Where's My Raspberries!
originally posted by Katherine at 10th July 2012 at 05:36
It hit 27 degrees here today – summer has finally arrived on the west coast. A nice change, especially after the lingering months of Mayvember and Juneuary, when the temps barely got out of the single digits. But the warmer weather meant a long, slow ride today, instead of anything more flashy, as commitments this morning kept me from getting out to ride in the cooler hours of the day. As a consolation (or not, depending on your viewpoint) on my long ride, I stumbled across the nudist beach. Good thing I was riding Dom and not Julie, as you may remember she has a deathly fear of snakes :P
Not that I was looking or anything, but some of those guys had a pretty decent tan, and not a tan line to be seen. “Do you ride bareback?” they asked. And then “Do you ride bare bareback?” Ha ha! So after a brief (1.5 hour) pit stop, just to recharge, let Dom graze, and feast – er – rest my eyes, I was back on the trail.
The time is absolutely flying by with only three and a half weeks to go until my departure. I have been sticking to my schedule of preparedness, but one day last month thought “What the heck – let’s throw in a little trans-Atlantic travel” and off Jordan and I went to visit friend and family in the Allgau region of Bavaria, in southern Germany. In between enjoying the incredible scenery and listening to the constant clanking of cow bells as the dairy cattle wind their way through the villages going from barn to pasture, I managed to get in a little cross training in the form of beginner klettersteig climbing. What the heck’s that! I can hear you say – so check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_ferrata as well as my photos and you’ll get the idea.
Climbing the Nebelhorn in the Bavarian Alps near Oberstdorf Germany
In addition to the physical and mental workout, I had a chance to reintroduce myself to a little bit of altitude. Having lived at sea level for the past four months, I was curious about how it would feel to be over 7000 feet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebelhorn I am happy to report only slight disorientation, loss of focus, inability to remember my own name; sudden urges to sing Chris de Burgh tunes; and only one serious “SHREK!! I’M LOOKING DOWN!!” moment.
The visit was excellent all round, and the milk run home from Munich to Victoria BC was a good intro to what I’ll be enduring in the way of travel in a few short weeks.
I arrived back home from Germany, expecting to see the stirrups, fenders and saddle bag I had ordered from Franco C Saddlery (the official saddle makers to the Derby, located in beautiful South Africa) sitting on my doorstep, but no such luck. So like a normal person, I considered calling them and leaving an anonymous message on their machine, along the lines of “WHERE’S MY STIRRUPS!” I am practiced at this, as I once ordered some raspberry canes to plant in my garden from a distant supplier; after many weeks of waiting when they didn’t show up, I finally resorted to that archaic method of communication – the telephone – only to get an answering machine. How unsatisfactory was that! I hung up. A day later, tried calling again, same answering machine, but instead of leaving a coherent message, I blurted out “WHERE’S MY RASPBERRIES!” and slammed the phone down. Didn’t leave my name, the details, nothin’. The raspberries finally did show up, and they probably forever wondered who the nut was who left the message…now that I think about it, they probably had call display and knew EXACTLY who the nut was. Oh dear.
Anyways, I have contacted Franco C (by email), and yes, my order has gone into the great black hole of the Canadian postal/delivery system. They have kindly offered to resend the order, and man, I really hope it turns up this time or I will be fashioning stirrups out of Hello Kitty duct tape (thank you to my friend Dawn, who felt my duct tape should be distinctive and sophisticated.)
And what else…let’s see…there’s some chick from Dubai who has been cyber-stalking me; she seems to think she’s got the winning formula for the Derby, but I dunno, she looks a little frail and delicate to me. I suppose I had better throw in that extra hankie because I expect to find her in a puddle of tears somewhere beside the trail. Actually, her name is Sonja Timani, she’s an accomplished endurance rider and I am very much looking forward to meeting her. She sounds like an absolute hoot – but I’m still going to kick her ass :)
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