking is not the best thing if you want to be hosted… still, I stink. I mean,… really.
I was succesful on the laundry task but didn’t get any good writing… I have way too interesting hosts to be writing and couldn’t get my concentration going… Instead, I shared conversations after conversations , tons of common ideas and dreams as well as an incredible Paella made by Liz…. I want it now again!!!!
Le lendemain samedi 6 mars, je me suis mise en tete de faire tout le « travail séreux ». Ecrire, faire la lessive (parce que la lessive est un travail tres sérieux ) et organiser la suite du parcours… J’ai eu beaucoup de mal à avancer mais arriva quand meme a faire mon sac avec des petites culottes propres… Il va être difficile d’être rigoureuse quant à l’écriture du voyage … mes hôtes sont toujours passionnants! Le soir, Molly nous a cuisiné une délicieuse Paella…. j’en veux maintenant!!!!!!!!!
On Sunday, March the 7th, I jumped back on the saddle, on my way to Alisistos, playa de mission, to stay with a certain Iain and his daughter Molly…
Another Molly, my angel from Warm Showers who is now also on her own with her bicycle, is waiting for me in San Quitin, and from all the email exchanges that we have had, I can’t wait to meet her. go go go go go little turtle!
Le lendemain, dimanche je remettais mes sacoches sur le velo et repartais en direction d’un certaine Molly qui m’attendait à 300 km plus bas sur San Quitin…
That’s it! I am off to new adventures and so many emotions already came through me for the first 2 days of riding… I went from super sad to anxious, nervous, excited, overwhelmed, grateful,…. asking myself why and what I was doing, wondering is I was truly doing this exploration for myself or for or vision I would like people to have about me . But I started to settle a bit more on the second day, and went back down to earth about the reality but also the beauty of what I am doing for myself.
The journey started just after Long Beach and I was quite relieved not to have had to ride through the urban jungle of Los Angeles… no need to start in this kind of environment :-s … thanks to my knight in shinning armor who fought through his sickness to drive me to the cost, I started in pretty good conditions .
I then proceeded to ride along the cost and tried unsuccessfully to reach San Clemente 50 miles away… after getting lost (how to get lost on this I am not sure 😉 but it did happen) and I finally ended up in a camp ground in Dana Point (40 miles from departure point) on the advices of some firemen .
In between my pathetic existential questions, I had some good fun with people stopping me and asking me if I was crazy to do I am planning to do and to wear clothes like the one I had on! “But still, on your face I can see that you are not really crazy…hummm….???” haha , who’s crazy ?! not sure it’s me !
I had my first beer while watching the sunset with a group of friends who offered me my first day celebration drink… I was exhausted and not very expressive but it ended my day with a big smile in my heart. ahhhhh grateful 🙂
At the camp ground, super nice people again, a dad and his son offered me to share their fire, some nice talks, music and MARSHMALLOWS!!! Americans , I love you with your mandatory camping rituals 🙂 . The next day I even got a fresh cup of coffee… some people are naturally generous and it was heart warming to see how the values were being taught and transmitted gently to the next generation, just like a sweet marshmallow 🙂
On day 2, I had to ride through the rain in order to arrive on time at a friend’s place in Cardiff by the sea (close to San Diego). Again, a few very nice people on the way sharing some words, encouragements and advices (Bernie, it was very nice talking with you!). I cycled through a military maritime base… had to give my ID and almost had to turn back as “your bike is not a sports bike”… not a sports bike, not a sports bike …. well, climb on it and you’ll see if it has nothing to do with sports what I am doing! Some smiles, some nice “yes sir”, “of course sir” and I was on a military base with my shift mobile 🙂 .
I arrived in the early evening at my friend’s place and my legs felt like dead weights… how many days have I been doing this again?! So nice to be welcomed in a warm place and get to shower in the luxury of a house :-)… It is just the beginning, but am I grateful again? yes indeed!
Today (day 3), as the very sensible English people would say, it was raining cats and dogs and I had to weight for a long time to decide if I would go or not in between showers. It was not easy to take a decision as I have to take in consideration that I am a guest, but we finally agreed that I would stay until tomorrow when the weather should be much better. 🙂 Thank you Kristin!
