12 December 2010

Chinchina 2

I awoke in the night burping up the pizza. I lay there in bed feeling awful and then I rushed to the bathroom and vomited violently again and again. A few hours later the pizza that had gotten into my digestive tract poured out my other hole. It was a messy morning. I felt awful and I hated myself for having eaten that pizza. When I tried to eat some cereal or drink water I vomited. Later the bells sounded from the Basilica and I listened to the Sunday service coming in my window. I was extremely dehydrated and too weak to get out of bed and my body ached.

Then it began to rain. It poured down very hard. I lay there thinking about the climb I had, another 300m higher over 17kms and I did not think I could do it. Being Sunday I did not know which shops and restaurants would be open if I needed them. I imagined myself not having the energy to push the bike up the mountain unable to go forward on some empty stretch of road; I imagined myself needing to suddenly relieve myself and doing it there in the rain on the roadside. I needed to stay another day in Chinchina.

I came out of my room at midday and told the ladies at the desk that I was sick and wanted to stay another night. They were happy to have me but were sad that I was so sick and asked me about what had happened. I explained that it was most certainly an awful pizza I had eaten the night before. I sat and talked with them and they brought me coffee and refilled my bottles. I was starting to be able to keep down water and I hoped that whatever poisoning I had would go away when the pizza was fully out of my system.

In the afternoon I took a walk through the town. There were storm clouds in the valley and it was dark. As on Saturday the streets were very busy and the town square in front of the basilica was full of people sitting on the benches. It was exhausting to walk and I was glad I had decided to stay another day.

As I walked I would catch people staring at me. It has been like this across Colombia. In Western countries someone staring will turn away when you catch them, but here they continue staring even as you look back at them. It is not a mean or aggressive or insulting stare and I get the sense that behind it is a real curiosity. Certainly I stand out being taller than almost everyone (Colombians are a short people) and my blue eyes are a rarity in this country. Walking through Chinchina I was the center of attention.

sick but alive

Back at the hotel one of the ladies said she would make me a pasta dinner. I had hoped it would be very simple but with chicken, corn, peas, sausages, and mushrooms I was concerned that my stomach could not handle it. I picked out the pasta first and then started to eat the rest slowly. It stayed down. I ate about half of it and went back to bed. I awoke later feeling very good. I felt almost good enough to ride. I could feel the energy in my system. I realized that trying to ride in my previous condition would have been like operating a vehicle without any fuel. You could not expect it to go far. I went back to sleep thinking there was a very good chance I could make the last climb tomorrow. I would need more food, but I believed I could make it.


Post a Comment

Copyright © S O U T H