30 March 2011

All Roads Lead To Rome... The middle of Nowhere! [Day Three]

Day three started off pretty poorly, and did not improve. I woke up, once again, feeling like crap. I think the main reason is that I am just pushing too hard; huge days out walking, not eating properly if at all, and not getting as much sleep as I probably should.

So I felt like crap. I decided I should probably take it easy, maybe check out a few touristy spots, relax, take it slow. Sem suggested joining him to check out a few parks and relax in the sun. That sounded like a perfect idea, so we set off...

Along the way I asked if we could call into a supermarket to pick up a few things, as I had not eaten a that morning, and it might be cool to take some food to the park for a bit of a picnic. That was all good. Sem said he also needed to call into a bike shop quickly to pick up something, but don't worry, it's not far. No problem-o. Well, actually there was problem-o, it was a decent ride and already I was running out of puff. I just had no energy, and just generally felt like shit. Anyway, we made it, and after 15 minutes at the bike store they did not have what he needed. Sem then said that he wanted to go to a sports shop to find a tent, but it was just down the road.

I can tell you now that it was not just down the road. A direct line from Sem's house to the shop - 10kms, so said my GPS. No idea how far we actually cycled. So here I am with absolutely no energy, struggling my ass off, and Sem is ducking and diving in between traffic, running red lights, generally being crazy and getting way ahead of me. Each time he gets about 100m ahead, he stops and waits for me to catch up. All I can think is 'this is NOT what I signed up for'. I was planning a relaxing afternoon, cycling hundreds of kilometres was not ideal.

We FINALLY got to the shop, which was in a mall. When he was all done Sem asked me what I wanted to do - and I said there is only one option; home. I felt like I was about to fall over, I was absolutely drained and really need to just get into bed and sleep. I didn't even know if I would make it all the way home! I said if there was a park on the way that maybe we should stop in for a rest.

So we set off, and I immediately think... this is the wrong way. At least it is not the way we came... Besides that, we were riding on a freakin' motorway! I'm talking cars whipping past at 100km/h. And here I am on the green machine, not the most reliable bicycle in the world, without a helmet! We were changing lanes, merging, undertaking... all sorts. I think I almost poo'd myself a couple of times. Finally we left the motorway and went on to the suburban streets. There was this one hill where I just could not do it. It wasn't even that steep, but I just had nothing left in the tank. I got my the bike and pushed it the rest of the way up. When I finally reached the top Sem was there waiting for me.
Me: I feel like we are going in the wrong direction...?
Sem: Yeah, we are actually heading to some buddhist gardens
Me: Uhh, so we have been going in completely the wrong direction?
Sem: Yeah, but they are really beautiful, I thought you should see. But it is up to you...
Me: I feel like death right now. I really would like to see them, but if I go any further, I think I will literally curl up on the footpath and die

I was actually kinda pissed. I mean, if he had told me that was his plan, I would have said OK, I'll just wait for you here and you can go. Now we were even further from where I wanted to be... where we were meant to be going! I could tell Sem was also kinda pissed. I don't think he believed me that I felt so bad. I am not sure why? I had no reason to lie! I really enjoyed the ride he had taken me on the first night I got here.

Anyway, we turned around and started heading back. Sem said it would take 20 minutes, 30 minutes going slow. We arrived home after an hour! The return journey followed the same pattern - Sem ducking and diving through traffic, and me lagging behind. There was another time I felt as though we were heading in the wrong direction, and sure enough after 10 minutes or so we stopped at someone's house. Sem rung the doorbell and when there was no response we just carried on. No explanation. At this point he said we were 10 minutes from home. My GPS was saying 4kms... After 20 minutes and another stop in at someone's house. What are we doing? Making house calls? I asked -
Me: I thought we were 10 minutes away?
Sem: Yeah, 10 minutes at my speed
Me: Hmmm, OK, so how far away my speed
Sem: I don't know?

What is the point telling me how far it is your speed? I can't go your speed! GAH!

So that was not the end of our adventure. Again I feel we are going in the wrong direction and my GPS confirms. 10 minutes later we pull into a park. Yes, it was beautiful, but all I really wanted to do was lye down in bed and sleep forever! A park was our initial plan, but those plans changed after we literally cycled to the outskirts of Rome. After a short stop we finally continued on. And 15 minutes later we were home. I jumped straight into bed and slept for about four hours! Pretty much a waste of a whole day. I really like that Sem is so enthusiastic about showing me around, and about cycling, but I don't like the fact that he completely underestimates how far away things are. Just down the road is not 15kms away. And if you say we are going home, don't lead me in the wrong direction!

That night I started to feel a little better. I got up and made some rice, Sem made lentils and we shared and chatted. It was a good end to a bad day.

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