Aug 07, 2009
When I say I had plenty of time to reflect that is not quite true on German motorways. Mirror, observe, manouever takes on a whole new meaning. More that once I hear myself say "Where the ---- did he come from?" as a motorist races out of the inside lane, passing a truck in the middle and flashing by me at 140mph. Keeps me on my toes at least.
Riding 385 miles on motorways from Rotterdam to Magdeburg on the first day is a sure recipe for one thing. Numb bum. I've always though that no matter what you do about your saddle it's always your backside that has to acclimatise itself to the saddle, not the other way around. It also doesn't feel much like an adventure. But as the plan is to get to Central Asia as quickly as possible, needs must. I had lots of time to reflect on what was ahead and to try to deal with my fears. One of the joys and terrors of travelling for me is getting out of my comfort zone. Once you've done something once you have an awareness of what to expect, you're not surprised, you're not uncomfortable. You generally know where you are. In that sense my journey to West Africa last year was completely different to the first one two years previous. I knew the routine, the scams, the border crossings. It felt so easy. Being on my own and venturing into the unknown has a different feeling. New countries, new peoples, new cultures, new ways of thinking. New friends to be made. This time, and as an added bonus, not only do I not understand the languagse I won't even understand the alphabetic script. Scams and scams and borders and borders. The list goes on. Still, people are generally kind and helpful. I hold on to that belief.