Tuesday, August 18, 2009

over hard in plovdiv, sunny side up in kardjali

i always assumed, but never knew for sure, that there was a wall in bike touring. it creeps up slowly, and usually comes after about 7 weeks of strong cycling through unchartered terrain on tight schedules. phillipe, our driver, would have been the first to notice the trend with first a keely, then a nigel, then an eileen, erin, and a shani in the car.
i'd vouched after about a week of riding that i would ride the entire route to istanbul. no matter what. just to prove it to myself, you know? 'you can do it, gala! wooo!'
but once that wall hits you in the middle of the night, and you wake up in the overly-hot gymnasium of the french immersion school in plovdiv, and your stomach is wrenching around, and you make a mad dash to the w.c., you know that today is going to be your day to take a day off and ride in the car.
'is it ok? should i take a day off? really?' i look for reassurance among the team. jake responds, 'didn't you just throw up ten minutes ago while you were talking with phil on the stairs? i think everyone will be okay with you riding in the car, gala.'
considering the fact that the world caved in on me as i dizzily searched for juice in the popmusic playing mega marina supermarket, and i had to make a mad dash to the exit and throw up on the sidewalk, i don't feel that guilty for taking the day off at all.
(writers note: since when did i become so comfortable talking about my stomach activity with the internet? i guess its all part of the touring thing...)
k-os, bob marley, & regina spektor led the way as phil and i rolled in four wheels over the foothills of bulgaria, feeling only slightly sorry for the team.
we have a day off in kardjali today, and i haven't left the little house we are staying in for even a minute. lounging around in my short shorts with keely and sabrina, reading, internetting, dozing off like kittens, as the others hang out in town visiting local media and wandering new streets.
apparently we only have 5 days left. WHAT?! and then 3 days to debrief. it has me thinking about my next four months, and how i'll adjust to not having these 20 amazing kids around me every second of the day.
sayonara for now


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