It seems like ages since KR and I were on a “serious” trip. Mexico, DC, Dallas and the beach don’t really count. That’s all changing as we’re flying to Europe for a month of riding NVII and then going to Ethiopia for two weeks on business. Here’s the headlines of the “plan:”
- Fly to London, take the bus to Southampton
- Pick up NV II, ride to Portsmouth and catch the ferry to Santander, Spain
- Ride east to through the Pyrenees, then to the Coast of Spain and Barcelona
- Go south east along the Spanish coast
- Catch a ferry from Gibraltar to Morocco.
- Ride to Casablanca, make a u-turn and go back up the coast and catch the return ferry
- Ride from Gibraltar to Madrid
- Leave all of our stuff with Maureen in Madrid, pick up our (business) luggage
- Fly to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) for business
- Take a 4 hour bus ride to Awassa and then back to Addis Ababa
- Fly back to Madrid, drop our clothes off, pick up NVII and ride to Santander
- Take the ferry back from Santander to Portsmouth
- Drive NVII to Southampton, drop him off for shipping back to LA
- Take a bus to Heathrow and catch the plane to Seattle and eventually LAX
Just your basic 42 day plane, bus, ferry m/c, ferry, m/c, plane, bus, plane, m/c, ferry, bus and plane trip.
Of, course who knows what we’ll actually do as this itinerary is a lot like a battle plan- it won’t survive the first contact with the wifey:)
Our first planning session occurred the night before we left as we drove to meet friends for dinner. Karen began reading from a used book she’d picked up that day, “Vagabonding”, by Rolf Potts. Here’s the section that caught my attention:
…” Travel can be a kind of monasticism on the move: On the road, we often live more simply, with no more possessions than we can carry, and surrendering ourselves to chance. This is what Camus meant when he said that “what gives value to travel is fear–disruption, in other words (or emancipation), from circumstance, and all the habits behind which we hide” – Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel”
Pico, of course, never saw Karen’s suitcase, so we all know the bit about “with no possessions” doesn’t apply to us. But the thought that travel is about fear and disruption rings true for me. Fear and its companion, adventure, are the most important parts of travel for me. Going over there and not knowing what’s over there is an adrenaline rush.
As I get older, taking fear-inspiring trips is harder and harder as my urge is to seek comfort and (relative) safety. Hence, we’re taking a m/c trip to Spain, not through the Bolivian jungle. Let’s face it, this trip is for wimps:)
On the other hand, going to Ethiopia has a lot of unknowns. We’ve never been to Africa, let alone Ethiopia, so it is both intriguing and fearful:) You might be wondering why we’re going to Ethiopia in the first place, and the answer is the U.S. State Department.
The State Dept. is sponsoring a 9 day speaking tour for me since someone in our Embassy in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital city) thinks I’m a “world cleantech expert.” I’m not telling her differently so we’re going:)
What’s the connection between LACI and Ethiopia, you’re probably wondering? Simple, LACI has been hired by the World Bank to help make their Climate Innovation Center in Addis Ababa work better. And perhaps help Ethiopia and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries go green.
As I write this, I’m not sure what the series of “speaking events” will be nor what I will be talking about, but we have 30 days to figure that out and a bunch of miles and plenty of vasos de vino to figure it out.
I’ll keep in touch.