Once the circadian rhythms of cycle touring fully set in, it’s the simple things that take on a special significance:
The honey-dew light of daybreak as the early morning sun spreads its golden wings over a jagged table-top horizon; an aromatic stove-brewed espresso with the restorative power to clear the mist of a dream-state mind; the perceptible physical gear change of aching leg muscles as they burst back into life again; encounters with sprightly, giggling groups of children as they make the long walk to school; starbursts of luminous green aloe lining the roadside verge; the faltering flight of butterflies that pass miraculously through a blur of spokes in a dance with death or the soaring of arcs of buzzards as they warm their wings high above in the rising thermals; cooling quenches of (filtered) fresh stream water at the back of a dry, dusty throat; warm smiles and whoops of encouragement from passing drivers; exhilarating downhills that reward the punishing uphill with kilometre-after-kilometre of glorious freewheeling; pastel-coloured brushstrokes of wheat and barley clinging tenaciously to the terraced hillside; a deep endless blue African sky stroked by fingers of wispy white cloud; pit stops of freshly-picked, sweet, energy-giving bananas; the medicinal fragrance of eucalyptus and pine scenting the mountain air; or the staccato call of young shepherds carousing their wayward herd back to the safety of the homestead before the last precious rays of the day fade to a reveal the bright constellations of a starlit night sky.
It’s the heady kaleidoscope of sight, sound, and smells that make cycle touring so addictive.
Eat. Sleep. Cycle… (and drink coffee).