It’s 5 am, and I’m awake. We’re finding it easier and easier to wake up early. I roll over, and my head’s already popping with ideas… and I felt the urge to keep this blog up, before it falls prey to our atrocious schedule. Here’s the scene:
We arrived at the airport, grabbed our luggage (that is, our foldable bikes), and began assembling them.
It was a fairly quick process. Getting accustomed to our Bike Fridays has been a snap (er… quick-release) – the quick-release wheel goes back on, the quick-release seat-mast goes back, and the quick-release handlebars goes back on, too.
That’s it, more or less. Fixing our gear to our bike has been another story. We decided to not buy panniers – partially because we don’t like buying stuff, and partially because we like using what we have. So we ended up with the backpacks we always travel with – light, small, adaptable. But they’re not panniers – which literally hang off the rack above the back tire. These backpacks sit there – bungeed into place, of course. And if we only had the backpacks, they would sit there just fine. I think I’ve almost got it figured out… how the camping bag ought to be attached, too.
The cars. We don’t like the cars. And the cars don’t seem to like us much either. They drive fastfastfast, often recklessly, with extreme selfishness, committed like a bullet. When there’s no shoulder, that’s bad. We must find (and hope) for better roads.
I found a dead barn owl on the side of the road (freshly dead – still soft) and removed two gloriously soft feathers. I found a porcupine quill in an abandoned castle. I found a dead fox and now my bike’s got a tail. We need to learn the art and science of roadkill-cookery. Any blogs/recommendations welcome. I imagine there’s a dozen ‘The Do’s and Don’ts of Eating Dead Stuff’ out there already.
Today we will ride another 50 km/30 miles, and that’s 1/2 way to Naples. Naples happens to be the birthplace of pizza, as well as a place every single person we have met (with the exception of an old farmer/sculptor) says is dangerous and bad, dirty and despicable. We’re curious; we’ve often found that people overestimate the dangers and difficulties around them. Either way, we won’t be there for long – we are headed to Pompei. We haven’t decided if we will turn around and head towards France, or continue south towards Sicily… We will need to decide in the next couple of days.
We’ve uploaded a handful to impossibleliving.com, and hope to get the remainder up soon – before we’ve accrued too many to keep up (which won’t take long).
Speaking of Impossible Living – they are awesome. We arrived at our first host’s house, and a package was waiting: a journal to document buildings, a road atlas of Italy (how did they know we didn’t have a map yet?!), business cards, a duffel-bag, and a collection of map printouts showing our intended route, and all of the abandoned buildings along our route that they’ve documented already. We’re stoked to be collaborating with such great people.
We’re beginning to see culture and tradition as an amoeba, rather than a ancient and static thing. It’s a weird, and captivating concept. But that’s for another post. Time to pack, and ride.