The Daunting Task Ahead

We are getting ready to depart Suesca and set off South. I’m nervous.

Its great fun picking challenges and seeing them fall. But sat here I’m feeling so small. We are about one tenth of the way into the ride miles wise. But The climbs ahead are huge. The mountains even bigger. To a terrifying point. As a bike ride alone, its big. With the huge weight being hauled, its colossal. While in the hostel this morning I was talking to a french man who was backpacking and hiking about the country. He said he and his friends left the climbing gear at home but hire it where they can because its awkward hauling it around.  An easier way to do it, and a fun way.

A couple of years ago I was hiking the CDT southbound in the States. After tearing away at the trail for a month, I sat down at the top of a mountain alone, off in the distance all I could see were more mountains and ridgelines after all the peaks and ranges I had already covered. I tore away at that trail with every ounce I had, from dawn till dusk a burning fire inside. I covered about 1000 miles and had barely chipped at it. I sat there feeling so small. It was wonderful. I had so little but it was brilliant. I accepted that it couldn’t be bullied into submission, It made me so content. I woke each day with bloodied toes blisters, painful plantar fascia(the bottom of the foot being strained too much), a slow hobble start to each day. Wet half frozen shoes and river crossings to make the blisters burn. Meadows up to my chest covered in dew soaking me through. Its sounds awful, but it was beautiful. Once it was accepted it became easy.

The point I’m trying to poorly make is, I don’t think anybody could call hauling a trailer up a few thousand feet enjoyable, but there is joy to be had in some far off places when the suffering is accepted . Karli was just looking at the ascent we have to do to the Ecuador border- according to Gaia GPS 73,000ft of ascent. I can hope its wrong. We have to cycle up Everest twice and it still will rise 15,000 more feet. Just to get across Colombia. Ouch.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours”. – Henry David Thoreau

Doing the average things can be nice and comfortable. But trying for something more, facing insurmountable odds, even if it were to fail will bring more joy and emotion than you could ever know before setting off. Old Henry is right. Viva la expedición.




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