An Uncertain Point of View

île de Ré and Back [Part 2] Sunday 20 August 2017

Despite the previous entries and despite our attempts at budgeting, it appears we may have to take a rest-day – another one, as, physically at least, today hasn’t been the most challenging – in another bloody hotel this week.

Physically and mentally, we could keep going until we get someone from Warmshowers to actually be available – and just keep moving until then. But there are some practical matters to attend to – there are always some ‘practical matters’ to attend to – that require extended Internet access. Something you cannot take for granted in the France we’ve seen so far – even in hotels! But a hotel is the best bet to have that bloody access. Ironically, we require some of this access to more accurately check our finances and take our budgeting beyond best-guesstimate, whilst simultaneously taking a lump out of our finances in order to do so. But, we also need it to make contact with some people, and there’s still a lot of things that need to be checked on – so maybe it is unavoidable this week.

But we have to get off this track as soon as possible.
It’s bloody unnecessary 
and expensive.
And we don’t even like doing it.
It’ll have to come down to necessity to do so.

We’ve got to get better at sorting out accommodation
or dealing with the lack of it when it isn’t there.

Cos Warmshowers really ain’t cuttin’ it at all in France. We’ve had two great hosts in Normandy, of course, but it appears that the whole of France, or at least Pays de la Loire, has gone on vacation for the middle two weeks of August. And while it may, therefore, be wrong to be either too harsh on the place or the website, I am a bit disenchanted with our ability to escape these costly ‘conveniences’ for longer than a week at a time.

So we have to continue to work on this ability, which is what we are about to do. But please notice, you unknown third person I’m having this conversation with, the word ‘work’ there. Keeping such a lifestyle going is definitely not the easy option. It requires planning and effort and focus to retain the integrity of the essential idea of travelling around from place to place, resting our weary bodies, and then moving on. It’s not just dropping everything and buggering off. It isn’t.

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OK, we’ve found a solution for this week – we are good when we put our heads together and focus. Barring finding a host in Bordeaux for two nights at the end of the week, we are going to camp in the environs of Bordeaux Thursday evening. Then, Friday, work our way into the city to try and make us of the facilities available there: wi-fi, recharging, and laundry. Then drift out of the city as twilight approaches to pitch our tents and make our way on Saturday.

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Down and Round the Rabbit-Hole

Corn Field 12k beyond La Tranche-sur-Mer to the Coast around L’Houmeau [Part 4]: Sunday 19 August 2017

Don’t know how long we can keep living like this. “As long as bloody possible!” my heart says. But it doesn’t matter how free you may have broken from certain conventions or expectations, there’s still this voice that occasionally announces itself and starts discussing the long-term- usually when we take our rest-day within the symbols of convenience and conformity that a hotel’s four-walls signify. But too much long-term – in fact, any-term – thinking really distracts you from living now, 

and the future never comes,
but now is always here,

so you may as well fill it with as much of what you want to be doing.

Then whatever future grows out of that will be based upon that, which can’t be a bad thing: built on optimism, hope, and life, as it would be, rather than on a fear of what might happen if we don’t save this or don’t do that.

Out of a fear of losing a future that hasn’t happened yet – and may never happen – you lose the now.

Seems a shame that.

There are things I’d like to do in the future, though, relating to permaculture, eco-communities, sustainable living, and self-sufficiency that may require some funds, but this journey feels so good, so right, why change it or withdraw from it? Withdraw from negative experiences where possible, sure, but positive ones? just in case? to avoid losing something that you don’t even have for the sake of something you do and something you cherish?

Good paths lead to good places. There may be an unwanted surprise waiting along one of them – sooner? later? – but at least the distance you travelled however far you made it will have been filled with you, and full of good hope, optimism and cheer

and these vibes will echo on.

The set of experiences that combine to give us a sense of I don’t disappear when they go their separate ways. They become greater, just keeping going, as part of the whole everything inhabits in their different temporal bundles of energy – so nothing can really be lost

If you sell your present to a future that hasn’t happened, the only sure thing is that you lose the now. And if your hope for that future you’re afraid to lose is based on the-afraid-you now, then who is to say you’ll grasp that hoped-for-future or even recognise it when you get there?

Unless you’re preparing for a rainy-day, which again, if that’s the only thing you see in your future, how will you know it’s the right rainy-day? Won’t they all seem rainy in some way, but never quite as dark as the one you imagine? Even if you do recognise it, won’t that just be a now created out of a present based on fear, which could only ever lead one way – being born as it is: of fear? Even if there’s nothing bad waiting along the path you finally choose, each step will be fear-filled, tentative, unsure – so, really, how much life will be lived? and what reverberates from such a life-path – as that energy’s rebounding, too?

