3255 Miles, Lima, and The End

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Now its fine dining, gambling in the casinos, and classic martinis for me. I pedaled into Lima, the ending point of my South America adventure, and wheeled the bike into my hotel. It all felt rather abrupt and unceremonious. With my final few days in Lima I am indulging in urban luxuries, reflecting on the ride, and even giving a few interviews!

By the time I had reached Lima I was ready to get off the bike. With my fevers becoming almost nightly I promptly walked into the Good Hope ER in the Miraflores neighborhood of Lima and for 45 USD I saw a doctor, was tested for malaria, and had results in about 2 hours. The results were negative so I will get tested for other parasites once I return home to Boston.

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In the meantime I have been exploring the coastal portions of Lima. This city is absolutely immense with a wide variety of neighborhood flavors. Miraflores, where I am staying, is very beautiful and borders the Costa Verde with ivy covered cliffs over the ocean where hundreds of surfers and para-gliders can be seen everyday.

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Hummm, well I guess not para-gliders everyday.

I have been asked to be interviewed by a few American writers living in Lima who want to cover the story and maybe pitch it to some magazines. This is pretty exciting for me and it would be cool to see an article in a hard copy form. We shall see…

Some of the questions I’ve been asked have giving me a good opportunity to think back on the ride. For the most part I have been thinking forward about the upcoming legs of my trip or even just on the day’s tasks at hand, but no more! It’s time to think back and sort out everything that’s happened. Some things about the people and places I’ve experienced will never make sense or have a greater meaning. That’s something humans have a hard time with in life… a lack of order or reason.

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Being in Miraflores is already preparing me for coming back home. There are Starbucks, MacDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Huts, and Christmas decorations everywhere. I have to admit it has been fun treating myself to some of the things that were nowhere to be found for the past two and a half months.

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I took the bike for one last roll around town today before it gets broken up and boxed for the plane. I gave away my camping gear and warm clothes that I bought down here and generally have been site-seeing and relaxing. The shoe shine boy below wanted to ride my bike, wear my watch, and check out my shades. He looks like bonafide Policia.

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The Antigua Miraflores Hotel is a nice last resting place here in South America.

I am looking forward to getting home and enjoying Christmas with all the people I missed. This trip has consumed my thoughts for the past few years and now it’s completed. I think a lot of luck, help from complete strangers, and the support of everyone back home, especially my parents and girlfriend Sara, has made this a successful journey. Now it’s time to take a short while and absorb what has happened before looking to the future.

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The first day of this trip, when I left Belem, was my 29th birthday. For my gift Sara made a box of cards with dates on them that I was to open along the way. Inside, they were filled with pictures, cartoons, a guess as to where she thought I would be along the way, and quotes. Every time one of the dates arrived I looked forward to seeing what the cards said and they were a source of inspiration.

My favorite quote, by Robert Cushing, is from the first card, September 24th, my birthday.

“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.”

… and that, my friends, is the end.


29 Responses to “3255 Miles, Lima, and The End”
  1. Whew….boy am I glad you are in LIma. I don’t know how much longer I could have followed you. :-) Enjoy Boston shock back in Gringolandia, and I truly hope your adventure gets published more widely.

    Look forward to the next trip…..

    ExpatBrazil

    by ExpatBrazil
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  2. Amazing…

    Congratulations Doug, I really enjoyed following your trip. I can’t wait to hear what the next one will be! Great pics, great posts. Have a safe trip home.

    Bill

    by Bill Lord
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  3. Excellent quote! I have truly enjoyed following your enjoy! What an amazing adventure you had! Have a wonderful holiday! I know you will certainly enjoy yourself!

    by Stephanie
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  4. *ahem…enjoyed following your journey! ;)

    by Stephanie
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  5. Congratulations Doug! I’m looking forward to your return.

    by Matt
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  6. What else can I say but that I’m immensly proud of you bro! Can’t wait to catch up over the holiday. Safe travels back to the states – to both you and your parasite load.

    by amy gunz
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  7. Congratulations Doug! I enjoyed following the entire journey and am truely impressed by the immensity of your accomplishment. Have a safe trip home.

