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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.