Carelessness costs kilometres
Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
44Trip End Jun 14, 2006
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And it was only once I turned back that I realised how hard I'd been battling against the wind in the direction I was going. With the wind behind me, I sailed back, and as I did I realised what had happened. Stopping for a break, the map had fallen to the floor, but I lazily didn't pick it up straight away as my need to get at a tic-tac was far greater. And then I'd forgotten about it.
When I got back to the place, the map cover was there, but no map. I resolved that even I had to search every tree within a three-mile radius, I would find it. And there it was, on the other side of the road, teasingly flapping in the wind. I got back on my way again, cursing my stupidity over and over again. I was totally demoralised and just had to put my head down and pump the pedals against the wind, because every time I looked at the long, shimmering expanse of road ahead of me, another chunk of my soul crumbled away.
I finally got to Encon, the long stretch of empty desert behind me, but it didn't turn out to be the quaint countryside village I'd hoped for. More of a truck stop. When I asked someone if there was a supermarket they laughed at me. There was a small shop, which the lady owner unlocked especially for me. I headed over the road to the cafe and asked what was on offer. I scarcely understood the reply, so just sort of nodded and smiled a bit and said "si" and "no" every so often until the nice lady stopped asking me things. I sat down, excitingly wondering what I'd just ordered. After a short while, a bowl of salad and a basket of bread arrived.
I started to wonder at how I could rectify this disastrous outcome without increasing my already considerable humiliation any further. But then, a couple of minutes later, the lady arrived with the most massive trucker's steak, bigger than the plate it sat upon, and it was so, so very tasty.
I went on my way and the scenery perked up a bit, with the road going through some wetlands, which rather excitiningly played host to a load of flamingoes. I ate up another 30km or so before finding a nice patch by the side of the road to bed down.
Most useful Spanish word learned: 'torpe', clumsy.
I have been reliably informed by my brother than the wild camels were, in fact, Llama (seems obvious now), and that amphitheatres were a Greek idea, and not Roman after all.