Peace and Love

Monday 17 July 2017: Aachen to Asse [Part 1]

Am receiving lots of touching messages of condolence and support regarding the news back in England. Concern is also being expressed that our bike trip appears to have been nipped in the bud so soon.

But, as I have said in a number of responses: these paths have lots of twists and turns, don’t they?

Just as life in this form continues for those whose physical and mental sustains, the journey, whilst taking a wholly unanticipated detour, incorporating a lot less pedal action – though the bikes remain our constant companions, even in our rooms overnight (they don’t snore) – continues.

The door to our previous flat wasn’t just closed for the time being as we left it behind at the end of June, but locked. This was about pursuing a way of life we had worked hard towards for over two years.

Our life was to be lived experiencing the world as viscerally and unmediatedly as possible; working our way around the globe without any specific geographical goals; just following our hearts – both our own and those that pulled them.

I guess, ultimately, we saw ourselves as travelling from A to A, i.e., returning to Poland to embark on our permaculture, eco-project; employing anything that we had learnt along the way. But, just as the route would be the right one, taking us the right way when it felt right, our time of return would also be determined as and when it felt right.

And none of that has changed. The verbs in those previous three paragraphs are all still present (except the one about locking the door: that’s still locked).

Now we are travelling the way that is right, because it feels right: it is just one more twist and turn on this journey, which is just life by any other name – life lived with and on a bike.

Nothing changes. Everything changes. Life goes on.

The journey continues (for all of us).

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But, again, to emphasise, as this is the point where I came in: those messages of support and sympathy have been overwhelmingly touching. Thank you: I love you all.

Peace and love is the most precious thing; we know this, we feel it, and its preciousness is heightened and intensified by its absence; so hold onto it, give it, share it, every moment, as much as you can: make the world a better place.

Peace and love.

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Getting Away

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Kraków to Jaroszowice: Friday 30 June 2017

0640. The moment is upon us!

Since the seed of an idea to travel around the world by some means instantly germinated one Sunday back in April 2014, we have already travelled so far. After preparations and meetings, and research and planning, the almost unspeakably and almost unbearably anticipated day and time of arrival is upon us. No matter how much we have prepared – and we have – we now roll into a true unknown and a world of new experience. And we’re excited to burst; or ‘something’ to burst, at least 😉

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1255. We set off much later than planned, with a sense of empty anticipation; which sounds negative, but means that we were full of anticipation, without really having any idea of what we were anticipating. So, at around 10:50am, after a manic last few weeks, we finally put into motion what had become the focus of our lives over the previous two years; me with a 33kg-laden bike, Agnieszka around 30k – much of a muchness (as long as she’s not carrying more as I’m such a gentleman) – and away we wobbled and swayed uncertainly, swiftly realising the difference between being able to pack pretty much everything and being able to carry pretty much everything. But we knew from experience that that’ll come after an hour or two.

And into a fairly fierce headwind we pushed away from what had been our home for the previous seven years, into the true unknown, which was one of the ideas, after all.

And now we’re towards the end of our second stop – a proper lunch stop, with old-school Polish coffee, ‘fusy’, from a restaurant in the charmingly situated village of Czernichów.

It’s a beautiful day. Sunny, with a cooling breeze, occasionally rousing itself to a wind again, as we’re creeping up the temperatures: now at around 28ºC from the 23º when we set off.

After our first mini-break, Agnieszka took the lead, as became our habit last year on our Kraków to Źlinice, Źlinice to Kraków experience. But now it’s different: we’re just doing this for pleasure. We’re not on a record-breaking mission, and so I think I’ll slip in behind Agnieszka and keep it at her slightly more pleasant pace; while mine’s pleasant for me, it is a touch above A’s comfort zone, so … and the view’s better from here 😉

1303. A quick stretch under a tree, and away we go. Bielsko-Biała-way, though I think that’ll be tomorrow now, as today is just making the break: getting away.

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1624. Wadowice. Supermarket. One thing we did get right is that we will be very different people once we set off. Hmm, maybe not different people, but with a different outlook. We are very much alone: it’s just us.

Tiring now. The adrenalin that fuelled us towards being ready to leave this morning and the adrenalin of anticipation flatlined some point after commencing the not-as-rewarding-as-we-deservered looonnnng ascent into Wadowice.

The bikes are heavy. Constant climbs continue at 10% for toooo long. We’ve packed stuff in the wrong panniers for accessibility. But there was only one way to find this out: all the preparation in the world cannot preclude all eventualities. ‘You can’t write about what you don’t know.’

“They don’t have anything we need.” Just garlic, a few mushrooms and a few bits to make an evening meal. Supermarkets only cater for mass consumption and waste!

And we need to find a suitable place to camp – and eat!!

And it’s already 4:45pm!!!

A difficult first day.

“Będzie dobrze.” Kocham ją.