    by john
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  8. Congratulations Doug, It’s good to see that you made it without any problems. It seems like you completed it all a lot faster than I thought you had planned. What will the next adventure be, Everest, K2, biking across rural China and Siberia?

    by Pete
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  9. Congrats Gunz! I don’t think I could be any more proud than I am right now. I can’t help but feel privileged to know you and have you as a close friend. Enjoy some relaxing time bro! Can’t wait to see you when you get back in the states.

    by Yost
    on 07. Dec, 2009

  10. As I think back to your childhood I didn’t realize that you were in training for such an adventure. Before bed each night while still wearing a diaper you would run back and forth until you worked up a sweat. Ride your big wheel with a red helmet and lay a patch on the driveway. Pace the floor with restlessness thinking of ways to fill the gaps. Welcome home Amazon Pilgrim we missed you so much.

    by Mom
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  11. What an accomplishment, Doug! Your writing was great and the pictures were fantastic. I followed your entire journey and hope to see a magazine article and maybe even a book about it in the future……KIP

    by Kip Macintosh
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  12. Doug-war, you’ve done it. I’m grateful to have seen it grow from its embryonic start as a conversational idea to a loose plan, then onward to the details of that plan. From there time went quickly and before we knew it, flight day arrived. And here you are! The end is not the end though… travel is over, but there’s so much more to reflect on and learn…

    by sara
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  13. wow speechless! cant wait to see the E! True Hollywood Story: Douggy Gunz

    by mike d
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  14. Doug, we offer our most heart-felt congratulations. We’ll be there in spirit as you are met at the airport in the USA. Sara can greet you with an extra hug that will be coming from us.
    What an amazing journey! Thanks for sharing it with everyone, with your excellent writing and photos.

    by Kathy and Ed
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  15. a job well done. have a safe trip home…

    by John K.
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  16. Congratulations Doug! What and amazing experience. Thanks for taking all of us along with you through your pictures and stories.

    Have a great trip home, and Merry Christmas!

    by Nate & Beth
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  17. Wow, congratulations Doug! What an extraordinary accomplishment! I am so happy for you.
    I bet everyone is PPD is looking forward to your return!

    by Ying
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  18. Your stories were awesome; bien hecho hombre!

    by weston
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  19. Congrats Doug!

    by Kober
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  20. Congratulations on completing your amazing journey! Looking forward to purchasing your book one day and having you sign it for me!

    by Rita Yost
    on 08. Dec, 2009

  21. Congratulations, Doug! Without your posts, I’ll have to figure out something new to do on my lunch break.

    by Nate A
    on 09. Dec, 2009

  22. Tudo Bem Doug. What an amazing adventure. I have enjoyed “tagging along”. You are an inspiration for all of us. We look forward to seeing you back in the States. Safe flight home.

    by Scott J
    on 09. Dec, 2009

  23. Glad you documented the trip…start to finish. Along with all the other followers of your adventure, I looked forward to your descriptive and entertaining updates. Job well done, get home safe!

    by Greg H
    on 09. Dec, 2009

  24. a great end to a great adventure, congratulations!

    by GD
    on 09. Dec, 2009

  25. WOW! What a ride! It brings me to tears and smiles to know you made it and will be home soon. Give your Mom a big hug from me when you see her. Love you and so amazed of what you have done.

    by Aunt Janie
    on 10. Dec, 2009

  26. Great finishing my friend. You have accomplished an amazing journey. It has been a pleasure to follow your adventure through your nice postings. Go right a head and feel very ….. very….very good about yourself because only few people in the world have the courage you have to take such a RISK in life. Enjoy the wisdom of this experience.
    Have a safe trip coming back home,
    Idario

    by Idario
    on 10. Dec, 2009

  27. An inspiring trip and a testiment to your dedication and fortitude to leave the trappings of the familiar and explore the unknown – quite the feat of legs that have performed, Doug, and looking forward to having you back home to hear all about your adventures first hand.

    by Ken
    on 15. Dec, 2009

  28. simply…bravo

    by rob
    on 16. Dec, 2009

  29. Doug, your trip sounds so amazing, and your story is so inspiring! Jake & I have followed you on here, and always looked forward to reading your latest update! Congratulations, what an amazing adventure!!

    by Jeannine Slivka
    on 20. Dec, 2009

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