Having that day “off” (sorry for using that word all of you who are working- 😉 ) , I was able to make my plans all the way down to ensenada, Mexico as I was blessed with an angel (Molly met through warm showers ) preceding me and sending me all kinds of priceless information and addresses where to stay… we are supposed to ride together soon and I can’t wait to meet and share the road with her. Serendipity you said? 🙂
Ca y’est! Je suis partie pour de nouvelles aventures et déjà tant d’émotions m’ont traversées durant ces 2 premiers jours!
Je suis passée de très triste à nerveuse, excitée, accablée, reconnaissante…me demandant par moment dans quoi je me lançait et pour quelle raisons…questionnant également le fait de m’embarquer dans cette exploration pour une réelle volonté d’aller vers moi-même ou pour une vision que je souhaiterais que les gens aient de moi…Le deuxième jour, j’ai commencé à me calmer, redescendant doucement sur terre en me rappelant la réalité mais aussi la beauté de l’aventure dans laquelle j’ai décidé de m’engager.
Le point de départ se trouve juste en dessous de Long Beach, sur la côte Californienne et je suis super soulagée de ne pas avoir eu à traverser la jungle urbaine de Los Angeles… pas vraiment besoin de commencer le périple dans ce genre de conditions… heureusement mon preux chevalier, bravant une bonne crève/sinusite me soulagera de cette épreuve en m’amenant vers un point de départ ideal. Je lui en suis grandement reconnaissannnnnnnteee. 🙂 … des bisous en passant par là. 😉
Puis j’ai commencé à descendre doucement vers le sud, toujours le long de la côte, en tentant infructueusement de rejoindre San Clemente (80 km plus loin)… J’ai quand meme réussi par je ne sais quel moyen à me planter de chemin sur une route plutôt simple… bref, comme il était trop tard pour aller jusqu’a San Clemente je me suis arrêtée, sur les conseils de gentils pompiers, à Dana point (environ 63km du point de départ) dans un camping en bord de mer.
Au milieu de mes cogitation hautement philosophiques et existentiels (enfin,…plus vraisemblablement pathétiques), je me suis bien marrée avec les premières personnes rencontrées… un gars, par exemple, se tordait de rire en me demandant si je n’étais pas complètement tarée de me jeter dans une expédition de ce genre et de porter des vêtements comme ceux que je portais… et en me disant « mais pourtant quand je te regarde, tu ne sembles pas si cinglée! » Ha Ha c’est qui le maboule ici? Pas sur que ca soit moi au final!
Et puis, en fin de journée, j’arrive à Dana Point et je me pose pour regarder le coucher de soleil et je tombe sur un groupe d’amis avec leur toutou qui m’offrent une bière pour célébrer mon aventure… j’étais fatiguée, exténuée et donc du coup pas très vive cérébralement parlant, mais cette petite rencontre m’a fait vraiment chaud au coeur, surtout après une journée si intense en émotions. ahhhhhhh reconnaissante!
Une fois au camping, je rencontre mes voisins, un papa avec son fils qui m’offrent de partager leur feu (le bois s’achète dans le camping et n’est pas donné), des discussions, de la musique et des CHAMALLOWS grillés!!!Americains, je vous aime avec vos rituels de camping! 🙂
Le lendemain j’ai même eu droit à un café fraichement pressé qu’ils sont allés chercher au café du coin (Français, pas d’excitation, le café du coin n’a rien à voir avec nos petits cafés de l’hexagone!… enfin quand même, c’est pas sympa ca ?!).
Y’a des gens qui sont naturellement généreux et ca m’a fait une nouvelle fois super chaud au coeur de voir en si peu de temps que cette générosité et ces valeurs simples de «reconnaissance de l’autre » étaient consciencieusement mais calmement inculquées à une nouvelle génération. Une autorité en douceur comme un bon chamallow qu’on te demanderai d’avaler gentillement… en fait, si ca trouve, à la maison c’est coups de ceinture et martinet. BAM.
Le 2eme jour, j’ai du rouler sous la pluie pratiquement tout du long pour être sûre d’arriver à temps à Cardiff by the sea, où Kristin, une pote de Christophe, m’attendait.
Encore une fois, une multitudes de gens bien cool rencontrés sur la route et de nouvelles conversations, encouragements et conseils échangés.
