Day 24 – the hopeless uploads
There’s really not much to write about being sat in a McDonald’s for 5 hours watching a 4.5min video clip taking 1.5 hours to upload to YouTube. Let me try: they do a very good job of making the burgers actually look like they do on the overhead menus and don’t seem to care that the song on repeat has a chorus that blares the sentence “this song is gonna burn like a mutha’fuka” into the cute little ears of every human deciding wether or not the toy in his happy meal was really worth nagging mum for. Even my translation to the manageress as a form of concern didn’t earn me a free latte or any credit. The smooth with the rough i suppose.
The missions for the day were to look at the new route, try and free up some of my phones memory by transferring them in HD and Max out the power pack again. What a pointless exercise that was, the uploads that is. Ok, so I wasn’t powering the joint instead of charging like last time but the wifi was so abysmal (shit, that’s spelt with an A and a Y, who’d’a funk dat!) it’d have been quicker to skate straight to the headquarters, which I assume is in Silicon Valley, and re-enact them all with props. But as I say, good Big Mac!
10:39 became 3:45 and, seeing as I want getting nowhere fast, I decided to try and get somewhere, fast. A quick scoot to the supermarket and the decision to load my pack with three days of food and two days of water took its toll on my shoulders and delivered more falls then one of the many exotic holiday destinations I’ve never afforded to visit. My shoulders wept as layers of overly tanned skin was ripped away with every push. Thank god I didn’t have to go far. Well, 27km to the approximate start of my new route, Biganos. Unplanned territory.
The route was kind enough though, roads for the majority of the way but the verge was smooth, relatively rock free and the traffic was backed up enough for me to annoy everyone fighting the evening commute as I passed them. As the town disappeared behind me, the roads became cycle paths once more, freshly laid as if they were expecting my arrival and working with me to raise spirits. Cheers!
Without music to power me along, I fought in my head against the negatives that were spat at me the previous night, trying hard to make some sense of why one of my friends wanted to do nothing more than piss on my progress and make out that everything I was trying to achieve was pretty much worthless. The battle lasted longer than the Nepolionic war. To be honest, I have no idea how long that lasted but I’m saying that to put some kind of intelligent emphasis on the matter. To be even more honest, I don’t even know if Nepolionic is an actual word but you get my drift, or maybe not. The fact was, I couldn’t see for the shit in my eyes. Why would that person demonstrate the will for me to fail? More to the point, why would they make recommendation that would undoubtedly out my life at risk? After a few too many pushes with a 24lb pack trying to force my head into the concrete with every movement, I decided to snap outta that waltzer of thought find spot for the night, empty some of that ridiculous weight out of my pack and into my stomach.
I stumbled on a beautiful lake with crystal clear blue waters and a couple of friendly French fisherman keep to show off their catches, “the one that got away” being an international phrase if there ever was one. When I say “beautiful” I mean, from one particular angle. Much like one of the opposite sex that falls into the “nice from afar but far from nice” category as you approach focussing range. Take a slight turn around and your image quickly becomes a main road and a quarry mill. I chose my seat carefully and that did the trick.
I received a few messages from “the dream team” – a couple of skates from back home that seem to be there for me every single step of the way, every time I need them, whenever that moment calls. Advise, support, route planning, advise and some really sound advise. Without them I’d be lost in every sense of the word. Without them, I’d be sat on a sofa watching reruns of Red Dwarf (which secretly I’d much prefer of an evening many times during this trip but, shhh).
Funny how the mind controls you. Simply digesting the wrong words from the wrong meal can and most certainly will poison you. The words I received from my team, they were the dessert: pre-prepared, proven and ready mixed for sweetness.
My seating position looking over the lake and into the sunset dropping behind the trees was perfect. Good enough even to block out the sound of the generator in the quarry behind me that fired up every 30 seconds. The view, the endless cup of liquorice tea and words of encouragement glued me to my seat and I spent my first night on the trip under the light of the moon, looking at the stars you will never see from the roof of a houseboat in East London.
I slept quite well with no expectations for the next day. No concerns, no pressures. It was a simple day and I decided to keep it just like that.