Since I was recently feeling somewhat invincible with my newly acquired Caboose, I chose to take my time in the morning and got up for a late and comfortable start.
…that’s when I ran into Carlotta from Italy and her Dutch friends Marc and Jan:
The three belonged to yesterday’s group of cyclists who were riding from Athens to Beijing.
We had cold drinks under the parasol of a small restaurant, chilling in a gentle breeze that seemed to fan a bit of the heat away from us.
I got into a serious talking frenzy. I think I talked their ears off actually.
Well, they were really nice, and I found it hard to leave them behind.
…but then the road was still there, and it was calling for us all:
There was some kind of cone right outside the village, but I was too lazy to go and check it out:
Shame on me!
Then, somewhere in the great wide open, I ran into a shepherd – much to my surprise:
“Where do your animals drink?” I asked him, because I couldn’t see anything around that resembled water.
“Up there” he replied and pointed to the little village I had started out from. It was roughly 5 kilometers away.
…so the desert wasn’t really as deserted as I had originally expected it to be.
There were even ruins of some kind of settlement:
I couldn’t make out whether this was rather recent or maybe a couple of centuries old. My guess was that it had been deserted only 20 or 30 years, though.
Once, a car stopped on the road, and a lad from Shenzhen 深圳 and his girlfriend got out to stay for a chat:
We were having watermelons, and we sat there talking about this and that – and I think I got into another talking frenzy right there, with the possibility of bleeding ears on their part.
Anyways, they were very interesting people, the two. The hours just flew by for me.
When I got back on the road later, it was already getting pretty late:
I got another surprise visit from my friend Paul (Paul says: constipation is bliss), which not only slowed my down considerably, but also made me feel very much like the opposite of invincible.
…but I made it to the next settlement, and that’s all that counts now.