Journey Part 1 - done. Part 2 - loading
I am staring at the computer screen. "Your flight is booked." Tomorrow I will be on an plane going to Germany. Several emotions are having a wild and confusing party inside of my heart, while Coronavirus is taking over the world. "It's the right decision!", I look into Pablo's eyes, he puts his arm around me, while our Ewan is somewhere in the clouds, on his way home.
My bike is stuck in Sierra Grande, until further notice, my flight to Madrid would have been in three months, it makes no sense, to have the last months of my trip, messed up in a way, that would make me only see and do 20% of what I had planned and risk being stuck in a southamerican apocalypse.
The last days have been extremely exhausting and I don't want the last blog post of "Journey part 1" to be about a truck driver (who now has been reported to the authorities), so here comes a pottpurri of positivity!
This pottpurri starts with two incredibly awesome guys. Pablo and Ewan. When I first met them at an abandonend, pink house, somewhere between Chaltén and Calafate, I had no idea that these two would plant themselves really, really deep into a very special corner of my heart. They were the first cyclist to arrive at the wildcampspot and we only had a short, yet very funny talk. Early Bird Lisa left the campsite at the crack of dawn, though. But destiny knew, that us three belong together so I ended up bumping into them, when they got to Calafate. A few hours later we were dorm-bunkbed-neighbors and were sharing our first of many beers.
It's this thing I love the most about traveling - meeting people, that launch fullspeed, straight into the deepest part of your heard and who will stay there forever. When you know, that even when you're grey and old, you will still talk about those times, when your hips were still good to cycle 100km and more.
It's hard for me to put into words, how happy I am to have met those two crazy dudes. Without knowing, that Tierra del Fuego would be the last stretch of "Journey Part 1", they made it so unbelievably special for me. They were with me, when my bike computer showed the 10.000, we saw penguins, we celebrated every gravel turning into asphalt, laughed so so much and collected so many special moments, we will never forget, even if we end up with Alzheimers. And they have helped me through the darkest moments of this trip and I am forever thankful for that.
So there I am, asking myself, what to do, with my bike being 1.200km away and then Chechu comes in, a guy I met during the "Three Lake Crossing" from Bariloche to Puerto Varas. I cycled 5 km with him and his cousin Tomas, until they left me with all their stuff, because Chechu ended up having a steakknife in his leg (true story). He tells me, that he can pick up my bike and that I can leave most of my stuff at his place. Lifesaver! So "Journey Part 2" will start in Buenos Aires!
With a warm heart I think about all these amazing people I have met, some through really weird circumstances. Lena and Gennaro, who picked me up in Torres Del Paine, whom I spent a way to short, but yet so lovely time. Sébastien and Téo, the french bike mechanics I hiked to the Torres with, who I saw a Puma with and who named me "Dong the unicorn", after being hit by a pot in the head, thanks to one of those patagonian wind gust.
I think about the very first day, when Oscar cycled to Guatapé with me, William, who saved me from the middle of nowhere on day two, the awesome guys from cicloorbe, who fixed my bike. Hamilton, my couchsurfing host in Ibarra, who gave me the opportunity to inspire young people to travel. Mauricio and my second family in Quito, who adopted me and gave me a very special and memorable ecuadorian weekend. The two truck drivers, who saved me from a sandstorm and a dangerous road. Satya and Juan, who brought the life back into me, after a very exhausting stretch on ruta 40. Ole, who I survived the crazyness of Machu Picchu with. Poochi and Vaughn, who didn't only give me a home in Lima, but also gave me so many lovely memories. All the nice people on the road, who gave me water, snacks and high fives. And also all the amazing people I met on social media, who I hopefully meet in person one day.
My heart is filled with amazing moments and memories, that fill those tiny cracks of the last days with warm peanutbutter. Now it is time to take a break with the people and animals I love, until Coronavirus' horrorshow is over, to start "Journey Part 2. Or as Arni would say: I'LL BE BACK!