Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Falling off the Wagon...that is, the Bike

The rain falls outside from the overcast clouds onto the fading colors of the leaves that shone so brightly just a few weeks ago.  Autumn lingers here in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, where Mike and I have retreated to work up a little money to get some more gas in our tanks.  Our iron horses are resting in Medellin, Colombia in the care of some wonderful friends and are gathering their strength for the next chapter, South America.  We will be returning in just a couple weeks to fall into the arms of a Colombia that waits with smiling friends that dot the map.  Getting out of Colombia will be a pinball game until we get to the border and into Ecuador.  I, Tank, have all of 5 days to get through Ecuador and into Peru since I used almost all of my allotted 90 days.  A good friend has a ticket to meet us in Peru on January 16, giving us a plan of sorts for a large canyon, tall mountains, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca.  A month and a half to get from middle Colombia to the middle of Peru through the 15,000ft Andes mountains on old coughing motos... 

This next chapter will bring new challenges.  Huge mountain passes skirting around glacier topped peaks, high elevation headaches, sloooww running bikes, the famously bad Peruvian drivers, the Bolivian roads of death, and the Chile and Argentina that will try to steal our future and keep them as its own.  I can hear it now, "Welcome to heaven, there's a $10 cover".  And I then say, "Awe, I've only got $5 left, and I still need a plane ticket home".

...and so the scramble to return to a life on the long road is coming to and end, for all too soon, we will be stuffed into a long metal flying tube bound for the deep south and our cobwebbed steeds.