Day 163 568 days to go. Distance: today: Rest day total 8811km. It’s 10.15am Friday 11/5/2012 Tetserleg. It was a long night with not much sleep had and a very heavy and sad heart. The head and heart are such different places aren’t they, with their own space and way of working. I cuddled my purple jacket like a big comfy grape. You’re never too old for a ‘blanky.’ J This morning I woke at 9am and checked my emails. Yet again It catches my breath how support from friends and family makes such a difference to the spirit. I could have easily turned on my heals and peddles this morning and headed home. Not to give up but to be where my heart wants to be. And then I read an email from my family who live in Maleny and who know all too well the extreme personality of Little Head. Reading their email made me laugh and cry and has lifted the spirit no end. I know they won’t mind me sharing it in part….
‘How sad to hear about Monty. Obviously our thoughts are with you, as she has been with you for a long time. 13 years, wow, I remember when you got her, such a little feisty thing she was. Remember when Sarah was born, how jealous she was if you went to pick her up or spend any attention at all, on ‘that human small thing’. You were hers, and she intended to keep you to herself. It’s good that she spent her last years as a farm dog. She had freedoms on the farm that the city didn’t allow. She wasn’t locked in a house all day, she could roam within her own confines, and her and Honey could escape if the current stopped!! Remember the furniture that the goats wrecked in the neighboring yards! Travel safe in the knowledge that her spirit rides with you now, hope you have a special spot that she can sit comfortably on rube, because she will keep ‘getting up and moving until she is comfortable’ and that may cause rube to wobble.’ (thanyou J, K and S xxxooo)
I also heard from Beth from Melbourne, doing aide work in Eastern Mongolia. ‘Hi maree. i am very sorry to hear about your little one but am glad to hear her life was full and happy. it is hard losing your best friend at any time but i bet your first day riding solo will be a tough one being so far away. Combined with the sadness and apprehension of setting off without a partner in crime. You will be in my thoughts as we share the same stars at the moment. I also wanted to let you know that you have inspired me and I am seriously thinking of cycling home from here when my assignment finishes. I am looking into having my bike sent over – so thank you. Your courage is amazing. Perhaps I can be the first person to retrace your steps, which would be fitting as another solo Australian female rider. – of course not nearly as hard core knowing that someone has been before you, paved the way, and provided such a detailed account of their adventure. So again, thank you. Happy and safe trails, Beth
The irony Beth is that you have in turn inspired me to take a deep breath and set off again with a heart full of clarity about what this time is about. I see Life as one big opportunity for experience. To open myself up to challenge and let the soul teach me appreciation for what counts. This chance is a gift and my courage is nothing unique. Human courage and kindness is universal and the choice is ours to live in the world we make. Scary things are to be mindful of to make good decisions. Fear empowers the weak and humanity is far better than that, capable of such cool and amazing stuff. Thankyou Beth. It’s nice knowing we are sharing the same stars when it’s not snowing (J)
So I dragged my incredibly puffy eyes out of bed (not a good look thank god I’m already married J) made a coffee and checked out the world outside. It’s been snowing most of the night but this morning is warmer with a weather change around the corner. It’s so bizar to see snow over the rocky hillside where I scrambled up and blanketed over the town. There was a baby yak just hanging out and grazing outside the guesthouse. Darling beast they make the best noise. It’s like a huffing deep moo with serious attitude. Their girth and shoulders are so strong and built for hills and resilience with their heavy coat and dreads. I was enjoying him just mulling about when a woman and her son walked passed face full of smiles and wanting to chat. The boy’s name is pronounced ‘Oosta’ and is 10 years old. He had a homemade bow and arrow that he was using as a light saber to scare me off. Of course I gave him my best Obi One Konobi impersonation and we exchanged a make belief saber duel and big giggles. His mum allowed me to take a couple of photos. She was very shy and full of joy. I’ve headed now to the internet cafe to download the photos and do up my post before heading tomorrow. The internet is a bit slow but working. I am mindful of what Katie said yesterday about how amazing it is to be able to stay connected across this vast country. Ulistay should be about 8 days away subject to unplanned events and weather. But you’ll be able to stay tuned to where we are at through the spot message. I hope Kang found somewhere warm to stay last night. I know he was hoping to hitch as the ol’ fella was feeling the pinch a little not having done too much riding over the last eight months before Mongolia. I was able to check out his photos in Hohorin and get a copy. It is nice to have some candid photos with me cycling and enjoying some of the many cool experiences we shared. I have included these photos in this post.
I’m having a look through the phrase book as the photos download and there are a handful of essentials I’ve already been using plus some extra good ones to keep in the front brain. I have been calling the wooden prayer poles chortens but they are actually called ovoo. Here’s some others: sain bai-nuu or sain uu (hello and how are you?), bai yar tai (goodbye), bai yar la laa (thankyou), tiim (yes), ugui (no), ta ny nii rig (your name?), mi nii ne rig Maree (my name is maree), usstraat (Australia), bi usstraat ir sen (I’m from Australia), bi ger bul tei (I am married), cow (unee, yamaa (goat), mori (horse), kho ni (sheep), sar lag (yak), zogs (stop), baga (little), ikh (big), gol (river), nuur (lake), nuruu (mountain range), tsas (snow), Benzin (Unleaded petrol for the cooker), us (water), uul (mountain), zakh (market), zocgid budal (hotel)
I got an email from my partner just before with the funniest caption that encapsulates the Billiard Ball head.
‘Monty is so definitely with you… a perfect little grrrrrrrr’ing guardian angel, I can just picture it. Little wings and a look of disgust on her face… ‘what the frick are these things’ until she gets used to them, and then she will be harassing eeeevery one.’ Lol’ing still my love x 🙂
It’s been a 4 hour session to get the photos uploaded but it was important to me to do this. Next update will be from Ulistay I’m imagining. Until then enjoy the galleries and send us lots of + vibes
I need to let you know also that Blue dog and Miss J have found a new home. Apparently some local child or child at heart needed their company more and took them off Rube’s handle bars. Goodness knows what adventures they will now have. How incredibly intrepid of them both. We had a good time over the last week riding together so they will have lots of awesome stories to share with their new family here in Tsetserleg.
It’s 3pm and the guesthouse folk have been kind enough to let me have my complimentary breakfast somewhat late Oppsy. I been enjoying my scrambled eggs and toast (with lots of tomato sauce) all the while reading over an email from my other sister. God I’m so lucky and it’s a very good thing to be so loved. Talk soon x Janet wrote:
Sad news Ree,
But you’re sounding okay. I’m glad you’ve taken these days off…okay
the weather’s not been very supportive to venture further out west in all that snow, but time needs to be spent reliving and mourning for your little canine mate with the ferocious dentures. Love (your partners) words to
you. You were feeling so much sadness and doubt….I’m so glad you got up, with the puffy eyes, and walked outside to encounter the world as it
came to you…and how wonderful was that. Well done! Your journey continues so keep on pedaling and posting and waking up to that wonder for the next 568 days! Just know you’re not riding alone! Kisses, ride safely and keep “blanky” close. XXx