Day 420 / Huallanca – Chavinillo, Peru / 55 miles (Total 10,020)
10,000 miles and 14 months of touring. Have I changed since the first day I left? I think so. A few more white hairs and a greater appreciation for each day of life. Do I miss home? For sure. I miss my family, friends, and my girlfriend. I miss a refrigerator filled with food and flushing toilet paper. The bad days are tough on the road, but the good days make up for them ten fold. I may never get a chance for a ride like this. This just may be a ride of a life time, and I take in each day as if is my last.
As the months are winding down now, and only a few remain. I look back at where this all started and the feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming. It’s a great goal of mine to ride 15,000 miles to the tip of South America. But, it’s even a greater feeling coming closer to the $100,000 for cancer research. Two giant goals wrapped into one adventure. Whenever I open the E-mail and see another donation given, I think back to how this started. Family and friends supporting this idea. A stranger (now a great friend) named Tammy donating so much of her time to help, and people I have never met sending donations and words of support. I will never consider Pedaling for Pennies “my fundraiser”. It’s a combination of all of you. So, once again, thank you!
To all the people around my age (cough 40 cough) reading this blog. When we were kids growing up the word cancer never existed. As we grew into our teenage years our grandparents were diagnosed and passed away. In our 20’s, our parents were diagnosed and left us too soon. Now, we are seeing our own kids fighting this terrible disease. I have heard great stories on the road of survival and sad stories of baby’s passing away from cancer. I have made great friends from Alaska to Peru through Pedaling for Pennies. This fundraiser has taught me one great thing though… When people come together, we can make a change. Only two countries left and three short months to Ushuaia, I hope you can help out.
By late afternoon we were completely shot from a hard days ride. Our nerves were shot from the normal crazy drivers and blowing horns. We wanted some peace and quiet when we got into town, and that wouldn’t happen. As we got closer to our destination, I think we were all ready to snap. Cars riding our asses, laying on their horns. Kids running beside us screaming GRINGO,GRINGO, GRINGO,GRINO!!! Well, you get the point. It felt like someone was going to get slapped, and well, someone did. I was pedaling beside Marko when this kid pushed his limits a little to far. He was screaming GRINGO as loud as he could, then tried to steal some clothing off of Marko’s bike. Marko slapped that kids hand so hard, that it sent the kid into shock I think. I really couldn’t help myself, but laugh out loud at the kid. We made it into the weird little town and word spread fast, gringos were in town. The sleeping situations were not the best here and we were talking about what to do next. As we were talking the locals circled around us, as if they were part of the conversation. We finally got a good price on a better hostel in town and packed our gear into a tight little room. I was beat and feel asleep by 8:00 that night.
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