Monday, May 31, 2010

Halfway to Nowhere

I just took a left.  I was riding along one of the many roads that circle around the outside of the city and decided to go down a road I had passed by before.  An hour and a half later I was down out of the mountains and seeing signs for Ho Chi Minh City.  I had to decide between chancing the uncertain rumblings of the clouds ahead or to turn about and race the path home, potentially safe and dry.  I took a few pictures of the open grasslands surrounding me and sat alone on the bike and watched the clouds roll in.

One of the many joys of my time in Dalat was the weekly motorbike rides into the countryside, cruising along remote winding roads at 40mph.  I pass calmly through smalls towns and villages, pass by coffee fields, pass by flooded rice plots lined by banana trees.  I can feel the warm moist air rise up as I pass by the little family farms and then quickly the feeling subsides as I leave them behind.  Riding in the open air brings with it the aromas of the country.  Sometimes it's a pungent fish smell, sometimes it's wild mountain flowers and pine trees.  Up in the mountains here I feel as if the clouds are immediately atop of me.  They seem far closer than I've felt before, and appear far more detailed, and in being alone I feel as if they are only there for me.

There are so many roads that lead to so many places.  One of these days I'm going to just keep going, keep riding, follow the road and see what's around that last bend.  That time is not now.  I am going home and will be back in New York on the 3rd of June.


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