Sod's law - a textbook case
Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
44Trip End Jun 14, 2006
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(1) this was due to be my last day of cycling anywhere, and
(2) My original plan was to have already reached Paysand˙, Uruguay, from where I could get a bus to Montevideo.
However, as you know, last night, for the first time, my usual perfect timing of arriving in time for dusk failed me - the light ran out - I didn't make it. I got only as far as Colon, and when I awoke, all ready to make the short hop across the Rio Uruguay and the international border, it was raining. Really raining. And in case I though it wasn't serious, it threw in a bit of thunder and lightning to boot. My last day cycling, which wasn't even supposed to be, after seven weeks of dry days, and I was going to get wet.
But that wasn't all, oh no, Mr Sod had more in store for me. Having got me and my bike all kitted up for a soaking, I got 100 yards down the road to notice that one of the bolts holding my rack to bicycle had absented itself without gaining clearance for leave. Now these bolts are notorious for shaking themselves loose, but this one, to its credit, had gone over 2500km without doing. Why, on my last day cycling?! "Where is it?" I asked Packhorse, in my sternest future-teacher voice. "What do you mean you don't know? How can something just disappear? It's simply unacceptable, you need to reform your behaviour or there will be consequences."
Luckily, I had remembered the cub scout motto, 'be prepared', and had a spare bolt with me, and by skimping on the washers persuaded it to fit. I eventually got going, and after a short while found myself crossing a small bridge that the rain had transformed into an aquaduct. I was so preoccupied with indignation for my wet feet that I didn't notice the big lorry coming up fast from behind. I also failed to predict how close it would be forced to pass owing to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. I'm sure you've already guessed what happened next: the big wheels threw the entire contents of the formidable puddle high into the air right in front of my face. I was accordingly absolutely soaked to the skin, but for some reason found the whole episode deliriously funny.
By some miracle I got over the border smoothly, and to Paysand˙, which I decided no matter how beautiful was not worthy of exploration in the pouring rain, so headed straight for the bus station. There, a young boy took a great interest in my bike. He was wearing a beanie and a hoodie (you know the look) and his face had yet to grow into his big new adult teeth, giving him an amicable, bugs-bunny look (if only I'd had a carrot, what a photo it'd've made!). Being as I am a great believer in education, I compensated for his unaccountable absence from school by attempting to explain why three cogs at the front and eight at the back made twenty-four gears, and not eleven. Then, when the bus arrived and the guy made a fuss about carrying my humble machine, the little dude took me back to the booth and sorted them out for me, so I hereby name him Hero of the Trip So Far! I don't know who he belonged to but he gets max respect from me.
Beard status: requiring ever more frequent trimming to avoid looking like Tarzan.
Kilometres counted: none, as the rain temporarily extinguished the Hellcat's diabolical inferno.