0070: The Road of Little Miracles
Those following my blog will know the general brief for my adventures.
It is to document the tales, sights, sounds, smells and various experiences I have had along my way.
These little miracles are the events that occur to inspire, surprise, delight, shock, sadden or anger me as I have been travelling through the Americas.
But that is only part of the reason for the slightly odd title.
In 2009, I left the UK to work in Spain.
It started out well, but got difficult towards the end of my time there.
While depression, the economic situation and getting screwed over by the companies I was working for caused me to leave the country after two years, I made many good friends.
Two of whom were my house mates for a year.
Carmen with a huge smile and big hugs and Milagros funny and feisty.
Two young, ambitious and fearless1 lawyers who adopted me and insisted I cook regularly for them!
We formed quite a bond.
We shared our scruffy little rented flat in the Embajadores barrio of Madrid and generally had a good time living there.
After a year or so, life pulled us all in different directions and we left the flat.
I changed jobs and moved closer to work. Carmen to live with Claire, a colleague and friend. But Milagros, now committed to a relationship moved to Argentina to start a new life with her boyfriend.
We are still good friends and are still in touch regularly.
I met up with Carmen several times during my final months in Spain and have visited her since then.
Milagros however, is a whole different challenge.
The distance is too great for a casual visit.
So combining my separate desires to explore the world, to do a long distance bicycle tour and to visit my friend all came together in one project.
The Road of Little Miracles
This is not really the road OF little miracles but the road TO little2 Miracles.
The journey to visit my friend and her new family in Cordóba, Argentina and all my adventures along the way.
Milagros translates as Miracles in English.
This is "El camino a las pequeños Milagros"
With my damaged frame I managed to limp into Cordóba and make my way to the home she shares with her two boys Fausto, and Eloy and partner Agustin.
As I wasn't sure how and when I would arrive. By bike or by bus or hitching a lift I didn't announce my arrival.
Their house is a new build and I guess they have yet to fit the house number. I walked past several times looking for their home then sent a message "Is this your house?" and a photo. Then and waited, and waited.
"Yes, it is..." A reply after 10 minutes.
"Well in that case, I am sitting on the street outside!" A short minute later, Milagros came rushing out and my almost 37,000 kilometre journey ended!
Even though I am still continuing to Ushuaia on the southern tip of the continent, this to me, has always been a completely separate journey.
I have not seen her since she left Spain in 2011. And it was a very happy reunion.
I have spent the past almost 3 weeks, here in Cordóba and quite like the city.
It is large and sprawling as Argentina's second largest city.
Mila's new family here have welcomed me and I have celebrated another Christmas with some wonderful people.
I have also had invitations from several people to Parrillas.
Argentine barbecues, where HUGE chunks of meat are grilled to perfection.
"Oh, We do this most Sundays",I was told!
Delicious, but I think I have overdosed!
I hear the south of Argentina eats even more meat! I suspect all the weight I have lost over the past 20 months, will soon go back on!
Agustin, Mila's partner also organised for me to have an interview with both the local Radio:
and local Cable TV station....
Perhaps most importantly though, I have managed to relax and have a good rest.
This is the longest time I have been off the bike since I began the journey, so I hope it will not be too difficult when I climb aboard again?
My NEW bike is ready and I must say a huge thank you to David at HPVelotechnik and Jason at 3ike.es for their assistance in resolving the problems with minimum fuss and maximum speed.
Of course, I must also thank all the Pelliza family and extended for their INCREDIBLE hospitality and generosity over this holiday season.
It has been a great pleasure getting to know everyone (and being regularly handed one child or another as I seem to have a calming effect on them!)
As well as everyone else I have met....
Muchas gracias a todo el mundo!
Singing a poor and thankfully short, rendition of 'My Way...
I even got a Christmas present!
And generally ate too much!
This has been a very special Christmas and New Year for many reasons but mostly because of the people I spent it with.
So, after a day celebrating the first birthday of this little chap on 4th January...
I will continue south.
I have approximately 4000 more Kilometres till the finish line and from there I will return and spend a few days in Buenos Aires.
The Road to Ushuaia begins...