Tales from the road

Sand, shovels and adrenaline.


So, 10 minutes later it started to rain.

They informed the military post at Nueva Asuncion, 100 km from here, I was coming, so if I would not be there by the end of the day, they would come and look for me. A good thought.

The first 40 km were not too bad. "Well, if it does not get to much worse, I can make it easily“ I thought. So, 10 minutes later my wheels sank 20 cm in soft sand. In reflex I opened the throttle, but at the same time the road had turned into two separate tracks. Half a meter deep (tractor-wheels) which left me little room to move around. Maybe if I would have more space, I would have turned around and headed back. But this was not an option, there was simply no space to turn around.

I went down to first gear and peddled with my feet and with all my strength, at the cost of one liter of sweat and a sickening adrenaline level in my blood, I made it through.The first bad part had lasted about 200 meters. After that it still was a two-track-trail, but the surface was reasonable solid and I could make good time in it. But first I needed to get a rest, and take a photo. One liter of water and a pack of cookies later I was on my way again.

The next bad part I saw coming. Why? Be course it went uphill. I started in second gear, but soon I had to go back to first. I crawled up. But I made it again. After letting Pam cool down (her fans were blowing like crazy), and letting myself return to a more normal state of exhaustion, we went on again.

The next bad part I took with some more speed and this worked. It was hard, and often I could hear myself call out to Pam: "Stay with me!" when she would swirl in the soft sand. And we were through it again. Until the next bad bit. The front wheel dug into the centre-wall of the tracks, crashed through it and, before I knew it, I was backwards. But still sitting on my bike, up straight.

Somehow I managed to turn into the right direction again. Somehow I got Pam moving again, and somehow we made it through again.