June 15

This was the day I was originally wishing to leave, obviously I am not there yet. Over the last few days I have been running around Wroclaw to find second hand equipment for this bike journey. In the end I have had to buy a number of things online as I just could not find them.

I spent the week end at the Locomotive Hostel, very nice staff and interesting design ideas but … the bed was horrible, a cheap foam pad, which despite being wrapped in fake satin, just collapsed under one’s weight and all that you feel is the hard pieces of wood that frame the bunk bed. So I could not sleep, waking up every 15-20 minutes to change position because of soreness. With little sleep I ran around town from morning to night, and after two days I was exhausted. Yesterday I decided to move to a different hostel, paid more money for a single room for the quiet and the chance to rest. To my surprise, the mattresses were also made of  same, if only marginally better, shitty foam. My saving grace was that there were two single beds in the room, so I put the two mattresses one on top of the other and that allowed me to sleep.

I elected to rest until mid day, then it was time to get cracking with orders to place online (tires and sleeping mat)  with work on for the dragon book to attend to and yet more errands. The mission to find fenders for the bike, I had been scouring the internet for used ones but I could not find for a road bike, or the price was the same as for a new set. So I went over to Remar Sport which is only a few steps away. I decided to ride the bike there. Now funny enough, I’ve had the bike for 10 days but i have not been able to ride because I have to carry 2 HUGE backpacks and the guitar when I move around… so I hopped on the bike and … Total happiness. Oh, I am so ready to go… it was so great to feel the bike under me and fly to the store.  I felt immensely free.   There I got fenders, gloves and a multi tool. The multi tool allowed me to finally change the butt breaking saddle that was originally on the bike and put something more gentle and long distance friendly on.
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I have one more errand today, a friend of Kam (the Polish guy who has been helping me as if he was my brother) has a free used helmet for me. I will ride there I think, despite the huge boots and harem pants… after that, what is missing is riding shorts with the chamois (protective pad) for long distance… then I’ll feel I got all the necessities.  It’s coming together. It’s been kind of wild to put all this together in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language, but people have been amazing and really helpful and friendly.

Tomorrow I leave Wroclaw to go to Bytom where Kam lives.  There I expect the trailer and the tires to come by courrier, once that happens, we’ll set everything up and I should be ready to go !

OK gotta get going… talk soon

June 6 already. I feel that I am a week behind, but it will have to do. I am getting ready to take the road. After being confined in Poland since March 15 the borders are finally opening, June 15th were the last news.

I spent over 10 weeks in the farm in Precznica.  I left at the end of May to go to another Workaway host, I didn’t know how long I was going to stay as I was waiting for news about the reopening of borders and visa requirements.  I also really needed the change.  The farm had its charms and wonder but it was also very demanding.  It was hard to say goodbye to the horses, the goats and the gardens but the time was ripe.

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I went to a place called Taras Tarczyn. It was out of this world beautiful, peaceful, loving and funny. My host Urian is a Dutch man, he runs this place as an agro touristic venue, people rent rooms and spend week ends in nature. Urian is a painter, a designer, creator, he has a real knack for bringing people together.  We had deep conversations, laughter and a humanity I was in deep deep need.   I helped around with cleaning and various tasks. For someone who didn’t really feel any attraction to Poland now I am carrying memories forever of the beauty of the land and its people. This Lower Silesia  is paradise on earth.

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I stayed for a blessed 10 days, Last Sunday was a very special day, we went to the market and after we drove around, and I got to see more of the region.  We stopped at Beata’s house. She treated us to cheesecake, and then we visited her home. On the second level there was a sort of meditation-ceremony room. As the guys left the room she held me back and asked me to close my eyes. I did. She performed an intense energy session on me, it was as if all my fire burst to life. Tears rolling down my face.

