January 26, 2020
This tour is difficult. Not in the hard climbing. For sure it is the hardest I have ever done. But it is not difficult, just have to keep pedaling. It is not difficult in the logistics. There are very inexpensive hotels and restaurants everywhere. You would love it. No planning just stop when you want.
It is hard because I don’t see the purpose. This land is fantastic. Everywhere I look my eyes are amazed. I am meeting the people as always. How many find a new grandmother who is younger than them.
I am learning about the history and the culture. Bolivar was one amazing traveler and general. During his campaign to free South America from Spain he rode a horse 123,000 km. My Spanish is getting better. I can almost hear the intent of the sentence. Surprise has come in staying in the homes of Ashlanders living in this country. Dave and Steve were wonderful hosts taching much about their lives as expats. But something is missing. It is the purpose. I just cannot identify it.
Always my journeys find a purpose. Not often when I begin but they do find their own way. This one is lost. Where am I going? I do not mean a physical location, but rather a place in memory. What will I remember about here beyond the obvious?
This morning I wanted to ride. I knew it was going to be a very hard climb that would not seem to have an end. I knew that this was the beginning of a 6 or so day ride to a city in the north. From the maps and profile it will not be an easy ride. I will climb many thousands of feet, most of it very steep and duro, as they say here. Hard is something I want to do. I always want to be stronger in mind than body. It takes more mind than body to keep moving forward under very hard effort. But that is not enough. It is not a real purpose, for no matter strength will fade with age.
I sit here in my very nice hotel room telling you this and still wonder why I am here. I know that travel is what I do. I know I do not do it to see the world, but of course i do. I do not do it to gain knowledge, again that happens, it is impossible to ignore. I do not do it to move, moving is easy anywhere. All this travel life has been because I could do no other. It has always found a purpose beyond travel and that is what I seek. But this one has not, yet.
I will keep hoping.
Time for a stainless steel cup of Portuguese wine.