This post was written as response to The Travel Chica’s post about the flooding of the Atacama
The Travel Chica just discovered that “the driest place on the planet is flooding”.
The two most beautiful places on my itinerary for Chile have experienced environmental disasters just before my arrival. First, there was the fire in Torres del Paine. And now the driest place on the planet is flooding.
I just spent US$100 on a bus ticket to get here, dealt with the discomfort of an overnight bus ride, and left a city I loved and wanted to explore more.
Tomorrow morning Dachary and I will be climbing on our motorcycles and setting off for an epic adventure lasting nearly four months and over 17,000 miles. The goal is to drive south from Boston MA, USA until we reach the most southerly city on the planet: Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. I can’t wait. Usually when we tell people their first reaction is “Be careful in Mexico.” Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, rebels living in the jungle… not a concern.
We rode the Trans-Massachusetts-Trail yesterday. A series of dirt roads starting at the border of Connecticut and Massachusetts and working its way north to route 2 where it meets up with the start of the Puppy Dog Trail, which winds its way north all the way to the Canadian border (we’ll be doing that one shortly). Near the end of the trip we stopped for a break in the woods to address the “call of nature” and grab a snack.
Yesterday I watched an 800 pounds of chrome, fiberglass, metal, and plastic spinning through the air. Sunlight reflected in movie-like highlights off of the long chromed pipes. The Harley did things other Harleys have only ever dreamed of… in their nightmares.
I saw the whole thing, from start to finish. Dachary only saw the grand finale of flying metal, but her brain came to the obvious conclusion: “That’s a cruiser [spinning through the air].
I thought it would be a Grand Adventure. Something I would return from with tales of interesting events and intriguing sights. But it wasn’t like that at all. In fact, there wasn’t a whole lot to report on, on a day to day basis. I’d kind-of bemoaned that about Lois Price’s books. I enjoyed them, but it felt a bit like she’d left out so much. She’d cross entire countries only mentioning their existence in passing.
It started with a thwapping on my left foot.
Like a thick cloth being whipped heavily across my boot.
“But, There’s no cloth in front of my foot…” I think.
I’m imagining some impossible piece of canvas beating in the wind, occasionally swinging around to slap across my laces.
I look down. There’s a grasshopper IN my shoelaces, its whole body wedged under them against the tongue of my boot.
Today, my last day, started off about a third of the way across New York in Arkport and found me riding through another cloud. This one was just enough to shorten visibility and mist up your visor. Not like the one in Wyoming which left everything dripping. After a while I made my way past the hills that bounded it and found bright blue skies with sunlight streaming down.
I was excited.
I walk in and the light snaps on. The stalls resemble small concrete torture rooms where you can easily wash down the blood. I’m about to sit when the light snaps off. “WTF?! Was there a switch I missed?” I start to move and they snap back on. No switch by the door. “This does not bode well.” The lights are on a timer. It is set to approximately 15 seconds after movement stops.