So we’ll continue on as long as we can – as long as circumstances allow. We just have to assist those circumstances – by not blowing money on niceties that aren’t that nice when you see how much of an impact they have on your ability to maintain the real niceness of life.

We’ve begun budgeting properly, which is cool, and as our love and familiarity with this way of life increases, our perceived need for a hotel or Warmshowers may continue to decrease and help our budget stretch a little longer.

It would be nice to do all of this off our own backs and resourcefulness rather than on any inheritance, which being unearned could be used in a quite lackadaisical and disrespectful way, which would also undermine much of the meaning behind what we’re doing: it would become more of a jolly than a way of life we had chosen to lead.

That money will always be there. For what? For when we finish? Finish what? Start what? The ‘what’ that is part of our combined inheritance one day? But when is that ‘one day’? And is that it and when? Do we not live until there?

Of course not.

Are we just waiting for that day? or do we keep living? 

How?

By living right
and this feels so right that where it leads cannot be wrong,
and it’s damned exciting
and damned exhilarating

because it is so bloody fragile.

The whole of life is just more intense, more real, more lived. It just feels full, and if that sounds egocentric, it’s full not really in the sense of ‘I’ – ‘I have this experience’ – but as in I am just one part of experience – and therefore all experience.

Beautiful. Very intense beauty.

For now, we’ll carry this on. We kind of figured we’d have to hole up somewhere over the Winter months – and that looks like Spain – and that looks like teaching.

We’ve got a better idea of how far finances might take us. Amazing how not far given the fact that we only buy food. Even if we get used to not having to hotel and only Warmshower, we still only have enough for the next eight weeks: until the middle of October, so we could be teaching by then…

…but how long will we have to work to be able to have enough to stop teaching and just ride again?

We don’t know.

It’s just: keep going and see.

I’m now being an example of trying to control a future that hasn’t happened.

We can only continue along a strong positive presence that enables us to fill our presents with positivity; and the positive now is to keep doing what we’re doing while it continues to make sense. In order to do that, we need to work out a budget, work to a budget, and work on getting it down: learning to economise wherever we can.

We are, but it is a learning process – quite a harsh one sometimes – and other things will crop up that we need to be ready for, so we do need some rainy-day money, but how do we get that rainy-day money back up to where it was? and have the money to start travelling again in March?

I don’t think we can.

How do we keep this Tracing Horizons’ show rolling without recourse to resources not of our own earning or making?

The way we can.

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23:55. Wow, the stars!

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Playing it by Ear

Brno to Těšetice [Part 3]: Tuesday 11 July 2017

17:20. After 51k and three and three quarter hours of riding, we find ourselves in the centre of Miroslav.

Leaving Czechia tomorrow.

We’ve got korona in our pockets to burn after ensuring we’ve been carrying enough cash since Saturday’s dash, so we’re looking to stay in a B+B. A likely candidate being in Prosiměřice. Unfortunately, it looks a step too far in terms of time if there isn’t a room and we have to find a place to camp – and we still need to eat at some point.

So here we are in Miroslav, with its two airstrips(?), one quite expensive (possibly) hotel, and a pizzeria. If this hotel looks off or is too much, we’ve still got enough light-time to find somewhere to make camp; and even bad pizza is better than some good crap. Though I see a restaurant to my right, it looks more like the type of place whose vegetarian option could be mashed potatoes served with roast potatoes drenched in bacon (coz bacon ain’t really meat, is it 🤔).

We’ll see.

Lovely riding from Syrovice: flying with bees along really quiet country lanes (kept my mouth shut this time 😎).

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No room at the inn. Not on Mondays and Tuesdays, anyway, as it’s closed. The town did have bit of a half-day feeling to it when we arrived, as it goes.

Finally, two villages further than planned, in Těšetice, we find ourselves in an apartment, which we paid for in euros, so we’ve still got our korona(?!); but, having come so far, at such an hour, during peak harvesting in this region, the chance of finding a decent place to to camp, with our simultaneously diminishing energy levels, was slim.

We happy.

It’s 67k for the the day (the furthest so far) and 4 hours 50 minutes riding, so time to put the feet up and not drink that beer that we weren’t able to buy at that shop that doesn’t exist now.

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