When Everything Goes Wrong

“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.”

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Today was one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong, and though it’s probably more fun to see cute pictures of us smiling, or learn about the history of wherever we happen to be, it’s important to realize that sometimes days out here suck for us as well.

We woke up in the bitter cold after a stormy night (during which a mouse who was running around under our tent bit a huge hole in our tarp) convinced that we would cover at least 120km since the road was as flat as flat could be. We had covered a good 100km the day before even though we had stopped for lunch with the French family as they drove past, and I was looking forward to refinding our tailwind and flying down the road at 20/25kph once again.

So, when I realized a few minutes in that our tailwind had shifted and was actually tremendously impeding our progress, I wasn’t only mad at the headwind for being it’s stupid self, but also at myself for getting my hopes up about what the day was going to look like. I know that having expectations can be dangerous, and that it’s your own expectations which dictate how you are going to react to a situation, but never the less, I had woken up with such high expectations for the day that I was sure to be let down if everything didn’t go my way. Which it wasn’t.

By noon I was frozen, soaked, angry, and tired. We had completed forty kilometers, half of what I though we would have completed by then, and I was already ready to call it a day. We were steadily climbing into more and more snow, and by one we realized that we were in trouble since we had lost our shoulder and were precariously trying to cycle through six inches of snow and slush without much success. We pulled over at a gas station to warm up and decide what we could do about the snow, and instead of being invited in for tea, or even just to stand in the shop to warm up, we were left outside, shaking with cold, as we ate our day-old bread.

Since it was no longer safe for us to cycle, and since I was in a foul mood which left me quite unwilling to start pedaling into the headwind once again, we decided to try our luck at hitchhiking. As we were standing there a young man in a suit appeared (seriously, he just appeared!) and though he warned us we wouldn’t get a ride, he stuck out his thumb non the less and after just a few minutes, flagged over a truck. He quickly explained our situation, and though at first the two older gentleman hesitated due to our bikes (and the fact that they had a very nice new truck) they relented once another man appeared with cardboard boxes to lay down in the truck bed to protect it from scratching. We could have cried with relief as we watched the kilometers fly by from the inside of the nice heated car. (I won’t even begin to explain how fun it was to ride in a car! Seriously, really exciting.)

We were dropped off in Konya, an extremely large city in the middle of Turkey, at dusk and spent the next hour or two pushing our bikes through the slushy snowy mess until we found a hotel. This was going to be our first night in a hotel in months, and though I’m usually all for the cheapest simplest places (no matter how dirty they may be), I was extremely disappointed when Kevin showed me the room he had just bargained for. For some reason I had been picturing a five star sort of place, you know, the sort of place we have never ever stayed in, so when we walked into our dirty Indian style room (with a dirty bathroom and without a shower of any kind) it was sort of the last straw for me.

But here is the thing… Everything always works out. Though the room wasn’t heated and we hadn’t showered in a week, at least we were out of the snow. Though I may have been grumpy, at least I had a patient boy willing to wrap his arms around me. Though it had been a rough and tiring day, at least we could wake up in the morning with a fresh start. And that’s exactly what we did. We decided to splurge and find a “real” hotel the next day as we waited for the snow to melt, and sure enough, we spent the next night in a heated room, sleeping in a clean bed, after a nice hot shower. And boy did we appreciate it.

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9 thoughts on “When Everything Goes Wrong

  1. Congradulations guys…Never give up! ”Les journées difficiles nous permettent d’apprécier encore mieux les jours favorables!”
    Same weather overhere, little snow but Minus 8C. Nailed tires helped a lot! Take care and enjoy each other being together!

  2. The Universe is testing your resolve! Push thru it and come out the other end smiling. You will be a much stronger traveller in a month for it looking back! Been there done that! In any case when the time comes to sit in front of a crackling fire with a glass of Red in your hand and then look back on it. The Red will all the sweeter for it! A great blog! Safe Travels!

    • As I’m writing this we are currently staying in a super nice boutique hotel sort of place (for free may I add) and I couldn’t imagine this real bed feeling any greater after last week during our snowy miserable ride. You are so right, I appreciate everything more because of days like those.

  3. Great post, as always.
    I’m also curious how will you solve the weather problem. I don’t know your roadmap, but if you planned Europe, in Dec, Jan, maybe Feb, March below freezing point temperature, snow and rain is an everyday thing.

  4. I like your posts, they are so encouraging. I know similiar situtaions, though I never would do such a trip in the winter. But just I’m reading another blog of a man, he was so diappointed because of the difficulties he had with weather, mosquitos, bugs a.s.a durting his cross-canada tour. So ist is a nice contrast for me. 🙂

  5. Great job capturing what these days are like. Nothing lasts forever, so this crappy day always ends but it definitely fries your patience while it’s happening. And getting picked up by someone friendly on this kind of day makes you want to throw your arms around the random stranger that had mercy on you and your dirty bike haha good post.

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