Day 169 562 days to go. Distance: today: 0 km total 8862 km. It’s 1pm Thursday 17/5/2012 on route to UB. I’m sharing my toffee candy with the Mongolian woman next to me so we’re buds. It’s sooo bizar driving back past what’s been an epic ride with layers of cool tough stuff and experience. Don’t get me wrong I’m very happy to be bussing it back to UB it’s just the experience is so different. I am happy to have done what we have to compare and feel the difference. I almost didn’t get on the bus this morning. The bus driver saw Rube all dismantled as I had been told to do and said,’no.’ I ran back to the guesthouse and grabbed a worker who could speak some English. She explained how we had been told it was ok to take Rube and that I had a plane to catch (just to add a bit of urgency like there wasn’t enough drama already 🙂 He then said ok as long as I paid another full fare which I was kinda expecting. He could of asked for the cash in the first place. Anyway who knows and who cares. There was no blood shed and we’re now over half way there yay!! We stopped earlier at a crazy one horse town for lunch. Actually there were about a dozen horses all roaming sleepily about the empty shops fronts. It looked like a movie set. Another bus pulled up and I met a dutch fella on board. He travelled to Mongolia 3 years ago to do aid work, ended up marrying a local woman, and is now running a chain of bookshop supplies to the rural community. Check it out on the internet http://www.bookbridge.org His name was Tim and the ‘lunch stop’ version of his story was very interesting. Back on the bus I spent some time responding to an email from the Sunshine Coast Daily. The timing is quite lovely and gives me a chance to put words round recent events but with eyes that reflect the last 6 months. Yesterday afternoon was just awesome. First I went for a walk/run into the hills behind Tseterleg. Once over the first range you’re literally in the wild and it’s rocky with the smell of pine trees and summer ground flowers. Honestly it was one of the most beautiful places I have walked. I later found out there’s even bears in the area but I can’t imagine too many being so close to town. i didn’t see any scat or other signs. When I got back to the guesthouse a bunch of lads had arrived from a week jeep tour around the aimig. They said there was a girl Naomi from Brisbane down in the cafe. As it turns ut she is from Palm wood Sunshine Coast and works at Chenrezi the local Buddhist retreat. A friend of mine is a monk there and they are also good friends. How freeky!!!! Bla bla bla bla bla yadda yudda bla bla. And it went on. Lovely chats. Naomi is 46 and also having a step way from life as usual so we had allot to share big big fun! She was actually staying at a yurt camp out of town which I had walked past that afternoon. So I was really lucky to have crossed paths and she’s going to send my love to Carla when next on Facebook yay. While packing, the lads from the jeep trip popped in to say hi and we also got talking about Mongolia and other travels and philosophies. Soo bloody interesting I loved it. One fella Tim from Wisconsin has been in Mongolia for 3 years with his wife doing aid work. They have recently visited home and said their appreciation for what they have is so different nowadays. Sounds familiar doesn’t it but three years wow!!! I can’t imagine the level of impact after such an extended time. I have a place to stay if my travels pass their way. It was late to bed and an early rise so horizontal sounds pretty good right now. It’ still a way off with travel and getting to the guesthouse which is 7km from the bus station. Not 141km so IT’S ALL GOOD (just for you Mops 🙂
It’s 10pm and Rube and I have arrived safe and sound. Except my girl got a flat half way into town. Bugga! Time to push but on the bright side it wasn’t up over a long steep pass on gravel. It was nice to arrive at the guesthouse and be welcomed like an old friend. After sitting on my backside all day in the bus it was good to go for a long walk to the bike shop to get a new tube and box to pack the girl. I had dumped all my spare tubes in Tseterleg not expecting a flat. It was good to see the bike shop folk but they were disappointed I wasn’t cycling on. I finally got to meet the owner Khaliun. She’s totally lovely. We had great chats about her business and cycling and general girly conversation. She’s keen to do dinner tomorrow night and will email to confirm tomorrow. So now I have my bike box and tomorrow will make some enquiries as to how best pack with the luggage restrictions. I may even post some stuff or send by consignment depending on costings compared to airline excess fees. I’ve done some seriously overdue washing tonight including myself so now I’m all squeaky and won’t smell like a yak when out in public tomorrow yay. I’m ready for bed so I’ll finish off with the response I wrote for the news paper article. The questions asked were: How is it all going? What is the biggest thing you have learnt about yourself since being on this trip?What is the most special thing you have learnt about the world? What was it like meeting up with your family over there? What is the most amazing experience you have had so far? How is your body coping with all the cycling? Only a few lines may get printed but the detail counts so its nice to share and a cool way to round off this stage of travels.
