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Tales from the Road
This trip pushes you to do things you didn´t think you could do and then rewards you with things you never imagined.
On the third 150 km day in row on sawtooth hills I ran out of food. I had been eating on the road at about twice my normal rate. Sandy MacMillan gave me two bananas and an energy bar that got me to the top of the next two hills and then to a grocery store where I bought a bag of mints that kept the legs going to the end.
The next day was another 150 to Foz do Iguacu, the impossibly beautiful waterfalls that decorate the intersection of the borders of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. The mints stopped helping 30 kilometres before Foz, but the view of the town´s surprising skyline (office towers built by money spilling from the tourist trade and the world´s largest hydroelectric development at Itaipu) the smell in the falls in the air and the mist-forest starting to appear aound us — those things lit my spirits.
Two days here to see and wonder and rest and fix the bikes. You jump off the tourist bus and walk up river to the falls, view on view of increasing drama, the permanent rainbow in the morning, the sound of the falls rising and falling, a foot bridge across the foam at the foot of the largest catarct, everyone soaked and laughing. Riding a Zodiac back up the river, bucking on the rapids and ducking in and out of smaller falls, a blizzard of water and light. The boat driver reaching over the side to rescue a hawk caught in the water crashing around us, the bird recovering its wits on a seat beside us . . . and then scrambling back into the sky, heart beating as loud as our own.
– Tim Padmore
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