J’ai même du traverser une base militaire maritime, donner ma carte d’identité à l’entrée et me suis presque vu l’autorisation d’entrer refusée puisque « Votre vélo n’est pas un vélo de sport et nous ne laissons rentrer sur la base que les vélo de sport » … pas un vélo de sport, pas un vélo de sport… bah vas-y montes dessus et tu vas voir si c’est pas du sport c’que j’fais! Enfin, je m’en suis bien sortie à grand coup de sourires et de « oui monsieur », « bien sur monsieur » 😀 et hop, je me trouvais avec ma shift mobile à circuler pendant 15 km sur les routes d’un camp militaire 🙂 hahaha! La vie me fait vraiment marrer des fois!
Je suis arrivée en début de soirée chez kristin en ayant l’impression d’avoir deux cadavres à la place de mes jambes…Ca fait combien de jours que je fais ca déjà?! Ahhhh, le luxe d’être accueillie dans une maison bien chaude , de pouvoir prendre une douche et d’avoir un bon matelas pour dormir, je savoure cette aubaine en me disant que ca ne sera pas toujours comme ca…
Aujourd’hui, il pleut comme vache qui pisse et j’ai du peser longuement le pour et le contre pour savoir si je pouvais partir entre deux douches. Ca n’a pas été simple de prendre une décision puisque j’ai du prendre en considération le fait que je suis invitée chez quelqu’un que je connais peu… mais nous avons finalement décidé qu’il serait plus sage d’attendre demain et de partir dans de bonnes conditions . Merci Kristin!
Du coup, je me prends une journée de repos (désolée pour ceux qui travaillent, je sais que ce mot peut heurter votre sensibilité 😀 ), et j’en profite pour planifier la suite de mon parcours jusqu’à Ensenada au Mexique. Le tout grâce à l’aide de mon ange gardien Molly, rencontrée sur le site Warm Showers, qui me devance et me donne en permanence des infos, des conseils et des adresses où aller.
Elle m’attend et on devrait se retrouver très bientôt pour faire la route ensemble… bien pressée de la rencontrer 🙂
… Sérendipité vous avez dit? 😉
Bises à tous. La pêche la forme et de l’amour partout! 😉
Hello friends! It has been quite a long time since I worked on my blog… things have been quite hectic with the organisation of my L.A to Peru journey, the daily life, the construction of my chicken coop and a few trips to France to see my family and my friends…. yes, it was a lot! But last week end (24/25 january 2015) I went on a “mini” tour in the Santa Ynez area, or I should say, we went on a crazy mountain tour in the figueroa mountains with up to 13% climbs… check that!
I believe I started, during those 2 days, to embrace some of what will become my daily routines and sets of emotions, and…. I feel quite pleased with that idea!
The first element that stroked me was the elevation :
wowww I am way to heavy for steep hills like those! I will have to chose my roads depending on climbs … and if I have to go through crazy mountains, well, why not riding my bike… in a bus! Sometimes (as we say in France) you have to put some water in one’s wine… isn’t the key of happiness about balance after all?
The second element that I will remember from that trip was the kindness of people
… how amazing to have people stopping and encouraging you while you are going up hill and breathing like an exhausted seal vegged out on a beach? Asking you how you are doing, what you need, or just simply waving at you like a “wow, good job!” (this is the way I take it anyway! ;-)). I felt also very proud to become part of what I call the “cycle crew”, having pretty much every cyclist wave at us, and us in return, as we were crossing each other’s path… it was a very nice feeling, the connection to my new family on the road!
The third element was our health, body and mind and understanding their limits… hummm, let see…
-Yes… you will definitely need more water if you go up hill than going on a flat, straight road….DUHHH! reminder to myself: DON’T BE SILLY AND CARRY MORE WATER THAT WHAT YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED!!!!That being said, thank you to all the people giving us water on the road…
-I realized my food intake was crazy… riding a bike makes me become a ogre! Nutrition will be ultra-important, no doubt.
-You can push your mind and body, I agree… but there is a point where it is wiser to decide to stop and avoid them both to break down 😀 … balance and respect with myself.
The fourth, last, but not the least element, was mother nature and everything she gives and takes.
