The Day of Reflections

9 01 2008

I’m sitting right now inside our tent at a campsite next to a fast-flowing river. The wind is blowing around us like mad and it almost seems like it has the power to blow our entire tent away… But if you are reading it, then it didn’t 🙂

Today was a day of reflections on the trip. As we are more than two thirds into it, me and Anya were discussing what we both learned and got out of this so far.

While its still not over, we both agreed that it was probably one of the most challenging and difficult things we’ve done so far. We learned that bike touring is less about strength, as much as it is about the physchological aspect of it – forcing yourself to go when it gets really hard.

I also realized that I often tend to underestimate things. I remember looking at the map and saying – ok, we’ll do this 100km that day and then we’ll ride another 120km the next and then we’ll do a hike in between. usually0 however, things wind up to take much longer. That beind said, I do think that sometimes underestimating things is good. If I knew how hard the trip would actually have been in the beginning, i’d think twice about going on it. And this applies to all things, including work, etc.

I also learned that the toughest road and the steepest hill can be done one kilometer at a time, one push of the pedal at the time, one day at a time. Although, I sure wasn’t thinking of this philosophical notion while actually pedaling, but in retrospect…

We also learned that traveling solo gets pretty lonely (from accounts of other people), but doing it with someone takes a lot of compromise, so its important to pick your travel partner well. So far, we have spent about over two weeks with Anya – pretty much always together, with the exceptions of a couple of hours.

Finally, I found out that as a cyclist, you get so much attention from others. People devour you with questions. Everyone is super friendly and encouraging. People just perceive it as a really cool way of traveling. I do too… Except when im actually pedaling uphill or against the wind.

I also learned that I am always hungry, but I am close to reaching my limit of eating pasta and rice for dinner and PB and Jelly sandwiches for lunch…

So yeah, I’m sure there will be more thoughts closer to the completion of the trip, but that will come in its own time.

As for today, we just took it easy and hung out in a town called Wanaka. Spent some time kayaking on the lake, did a short hike, etc.

We’ll be reaching our final destination of Queenstown within a day or two. Although, I did damage my bike today by going over a pothole while going downhill on a steep hill, so we’ll see if we can get that fixed early tomorrow. It still rides, except that it stops working if I stop pedaling… Well, it’s technical 🙂




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