Monday, 16 December 2013

More Unfinished Business.

Orthopods and agroplods, they have much in common if the handiwork exhibited in the Navigator's X-rays are to be believed. A couple of nails hammered in at angles, held by a bit of twisted wire. Might hold the gate on a pen of bullocks for tonight, but it will require a proper job tomorrow. At least they don't use baler string.

They've sprung the Navigator from her five star, fifth floor ocean view. Had they not, I suspect she was ready to jump. Especially if jelly had appeared on the food tray again. For breakfast, lunch and tea, the only three servings she's had in thirty years. Her first request after escape was coffee and something with less salt and more taste. One of the consequences of cycle travel is the necessity to eat. To eat a lot. A symptom that seems to be exacerbated when the time comes to stop, and the regular drip dosages of endorphins are put on restriction. The brain goes into panic drive, demanding ever more fuel. It's the famine response. Feast today, for tomorrow might be hard tack time.

Escaped, having settled the bill, but requiring a translation service; not a linguist one, but one that can decipher surgeon scrawl. Armed with the souvenir photos, a clutch of dockets and a card with aftercare instructions. At least that is what can be deduced from the spider's script. Painkillers and sling use are decipherable, the rest is in crypto medico.

Escaped to consider the options. Which quickly narrow down to a retreat over the hill, back to the flat in BsAs. A bus ride half the length of Chile, to be followed by another across a continent. Two thousand eight hundred kilometres. It would appear we chose to start a new adventure at the furthest reach from a chosen refuge. We're both resigned to the change of plans, looking forward to a new challenge. That was until the bus left town and headed back into the Atacama. Simple stunning countryside. A landscape striped to it's bare bones, leaving naked colours and shadowed textures. Leaving unfinished business with a stark reminder. The national flags on the roadside shrines, the politico banners on the house gables are ripped taut The walking dunes march out across the gritscape, the drifts tell the tale, the prevailing winds are sou'westers. Next time we ride with the wind.