I read somewhere once that in life, bad luck comes like raisins in a box of cereal: in groups, streaks and clusters.
I got a whole load of raisins recently.
Basically, last week was crap.
Here’s a little summary:
I managed to break not one, but four (!) spokes on the rear wheel going up a hill in Galicia. It took me 4 hours to fix and make the wheel straight again.
My old mattress went faulty so I had a new one delivered to me. And it went faulty on the first day after leaving Vigo—it leaks air; so for the last week I’ve basically been sleeping on what feels like 2 pieces of paper stuck together.
My bike stand broke. You know, the one that makes my bike look all majestic in the photos as she stands upright with some mountains in the background. Now she lies on her side all disorientated on the ground and people come up and ask, “Is everything all right?”
“Yes my life is BLOODY PERFECT, OKAY.”
“…and it hasn’t rained in over 2 months!”
And because it hadn’t rained in a while, I had just been sleeping outside without a tent. So I was rudely awakened at 6a.m when the heavens fell and soaked me and all my stuff.
And, and, I thought it would be pretty funny to take a picture of this situation and at least show the internet how terrible it was, so I took out my phone and lo and behold, the memory card was corrupt. I lost all the pictures and programs on my phone and it won’t let me take any more photos 🙁
And later that day I broke two more spokes. 🙁 🙁
I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It’s been more difficult than cycling through the Alps or rolling through temperatures in excess of 40 degrees in Morocco. And that’s because if all of the above weren’t enough, for the last 800km of cycling, the wind has been blowing 100% into my face. It makes me feel like I’m going the wrong way around the world. And it makes every pedal 100% harder.
Frankly, there are several other things I could add to this list, but I won’t. You get the idea.
Despite this, I’ve managed to cover quite a distance: from the hills around Vigo, across the hot plains of northern Spain, to the colder hills around Pamplona. The price of coffee roughly correlating with how attractive the villages are—generally increasing along the way. I’ve been doing little sections of the Camino de Santiago (al revés) watching those smiley-faced bike tourists going the other way, barely pedalling. And people on the way think I’m just doing the Camino, which saves a lot of explaining.
Probably the only way I did make it in a short time was because I started cycling at night, to beat the wind, which was significantly calmer then. I was pedalling along deserted roads in the middle of nowhere with the Milky Way stretching from one horizon to the other above my head; Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and a slither of moon all visible. And I saw my first on-bicycle shooting star.
And from a nice café in Pamplona, *sips expensive coffee* …it was worth it. Would I do it again? Hell no.
May your raisins forever be evenly dispersed.