That ride was super easy as far as weather’s concern; lots of sun but not too hot, no wind (at least during the day) and INCREDIBLE landscapes, a breathtaking sunset, animals friends along the way …. BUT …. during the night, we got some nice winds that totally destroyed our tent while we were sleeping, one of the pole broke, destroying the mesh and the rain cover. Bummer, knowing that I am supposed to be leaving in 2 weeks and that I surely don’t have 300+ extra dollars to use for a new tent… I am currently discussing with the Big Agnes company, trying to have a replacement one as fast as possible. So far so good, they seem to be quite helpful. fingers crossed 🙂
The bicycles parked at our camping spot for the nightView from our camping place … 🙂 Christophe using nature’s best light for a slefieSunset and view to reward our efforts!Never enough food!
Taking decision is something that I really have a hard time about lately… well, lately maybe means longer than what I think… The fact is, if you never take a decision, then you are sure to never make any mistake or never be wrong about the decision you ended up not even taking :-)… and it is bringing me back to a few of my long term issues… I don’t want to be “failing”.
But with a project such as bicycling all the way down to south america, you better make your mind about a few things if you want to see your idea becoming one day something else than just a dream you talk about (to everyone)… The first decision I felt I had to make for that trip to happen, was to chose THE ride… maybe because I needed to see a part of that dream already getting materialized. A bike for a bicycle tour, it seems to make sense so far.
The problem with me is that everything seems to be very clear, up until I really start researching about what I am looking for…and then… wowwwww, the maze of all the possibilities/ideas/opinions (and so on) opens up to me and I feel like a child in the world’s biggest candy store, knowing she can only get one piece of candy… :-s
Everybody has their own reason why they decide to go with one thing or the other (either you decide what diet is good for you, how you should be giving birth ( 😉 ), what type of education you will give to your child, what brand of blender, water purifier, car, etc you will choose,… I know you don’t choose your child’s education the same way you would choose your blender but I hope you got my point 🙂 ).
There is definitely no “wrong” decision about making a choice as long as you make a conscious, well-thought one, based on people’s experience, the technicity of what you are looking for (to satisfy your logical and rational mind), your own convictions, but at the end, on your own “guts”feeling and, obviously, your budget… Am-I speaking Chinese here? What I want to say is that in this particular adventure, I felt like I was needing to take my “broad-spectrum parameters” (money/ duration of the trip/ types of roads/ availability of parts where I will go…) and make it works for me at the best…. researching it, but at the end, trusting myself and my guts, and letting go of the possible negative outcomes resulting in that final decision. You can’t always control everything, right?!
I know I am making a big gamble here by taking a “small budget” bike with 700c wheels to other countries than Canada and the USA, where it will be much more difficult to find parts for my wheels when they will get beaten by the journey, but I can’t manage to find (within my price range) any perfect answer/choice to all the possible problems I know I will encounter so :
Here is my Novara Safari bike! The Shift Mobile is taking shape!
I love travelling, and when I say so, i mean the kind of love that it’s almost unbearable to go without… a bit like coffee for some in the morning, or this sugar addiction a lot of us were forced into… 🙂
I took off from France for my first long trip a few years ago, and ended up backpacking for 2 years in south east Asia before I came to USA… this was actually 4 years ago… 4 very long years.
This time, I am preparing something with more “substance” to it… not that backpacking through Asia was meaningless, but i’d say that I had no other motive or plan than just being on the road, having fun, meeting beautiful people and landscape…nothing wrong with it, of course.
Well… it is not all that different this time, expect that life and experiences in those last 4 years have shaped me in a different way … and I believe I am doing this trip because I feel that I don’t have the choice to go or stay if I want to remain sane and truly alive… Feeling stuck in your life is not a very pleasant emotion to carry around and I prefer, having the choice, to follow that inner voice over taking the “happy numbing pill”.
As I said, experiences of life have shaped me in a different way… I would say that it has reinforced me in the way I want to live my life, what I want to learn and the way I want to learn it… so as extreme and crazy as it may sounds for some, why not taking off again, but this time, solo and on a bicycle across central and south america with the goal of getting connected to the people interested in sharing their view on our world the way it is now, and the way they want to create/improve it. Also, with the goal of getting reconnected to myself and my self-confidence, getting challenged with a way of life that is not broadly taught.
I truly believe we are living a beautiful, but non the less, intensely challenging conscious shift in the way we view our lives, interact with the living in general, and i am very interested to see during that trip, how this “shift” is affecting people from different countries, if indeed they are feel