Viva la Vida

This trip is magic. Really. Last night I pulled into a tiny town called Mt. Larcum just before dark, unsure of where I would pitch my tent for the night. About 15 minutes earlier I was on a road that felt like it would never end, complete with unhoppable fences on either side that made stopping to camp impossible.

I chased the pink sunset and asked the clouds to please let there be a good surprise around the next corner.

And there most definitely was! My surprise was sitting with a loaded bicycle at a picnic table: Nico. Nico is Italian and 29 and just finished a coast-to-coast ride through the center of Australia, and is now cycling south in search of work to replenish his funds. Every 20km he stops to smoke a cigarette. On one forearm he has a tattoo that says “Viva la vida.”

Nico doesn’t have bags on his bicycle and instead tows everything in a trailer made to carry a child. We quickly realized that switching to Spanish was easier than English & spent the night telling stories from the road, cooking spaghetti, and stealth camping in a rugby field next to the school. We bonded over the simple fact that meeting people on the road gives us energy. So many spoken and unspoken truths. A light rain fell. A whole family of kangaroos grazed and hopped. The little joeys were adorable.

This morning Nico & I went our different ways, though there’s a chance we’ll be in Southeast Asia around the same time early next year. It was so much fun to meet a new friend!



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