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    Day 1.121 – Me, petrified : toad, wet

    Soto la Marina -> San Fernando
    Distance (km) : 134
    Time on bike : 6h 20m
    Brutto time: 09.00 – 18.00
    Avg : 21.3 km/h
    Max.speed: 50.5
    Total (km) : 46.403
    Altitude: 50 m
    Difficulty: 3½ of 5

    I’m in escape mode as soon as I hit the streets of Soto La Marina. Before breakfast no one should talk to me. I find the nearest Oxxo kiosk with cold milk and a hot cappuchino and find a spot in the shade to better enjoy the morning.

    It is a long and hot standard day in the saddle. I have 270 km to Matamoros at the US border, and although I try to convince myself that it is okay to take the time it takes to get there, then the tiger in me is obsessed with the idea of getting there by tomorrow evening. I really try to keep the tiger at rest, ‘cos with a whole day of head wind, e.g, it would be an (unnecessary?) struggle to get there in just two days, with 135 km both days.

    Artist of the Day: Port O’Brien

    It is as if the intense heat around me and the indomitable concentration inside me petrifies the social fabric in me and makes it almost impossible to engage in all the random roadside conversations, that come my way each day. It is not because I do not want to socialize, it is more because the physical excercise in the heat makes my head feel like the explosion is near and you’re just not very receptive of chitchat in that state. For the people I meet, it is hard to understand this situation, and I don’t expect them to understand – I just want them to leave me alone.

    You can buy this day here – and become a part of the WT Hall of Fame 🙂

    I see many (and statistically more) thick Mexicans (all ages) here in northern Mexico than down south. Wonder if it’s the American influence, that is not only visible in the huge number of large 4-wheel-drives (GMC, Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep etc) that are everywhere – and is there perhaps a connection between the big tommies and the big cars?

    Nothing new under the evening sun: I find a surprisingly cheap casa de huéspedes (Eulógio) for only 120 pesos (52 USD), the cheapest bed in Mexico, and it’s a cozy family-run place with a smiling, loving mama. Private bath, cable TV.

    The Toad:
    In the shower a little frightened toad jumps around on the floor. Mean as a boy, I choose to test its amphibian characteristics and pour heaps of water on it to see how well it handles the situation. The toad, only 1½ cm long and almost transparent, is fighting a long and honest struggle to get away from the water, but when it flips around lying on the back, it’s as if the air goes out of it. It lies completely still on his back and for a shameful moment I think it is dead (which would be interesting for my little amfibium experiment, but sad for my ego). It soon recuperates and I let it live in peace with its double life as a water and land creature.

    The evenings are significantly longer here 25 degrees north of the Equator than I have been used to further south in the Tropics. Even at 8PM it is still bright. At 8.45 all cats are gray.

    (Come back for photos some other day)

    On this day..

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