(un)Folding the Fantastic

5 Days In

We slept at a cow-farm! We got milk in the morning!

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 discovered and documented nearly 30 abandoned buildings already – from a bizarre storage unit – to a residential complex – to a castle/church in the overgrown landscape.

  

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.

   

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This entry was published on March 5, 2012 at 6:14 am and is filed under unfolding the fantastic. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “5 Days In

  1. Greg and Maina!
    Just received the package. Just finished the blog. I’m jealous! But happy.
    Adventure rocks. And you do too.
    My all-time favourite writer just released a book too, so I’m gonna eat this one today and begin yours tomorrow. Get the right focus and immerge.
    Thanks for the gifts, man, it smells good and it hangs right. Yep, the cup is hanging in the kitchen, relaxed and delighted by the view. About the stuff that smells good though: what is it? I have for now filed it with my other good smelling stuff. Like my box of cambodian eucalyptus crushed dried leaves. But I’m not sure whether I have yet understood the whole range of your gift ^^
    Alsoooo ? Yes! If ever you decided to bike back to France, tell me. I might try to join and run along for a couple days, yeah? I’ll bring a bike and some jerky beef! Or artichokes! OR something else.
    Also number two, Impossible Living seems the awesomest thing in the world. I’m gonna contact the dudes. If they have such maps for France, I might find there an unlimited picturesque inspiration! Thanks for sharing, friend.
    Have a great trip, you too. Good things to you both.

  2. Dearest Adventureros,

    I too have just received my beautiful new book and was inspired to peek in at the blog.

    I am forever impressed and amazed by you mr. gregory crawford. Maina, I look forward to meeting you in person and will enjoy the vicarious thrills of your travels in the mean time.

    Can’t wait to read Fall Apart Park with Laurel!

    Best of luck in your journeys.

    Much love,
    Jonah

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