After this we went home, I had to prepare for the concert. The second one this year, and the fourth in … 3 years or so. It’s not easy anymore. My voice has been absent, the sound does not come out willingly…  and playing is not easy either, the coordination, the freedom that is there when you perform all the time is more a memory than a reality and I have to really trust and flow as anxiety can submerge me. I never really felt this sort of thing before, it’s a kind of fear, I’m trying to understand it, I can play by myself but when there is an audience, everything shuts down.

At three people came upstairs, 12 or 14. I started. I played “Clown of the Party” and I was shocked at how sad the lyrics are, then the next song… same thing… I thought, I need to retire these sad songs and write new ones if I am going to perform… I was looking at everyone, they looked so serious, I started to doubt myself. Maybe I am torturing them… Maybe they don’t really want to sit there and listen to me. My voice was working but it certainly was not brilliant. I started to tell the story of the accidental adventuress, my second album, played some of those songs and started to get emotionally engaged in the process.  I finally started to loosen up. At the end they asked for more, I played the Friendship song and that was it. A warm flow of applause started, smiles, I realized that they really enjoyed the prestation.

People came to see me they were deeply moved, a few told me they cried (and they were men!) It was interesting to me, to see to what extent my lack of confidence makes me believe that no one likes me or what I do.

After the concert and the hanging out I spent time with Beata, she too suddenly offered a healing session.  We chanted mantras and she did something with tuning forks on my skull, on my neck and on my heart, it was very deep and very moving.

Two days later I left for Wroclaw.  I have to be out of the Schengen zone by mid July, they made this rule for all the people stuck with expired visas in Europe following the Corona virus disturbances. I have had a dream for a long time: to travel by bicycle.  I thought that  I wasn’t strong enough and had given up on that dream, around year 2000 I suffered a back injury that ended my “cycling career” (I was doing bicycle races) I never thought I could ride again. But this year some things happened, that showed me that I was still strong, that I could still ride, not race, but ride. So I am about to.

I decided to return to Turkey by bicycle.  I don’t want to fly anymore as much as humanly possible.  And I want to see the world, not race through it.  So from Wroclaw to Turkey with a stop in the middle in Romania.  I want to just take my time.  Ride, camp, sleep, ride again.  Stay in nature.

Some weeks ago while the idea was not much more than a feeling, a desire, I had told my mother that I was looking for a bicycle.  She immediately sent me money, which really surprised me and also made me realize how much I wanted this bicycle.  It activated my mind and I really started to look for my ride.  At the time the money she sent was my “budget” but since, unsolicited donations keep arriving after my friends hear about my project.  They sent me money out of the goodness of their hearts.  The Sunday concert also yielded some more funds and things feel more and more possible on a material level.  It really feels like the Universe is opening it’s arms and showing me the way…

I found the bike at the Jelenia Gora flea market last Sunday  I had been looking around the market not having great expectations when I suddenly saw this fine blue baby.  I was looking at it, I tried then suddenly out of nowhere a man barged in the middle of our transaction and offered a larger amount 400 to the seller… I wasn’t understanding what was happening but Urian and his son engaged with the man right there in an animated argument.  For some reason, the seller did not take the higher offer and sold it to me. I took this as another sign.

this is the photo, the moment I saw the bike at the market:

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Two days later I left Taras Tarczyn and came to Wroclaw, with the bike, my bags, the guitar… way too much stuff! My idea is to take 2,3 days to work on my client’s project. (Book III of the dragon books I am illustrating) I am also here so I can get the bicycle equipment I need. My friend made a post on FB announcing the trip and asking if people had bicycle stuff in their basements and garages that they would sell. We got a free tent, now I have to find, hopefully used, the tools, a sleeping bag, a trailer (I will not do panniers as I have to carry my guitar… and the bike is not made to accept panniers so all is perfect in a strange way) all this hopefully by the end of next week at the latest.

Principia, the Go Guitar, the laptop in the bag and me, on the way to Wroclaw

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So here I am.  I think it is about reclaiming my strength, seizing possibility, following my heart and trusting in life.  Stay posted for the developments…

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