December 5th, 2011

DAY 18


It rained very hard during the night and early morning, when it rains here it really rains. By late morning the rain had stopped and the afternoon turned into another very hot day. I will need to leave, rain or no rain, so tomorrow morning after the first bit of rain stops, I will set off on my bicycle heading south again.

I talked about my route and the obvious road from here to Ecuador is apparently called "The Road of Death" because it is just wide enough for one car on the side of a steep mountain. No guard rails, just a very long steep drop off. I will get advice in Mocoa because I do not want to take unnecessary risks and it might mean hoping a bus with my bicycle. But I hear about vehicles going off the edge and ending up in a pile of mangled, twisted steel, so I wonder if the road would be safer by bicycle?

Apparently most people avoid this route I'm on, others who have journeyed through here take the western route and I am taking the easternmost route which I was told borders the Amazon Rainforest. Not sure, but I know the Amazon is very large stretching from Colombia and into 8 other countries.

There was fear before starting this journey, if I gave into the fear and never took that first step, I would not be in such a wonderful place experiencing so much life. These people live and have a love of life that comes through, they do not seem to have a lot of the hang ups and fears many people in the U.S have. They don't take a lot of stuff personally, they just tend to remain open, honest and speak their mind. Folks here are quick to congratulate someone for attempting anything, not whether you win or lose, it is the fact someone took that risk and tried something. I realize these are generalizations based on a limited experience but I do not see that fear of going out and trying something.

During my last bicycle ride I mentioned wanting to go out to do something and really live before I shuffle off the mortal coil. Will I have regrets of things I did not do when my time comes near? Many people feel trapped or stuck in a cage and do not realize that they do indeed own the key. I was a terrible student in school, spent 2 years in eighth grade, would have been three but I was assigned to the next grade and we changed school systems. I did not like high school and smoked stuff I should not have been smoking, and I only did well in the industrial arts classes. After I graduated I had some minumum wage jobs and a brief spell of homelessness. At that point I knew I had to do something different, I figured out what I needed to do and set my mind to turn my life around. My jobs got better and my income got better until I eventually bought a nice home at 22. Almost two years later I still realized that this was not the life for me, so I grabbed that key and unlocked my cage. I gave away everything I owned and took off to start college and a new life, my first year I maintained a 4.0 gpa and ultimately graduated 5 years later with something like a 3.45. For me I went from flunkie high school student, homeless, home owner, college and then a professional career. I just think that the times when I really desired something and knew what I wanted, the universe conspired with me to make it happen, it just takes awhile for everything to fall in place sometimes.

After Sandra got home from teaching we went into town to run errands, a couple of things needed were two new bolts to replace the old rusty ones on my seat. I was unable to correct my seat angle and position due to the bolts being rusted. We also got a small drill bit so I can drill a couple of holes in the metal door casing and install the new door strike plate for the new doorknobs I installed.

While in town I saw a lot of these cool looking buses:

I like the open sides for each row of seats, there is a man hanging on the back of this one




I also saw this guy dressed differently and carrying a very old phonograph


Sandra, Nicholas, Francisco and me



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