Part Uno: Too Much Information
In the past we’ve received a few comments that our lives on the road cannot be all beautiful vistas, historic buildings, tasty food, interesting animals, etc. It isn’t. I’m about to dish out the dirt.
If you are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, then most likely you have never hiked or biked multiple days where water is reserved for drinking. Dirt curds are the accumulated grime, sweat and sun block that form when the skin is rubbed after not bathing on a regular basis¹. Dirt curds are usually black and with digital manipulation can be formed into balls or more worm-like forms.
A simple scratch of an itch can produce a dirt curd. Sarah says they are disgusting but dirt curds can provide engrossing individual entertainment, especially if you have a juvenile sense of humor. If you want others to enjoy the fun, you can play “Dirt curd or booger?” with your friends. Throw in a “pull my finger” and you have hours of entertainment.
Part Dos: Back to the regular story
Sometimes I wake up in the tent, after dark, confused and unsure of where I am. When I traveled for work the same thing would happen and I would run down the mental checklist to ground myself (country, city, hotel and finally, meeting or airport in the morning?). I experienced the odd sensation while biking today. The landscape has changed considerably from the previous days, getting a bit greener along with some streams and rivers. The palms and banana trees, heat and humidity, the motorbike traffic, and the muddy rivers all had me reliving vivid memories of bicycling through Southeast Asia.
Shifter cable break
Shifter cable break
We met a couple cycle-touring today during second breakfast. They were staying in the attached hotel. Lee also started in the USA and has been out for a while. He’s following a more direct route south (with a lot less wandering than we do). His girlfriend flew into Cartagena to join him for a few weeks of cycling fun.
They are also traveling on a limited budget and tipped us off to the fact that most hotels along the route go for about 10 USD per night, including toilet seats and a fan, and sometimes air conditioning. We’ve been camping in fields, kicking cow chips out of the way, warding off the funk with baby wipes and sweating ourselves to sleep. Silly us.
That night we investigated a handful of hotels and sure enough, they were all in the 10 USD range. We opted for a Baltic Ave property and had a choice of a few hotels. We were finally sold by the fact that one hotel offered both a toilet seat AND a window to the outside. Luxury!
¹Dirt curds are not to be confused with dingle berries, which is a topic for another time.