I stepped off the bus two days ago with the immediate impression i’d stepped into a cathedral. Every direction you look … awe-inspiring mountains, true heaven-reaching ramparts of primordial grey stone. Oh yeah, you remember … this is what mountains look like.
The impression improves. The hostel is a block from the bus station. The town’s streets are spacious without being ostentatious, the houses, blessedly, are tiny, the flat-roofed shops are charming. And those mountains, everywhere around. “God’s country” comes to mind, and not in a cliched way. I’ll have to sort out my picture-posting glitch from this new computer to show you what i’m talking about.
Boy, is it hot here these last couple of days. I’ve been walking a lot, but the heat is taking the piss out of me. this morning i meditated, read a bit, went back to bed and snoozed, and finally pushed myself outdoors to explore.
Strangely, the town seems very slow — little in the way of tourism that i can see. It comes alive in winter, i’m told, and local businesses struggle through the summer. Hard to understand why, if my last two days are at all representative.
I’m deep into a stretch of ennui, i can feel it. Little interest in anything, little passion. I’m treating it as a phase so far — “this too will pass”– and not beating myself up about it.
To spice things up i rented a bike today — one of those downhill monsters with 7 inches of suspension travel front and rear — just to try the damn thing. (Actually i asked for the tame little road cruiser, but they brought out the beast by mistake and i took that instead.) Getting on the thing feels like sitting down on a plush sofa: yoou float. I actually aim for potholes now, just for the novelty of hardly feeling the impact. Stopping, though, is a bit of a trick. Soon as you put your foot down and take some weight, the suspension springs back up and the bike is suddenly several inches taller than you’re prepared for. I fell over at a light today, barely avoiding rolling on the pavement, no doubt causing some laughter in the nearby cars.
A bike, as i’ve always known, opens up the horizon enormously over walking. Suddenly the whole region is within reach. My plan tomorrow is to rise early, ride out too the big ski hill 6-8 km out of town, and hopefully take the chairlift to the top for some views. Or maybe even ride up (yeah, right). The weather’s plan, apparently, is to rain. We’ll see who comes out on top.