I really should write something. It’s been weeks. Yesterday was a complete non-event. I spoke to Andy on the ‘phone and we wished each other a happy one year Ride Earth anniversary, whatever that means. That’s right – at 12:30pm one year ago on the 17th of June 2007, I was riding away from my home and into the unpredictable world, eager to sample all it could offer!
Remember, if you will (or read if you’ve recently joined us) back to October 2007; a memorable month for all the wrong reasons. The loss of two bank cards and the disintegration of Andy’s rear wheel led to our bicycle voyage being becalmed in Istanbul for one whole month as we waited for replacements to arrive. As we finally departed that great metropolis in mid-November, I found myself wondering if I’d visit the city in the future in a more positive manner, or whether I would eventually find some place to make my home for more than just a few days or weeks.
Last night I revisited the venue in Yerevan where Andy and I gave a presentation back in February. Common Ground is the project of a local NGO to provide an open forum for interested people from all backgrounds to discuss today’s issues and attend presentations in English. The organiser, an Armenian woman who grew up in Manchester, England, introduced the event for this evening — a showing of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary,.
It’s spring again (in Armenia, at least — still snowing in England, I’ve heard)! The last of the ice melted away a couple of weeks ago, and all over the country grass and leaves are emerging from flower-beds and trees. Winter is finally behind me. Sitting in my standard-issue former-Soviet-Union flat, complete with regular water failures, no heating or gas, and dodgy wiring, I can relax.
Believe it or not, I finally left Yerevan on my bicycle on Sunday 2nd March 2008. I pedalled south for 70km, through the Ararat region, and camped in a field after dark opposite the factory of a company called ‘Abit Ltd’, which amused me slightly. At 7am the following morning I was on the road again. I began to climb East, away from the Ararat plateau and up into the mountains.