“I have shagged the boss and now I need to find a new job...I am looking for something more extraordinary” Bridget Jones famous words echo through my amused mind as I sit on Chizumula Island, Lake Malawi, Africa waiting for the second replacement set of gear cables from the infamous not so reliable world wide shipping malorky from SJS Cycles in the UK, a story for another post. Now back to the various leg wraps.......
(Please enjoy these photos that have nothing whatsoever to do with the words in this blog post...However, FYI, I have been having loads of fun with the new Canon Powershot G12 camera, thanks Dad for sending the packages out to me, you are a great Dad)
With another birthday approaching this month, and my singleton status firmly embedded into my “hard on all types of relationships” lifestyle of contantly rolling on for the love of travel and quest of cycling a line that rounds the world, a grand debate has taken hold of my fearful horny old maid almost 40 year old mind. Is it better to wrap your legs around a boy or a magic bicycle? Why the hell DO I choose to cycle tour solo? Something that has been heavy on my mind due to my upcoming interview for the BBC solo women in sports news hour.
I will be the first to admit that getting chased down the street by some mind baffling lunatic in Ethiopia who clearly did not understand that he could not have a visit in my pants, left me digging deep for an alternative solution to the attention from a couple of local perves. Finally, after all other passive wise cracks and humorous hand gestures, I resorted to threatening the last of the willy wielding skeevey perves with a coke bottle. Which sent him running off, at least then the correct individual was the one running, I reasoned to myself as I pedaled Pandemic The Magic Bicycle south through East Africa with an injured sense of humor and Willy my x-L knife at the top of my panniers but otherwise unscathed.
After getting robbed of laptop, camera, gear etc inTanzania, halting my writing and the WOW (womenonwheels) wall, it was time to retreat from the road, time to find something else to do with my time. I had to wait for replacement gear cables and packages to replace my gear twice this past 7 weeks anyway. So find something else to do I did. I tucked away at the Wakwenda Retreat on Chizumulu Island, Malawi to volunteer at the lodge, swim everyday, gain some needed weight, see a dentist, dry out the tear ducts, cook for guests, carry some rocks for a new chalet, offer unasked for managerial advice, oh la la with the boss, and repeat. What can I say here, I could never stay away from the boys and what is the point of retreating unless ALL hedonist pleasures of thoroughly covered.
After having pedaled 30,000 km ( at best guess) in the last 3 ½ years, it is not my legs that I have been resting, it is my sense of humor and questioning whether or not to continue this adventurous some times lonesome life on the road. Is 3 ½ years of continuous solo touring too long? Was this world line not supposed to be covered over my entire lifetime? And, not about taking my first ever punch in the face in Ethiopia and cycling through the strong “rob me now” vibes of Tanzania. Almost, grateful to finally be robbed on the African continent and end the suspense. Practically offering people money to NOT hit me with a rock, machete or hold a gun to me and to just take what they want and leave me standing with a smile. Which, I am truly grateful that they did.
Do I recommend East Africa by bicycle Cairo to Capetown, you will have to ask me later. But, will I carry on to Capetown with a repaired sense of humor new gear cables, gear shifter, camera, laptop, fresh gear etc? YES, after celebrating a moldy 40 on Chizumula Island, I will head out choosing to wrap my legs around my beloved bicycle once again heading into the rain season from Malawi across Zambia, Namibia and then South to Capetown with a fresh gregarious giggle pondering the many pros and cons of riding boys and bicycles.