Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 9

Day 9 Near Ignacio's to Loreto

Predawn and just light enough to write down some of the thoughts that have escaped these pages. I think of how living this way, closer to the margin of existence makes me appreciate all life more. How I have learned to read the signs in the road, the depth of the sand that can be ridden without floundering, the difference between the coyote, fox, bobcat and puma tracks. How I sensitive I have become to the smells of a kitchen fire or a distant sea and the subtle changes in the humidity of the wind.
We listen to. the birds hidden in the brush in the hour before and after the sun rises and are filled with the peace of the desert, waiting in patience for the next rain. I think of the Californio's life. Goats, cows and dogs greet us in a variety of moods as we approach the rough, dry ranchos. I practice my Spanish on them, commenting on the day, introducing myself (especially to the dogs that chase us) in loud, exaggerated speech.
Shahe's rack is secured to his frame with twist ties and a plastic bottle cap (I never did figure out that last part), his right toe clip was broken days ago and he has fashioned a replacement out of baling wire, the zippers on his panniers are about to give up. But he doesn't. Ever resourceful and thrifty. He chooses to 'live on the edge, so that others may simply live', adapting the Gandhi quote.
I am wishing it possible to weave more of the poetry that the mind creates as I pedal. There is no way to stop to record it, it passes through me like clouds on the breeze, high above. I cannot hold these thoughts, nor share them, and they are perhaps the most beautiful part of my experience...
We stop again in San Ignacio, both hoping to see our good friend, but his brother tells us he is out somewhere working. We ask if we can get water again from his tank and while Shahe borrows some oil for his chain, I fill up my bottles and add the new chlorox. I fish a peppermint stick from last Christmas, and place it next to his toothbrush there at the side of the water tank. I think he will know....
Part way through the morning of our last (?) day's ride, we are hot and have discovered the new Chlorox is much stronger than what we had used before. We have over dosed the water and cannot drink it. We have 4 hours of riding before we make San Javier. I have stopped again to take a picture and Shahe has ridden ahead. I hear the distant rumbling of a truck laboring over the rocky road. Jumping on my bike I sprint for 5 minutes to catch up to him, so that we may plead our case. for a ride together. The ride we get saves us 3 hours of riding without water. Even still, when we do reach the village, I feel as if I am thirstier than I have ever been. We both buy a cold quart of tangerine juice for a dollar and down them immediately, then sit on a cool cement bench in the shade of a lemon tree, we have soaked out heads in water and we enjoy our lunch of tortillas and cheese...
An hour later and we stop once more to visit Raul and Angelina. They have company but welcome us to sit with them under the familiar thatched roof of their palapa. Some one drops off two baskets of strawberries from Santo Domingo. We each take one. Even with new water in my bottle from San Javier, I still taste too much Chlorine, and I drink in small sips between nibbles of my strawberry to mask the chemical. We thank them once more and say wee will see them again in a few years, ojAllah, (God Willing). They are old enough and the four of us are thinking of the many turns each of our lives can take.
The rest of our ride back to Loreto is uneventful. The climbs are brutal, the descents so fast as to drain the heat from our bodies, the long vista fill us with wonder. And the shower is fantastic!

Day 9 Near Ignacio's to Loreto

1 comment:

  1. I was discouraged by yesterday's post but today seems to give some justification for this crazyness