The surgeon’s waved the green flag. One more visit to the specialist awaits. Lungs seem to be expanding and contracting in the way they should, bar a little percussive rattliness here and there. In any case, they’re functioning well enough for me to take advantage of the British Airways sale and book a flight back to the Americas.
My plan is to return to Ecuador to pick up where I left off. Despite my unhurried progress on my original journey south, plenty of stones were left unturned. I’ll be making the most of the journey back (and saving some cash in the process) by flying via Denver, Colorado, in the first week of October. I’m allowing some time to plug a gap in the Great Divide Mountain Bike route I tackled in 2009 – Steamboat Springs to Grants NM – before I was forced off course by by a little snow… Although I’m earlier in the year this time, I’m not as early as I’d hoped. October in Colorado can be a time of pristine skies and fall colours, or the unleashing of the first of its winter storms. We shall see which I’m lucky enough to get.
With two weeks to go by departure, I’m simplifying again: whittling down kit and prepping my bike. It’s all too easy to to accumulate, even after just a few months in a fixed abode. Living out of just a few panniers again will feel good.
I’m also doing my best to claw some of my lost fitness. Last Saturday, it was a ride in the beautiful Black Mountains, Wales. Tuesday, a tour around Banksy’s Bristol with the Bicycle Festival. Yesterday evening, a singletrack night loop of my local woodland trails, Ashton Court. A day ride to Clevedon’s Victorian pier awaits on Sunday.
The reality of returning to South America is starting to sink in. It feels like I still have a million things to do, but I’m excited at the idea of being back on the road soon…