Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chapter 2: Lost my Marbles

Like a kid loves candy and fresh snow, new trails and culture, I love you oh so well.  I built TukTuk (my bicycle) up at an open air terminal, plenty of spectators and biting bugs.  Agriculture land.  I was the only gringo on the flight; a good sign for sure.  Turns out TSA lost the nut to my front wheel skewer.  Translation: the piece that prevents the front wheel from rolling off the bike was missing.  Dripping in sweat, determined, and applying my community college B- physics, I made a skewer with four zip ties and a bike lock key.

“Don’t ride at night,” that’s the only consistent pre-trip advice I got from folks who’ve ridden in Dominican Republic.  I left the airport and headed to Moca.  A dusty town surrounded by agriculture on three sides and a mountain range on the North.   Mopeds are like mosquitoes, cars are in varying states of decay but rest assured horns are intact.  I ascended a, not the, ridge out of Moca just as the sun set.  Alpenglow on broad leaf palms and eucalyptus are like finding a long lost brother.  Ascending the first ridge, based on my maps, I’d anticipated seeing a beautiful descent down to quaint little coastal village.  Instead I saw countless jungle ridges and a closing curtain of darkness; I suppose that’s when the trip really began.

Joie de vivre is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.

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