droga (6)

It feels good to be lost in the right direction

Today, I will tell you something about ghosts. First, the Poles. Two men came from Vancouver to hunt deer. They appeared suddenly – just stopped next to the bench where I was sitting, and after a while I was given some canned food, two jars of minced meat, a huge loaf of good bread and three twenty-dollar bills. – Buy yourself a cup of coffee – said one of them.

A few days later a car stopped in front of me and a friendly-looking man asked if I would like to spend the night under the roof, take a shower and get a decent dinner. At first I thought I had misunderstood something or that I was being delirious, because – believe it or not – a minute ago I thought exactly about how wonderful it would be to finally take a shower and rest a little.

The place to which he had invited me turned out to be a roadside motel. The room had a bathroom and a deep bath in it. For two hours I was in complete bubble bliss, which was prolonged by the flow of hot water.

In the morning I got breakfast. Three huge pancakes, six pieces of bacon, three fried eggs, fried potatoes, some toasts with jam and coffee with a jar of maple syrup. At first I thought I would not be able to eat it all, but I did. It is unbelievable how much you can eat after a dozen or so months of cycling. I did not even notice when the plates were taken from the table – I stared at the little picture hanging over it: Live every moment, laugh every day, love beyond words.

I wanted to thank that guy who invited me to the motel the previous day, but no one saw him. What was even more surprising was the fact that the lady from the kitchen did not seem to know who I was asking for. But surely somebody had to tell her to prepare that huge breakfast for me. Anyway, the man disappeared.

And I can’t forget to mention Debbra and Blair – the couple I met six years earlier in the vicinity of hot springs. Debbra drove her car five hundred kilometers to meet me up and then took me to her home. Unforgettable three days which I spent on talking and resting, wandering if I really deserved such lavish hospitality and care.

One day I met a red fox. I saw him from a distance, so I stopped. I was looking at him and he was looking at me and suddenly he came closer. It thought that I was drawing him towards me as if on an invisible cord of mutual interest. He slipped under the bicycle and touched me with his nose. Then he sniffed one of the panniers, sat down, and kept looking until a car finally stopped nearby, from which a woman came out. She approached us and the fox ran away into the forest.

– Is it your mascot, you cycle with a fox? – she asked suddenly, after exchanging standard questions: where, why, absolutely, good for you, have a good one.

– No, it was a ghost – I replied.

It’s getting colder, quieter and I’m getting closer to the end. And I still do not know what to do next. I keep thinking about what to do with the pebble which I’m carrying from Patagonia. I could have given it to the fox, but what he would do with such a stone? Maybe I should give it to the world? But there are plenty of stones in the world. So, maybe I’ll give it to the silence. I’ll throw it into the silence. The silence will accept anything. Without any unnecessary words, without translations.

Live very moment, laugh every day, love beyond words. Maybe the silence helps. Just like a dream. Maybe the travel does it also? After all, traveling is a bit like looking for some fairy tales, isn’t it?


a bird“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” Tim Cahill

I was cycling slowly in the stillness of the night, looking for a place to put up my tent. I tried to spot something which would be more than a shallow ditch or a fragment of meadow on the edge of the forest. Canada differs from Mexico or Colombia. Knocking at the door does not equal an invitation for a supper. Firstly, there are less and less houses and gas stations. Secondly, even if I’m so lucky that I can get to some buildings just before sunset, I have no guarantee that someone will let me stay nearby. Money would fix all things. There are lots of motels or campgrounds along the way. The problem is that with my twelve American dollars daily budget I simply cannot afford them. 

After all, sleeping in the forest does not sound so bad. But the nights often end with a morning visit of a teddy bear. Then, I do not know how to behave. I carry bear spray and I keep it handy but everybody says that if the bear is hungry the spray will not save me and I will be eaten anyway. 

That time the buildings appeared unexpectedly – I might well write that they suddenly fell down straight from the sky. A pale light was coming through half-drawn curtains. I came closer.

– No problem, you can put up your tent wherever you want – said an older, white-beard man after opening the door. – But please get inside if you wish. We will talk a little and drink a beer. Santa Claus, I thought, someone dropped him from heaven.

The words hovered over the table, rose, then dropped and faded. The smoke hid them in the  reigned chaos of papers, cans, glass pieces, wood and metal frames. In one of them – my host with a young woman. Sunny and cheerful faces with clear sky in the background.

The cats came out only after some time. First, the ginger ones and then – the huge black-and-white feline creature. – Strange that she came out – said James. – She never shows herself to a stranger.

I stretched out my hand, she came closer and then jumped on my knees. I touched her once, then she fled and did not come back. The time stopped, and so did we in it.

In the morning a bird song woke me up. It sounded like a bell. I listened for a moment, but the sound melted into silence and did not repeat itself. I said goodbye to the man. I kept on listening. The bird was gliding in the sky, higher, and higher, until it disappeared in the clouds.