The posts will keep coming despite the pause button on the kms. Where to from here will evolve over the next months so stay tuned. As you have probably figured out by now there’s allot more to shecyclesolo than just the kms. My sister Kittie wrote recently,’the adventure continues whether in Maleny or Mongolia.’ Talk soon x
“I have decided to head home now for a time to reconnect, recoup, recover, reassess, refocus and replan. By no means have I finished my shecyclesolo adventure. Far from it. However I do need a time to digest my experiences and learnings which have been extensive and intense. This is a time to connect with home, family and friends, play with ideas and make decisions on future directions when the time is right. Home is where my heart wants to be and I listen to it’s truth and trust it impeccably. I am very rich to have that insight moreso nowadays as a result of my travels. This is the biggest thing I have learnt about myself since being on this trip. Keeping a balance between what’s good and right is everything. I am soooo fortunate to have the opportunity to do this trip, soooo fortunate to have the experiences I’m having and sooo fortunate to have the love and support of family and friends to share my fortunes. It’s very special for me to crave home and appreciate how rich I am with what counts.
The most special thing I have learnt about the world is beautifully captured in a recent Mongolian experience. In Tariat I stayed with a family at their guesthouse. The mother, Tunga is an English teacher and we enjoyed many girly chats over the days. Tunga explained that Mongolian people believe they have been given the land and animals to live off and as such must take care of them both. They look after the land so it will always be there for them. She said this is the core of Mongol belief. This belief is passed on through the generations by the family and community. She spoke with such heartfelt warmth it was very inspiring how the simple works so well for those who live simply. Tunga also spoke about how they have very little money but every day say how rich they are with family and friends and closeness. They don’t want for anything and do what they can to help and share their fortune with others in need. She said how life is so long and we should never judge others with our eyes on the day as a person may behave badly one day but with goodness in time. She said how proud she is of her husband as he always treat people equally based on this principle. A beautiful conversation to have and encapsulates the most special thing I have learnt about the world.
Spending the 10 days in Beijing with Mum and Dad has been my most amazing experience so far. My longing to share this time had intensified over the 111 days. China was such a landmark country in my planning which I shared with the folks over many ‘Wild China’ video sessions. In particular I got to see may parents walk arm-in-arm along their own section of the great wall. How many people get to see this hey?
Physically my body is coping ok with all the cycling. It’s been tough managing the temperature extremes particularly in Mongolia. I have been sleeted on at -10 while cycling to Tariat with sunburnt legs from only days earlier. I am sooo happy but emotionally full as a goog and need to stop and digest. I may even have a tinker with book writing and pull together the highlights of what’s been a physical and emotional huge ride pardon the pun.
Right now it’s time to get me and Rube home safe, take a deep breath of Maleny air and be with family. There is allot happening at home. For starters my partner is on leave from Timor, my cousins have their new baby, my dad turns 80, my nephew from Germany arrives for 12 months in Australia, I need to bear hug family after loosing our Nana on the 10/4 and I can scatter Monty’s ashes on our farm. Monty passed away on the 10/5. I get to share this significant stuff with the people I love and that counts big. ‘Shecyclesolo’ is a trip shared and owned by many who have been with me every peddle of the way. I owe so many so much for their support, kind words and love. x”