Friday, January 14, 2011

Distant Reality

¨Some people just don´t live in the same reality,¨ the labor foreman spiting his ham and swiss in between sentences.

¨I went to the county fair this year, the wife loves it.¨ This leading into the rant against overwieght americans and his hope that this is not a cross-section of the American way of life. The story of obesity as an epidemic has yet to be told but one thing is for sure, riding a bicycle in a foreign place is good for your health.

To earn funds for the trip I tore up carpet until my palm blistered, flipped burgers, painted fences and worked as a relocator (mover). All the gigs were an adventure, and definitley a step into a different reality. Working in the grease pit I learned the different regions of Mexico, what a 12 hour shift with no breaks feels like, and struggled to earn the name--´stupid gringo´. Working as a mover with Dan was a hoot, with his help I rented a really big truck, drove half asleep and learned his stories of endureance; how many people have you worked for that have ridden thier bicycle the length of the Ididarod Dogsled Race in the dead of winter? Meet my boss, Dan.

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Last post was written from Pucon, the town where I´m registered to race two days from now. Turns out I´m hyperactive and anxious, I´ve just come up for air and realized that Becky and I have ridden down the spine of the Andes; took a ferry; and have learned to differcient ´unpaved´ from ´4-wheel´ roads on our map. We are half way down Argentina and the scenery just keeps outdoing itself.

We are in the city of Bariloche, Argentina and are set to trek up to a climbing spot in the morning. A glimpse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uDhKC7ZYec

The ferry took us accross one of the many huge lakes (think seattle to Bremerton x2) at the base of a massive volcano. The terrain felt immidiatly different, from the sub tropic comfort of Chile´s lake district we peddalled up a gravel road with pines and furs and a much more rugged feeling. It´s like cresting the Cascades, or any range that blocks weather; things shift in every way. The shrubs are used to dry days, cold mornings and clear starry nights. I came out of the tent a couple nights ago and felt like the stars were making me claustraphobic.

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A traveling partner is hard to get used to, no matter how cool they are. Bless Becky`s heart for comming on this thing, shame on me for constantly hollering over my left shoulder:
¨Try pushing a little bigger gear on the flats.¨
she is getting used to biking and I am getting used to us biking together, slowly.

Argentines seem pretentious and beutifull. The terrain is Telluride, Montana and Bend.

We are spending too much money.

Can´t wait to get back to what we came for; nature and adventure.

Pictures to come in the next couple of days.

Your pal,
Andrew

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