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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009

Location: Canada

MapI couldnt be further from home and feel more at home.

Last night J and I had dinner with 3 of the Australian Solo riders that had successfully completed the 24 Hour World Solo Championships. One came 3rd in a mens aged category, one came 4th in the womens elite category and the other came 1st in the womens single speed category. They were taking J out to dinner to say thankyou for all his help over the 24 hours and beyond because really, you cant ride solo without help getting food, water, drinks, lights etc. Ended up with 10 people around the table for dinner. Not 1 Canadian. 8 Aussies, 4 fresh off the boat, 1 who had been here for 2 years, one for 6 years and me for 6 months and J for a few months. The others were 2 U.S cyclists who were bike touring from Detroit. So many laughs as we did what all red blooded Australians do - 'took the piss' out of everyone and everything, shared stories, found out that we had grown up in similar areas, been to the same schools. The song 'its a small world' comes to mind. Laughed at things such as "mungbean Brunswick streeters", australians who import japanese cars and practically sit in the backseat whilst driving with speakers blaring, putting our sentences into one word 'gdaymatehowyagoing', the fact that we dont pronouce 'R' in words so Pour, Paw and Poor all sound the same where as they sound different when Canadians pronouce them. haha. It felt so good to be around Australians again, I didnt realise I missed it until now. We are a unique breed, everyone is so polite over here, we give our friends and family a ribbing because we love them. Backwards? Or culture? My belly hurt from all of the laughs and I look forward to a bbq & hottub with them on Friday night.

A story comes to mind as I sit here and go through my goodie bag from the 24 hours. So im racing, lungs burning, sweat dripping, legs tired and i have what is called "GU" and its an energy gel that helps to get you through a race without having highs and lows. I knew before it hit my mouth that I wouldnt like it, i knew that Goo and its consistency would make me want to vomit. It was as expected, I finished half of it, sucked down some water and then thought 'i dont want to litter out on the trail' so in my race blur I stuck the Goo packet back into my bike shorts. Bad idea, 20 mins on and as I pedal the back of my right knee started sticking together, I tried to use spit on my gloves to wipe it off and then had sticky gloves and handlebars, brakes and legs. I laughed to myself that my concern for the environment came above being covered in disgusting sticky Goo. Its just the kinda girl I am :)

This afternoon I had 4 horses tied up chewing down some oats as I untacked from a day of riding. The 2 australian sheepdog cross border collies started going ballistic barking, running into the forest, running back, barking more. The horses all started to take an interest in what was going on and started getting excited and moving about too much for my liking. I quickly finished untacking, put all horses away and took a shovel over to see what was going on. Bear, cougar, elk, deer...I had no idea what I was up against. My logic was if it was a cougar it would be up a tree, elk or deer it would have ran away and bear would have continued walking not worrying about the dogs. Turns out it was a pack of Coyotes, all standing together on the edge of the forest, the lead coyote standing out the further than the others, almost taunting Storm and Levi in. The problem for me was that a pack of coyotes could easily take down a small dog and they have killed them in the past. Levi is completely blind and although he gets about really well and has the deepest and loudest bark he wouldnt see the pack coming for him if thats what they decided to do. I called the dogs who were happy to see me and stayed pretty close to me after that. I used the shovel and smashed it against the gravel with the sound scaring off the pack. Wow, what a thrill...to scare them away from the ranch or sneak up quitely for some photographs. If I wasnt worried about the safety of my two loyal friends I would have chosen photographs. Amazing creatures, so smart. Certainly made for an exciting afternoon!

The sun has just set for the evening, the sky still a pale yellow from the fading sun, its cloudless and the side of the mountains I currently look at are dark, gun metal grey, their peaks a contrast to the bright sky. Im in love. I wake up in the morning just itching to look outside and see what the day will bring.

Got tickets today for the folk festival and Im so looking forward to some good music! Will update with photos and blog next week :)

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