Route 7 Revisited
DAY 7. Hi, all. I’ll make this short to reward readers for sticking with my endless saga of asphalt, sunburn and depressingly little romance…
NEWS FLASH! I’d no sooner typed the above when an attractive young woman from one of the shops here just came out to my picnic table and said, “Excuse me, are you looking for somewhere to charge your phone?”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“We saw you walking around looking everywhere. And you were carrying this.” “This” being the iPhone cable. “You can come inside and charge it.”
“Really? Can I type while it’s charging? I have a public desperate for news of my various feats.”
“Can I sit down and email?”
“Yes. Where are you walking?”
“Busan to ______.”
“Very far! How many days?”
“I started on Friday afternoon.”
“Almost one week.”
“Yes.” She led me behind a restaurant counter. It’s air conditioned in here; it will be hard to leave. “Yes, I’m… YOU SELL SUNGLASSES! I lost mine in the surf yesterday!”
“I don’t know, I’ve seen about a hundred.”
I plugged in; she brought me a chair.
“You’re an angel! Let me finish this and I’ll take a look at your sunglasses selection.”
And suddenly my short post has expanded prodigiously, no pun intended.
So…I went to bed last night under some trees, rather worried about today’s road-walk after the unpleasantness of the morning. But I had the best night’s sleep so far, woke to an explosive sunrise igniting the horizon and surf cracking and booming in the foreground.
Got going before 6:00 and DAMN — it was great. Busy as hell, but the verge was clearly defined and stayed that way all day as I passed hotels, “pensions”, and giant fiberglass snow crabs, the local speciality (the real ones, I mean).
The sea sparkled on my right. I approached a motorcycle cop standing next to his machine, apprehension building; he smiled and waved. Half a dozen cyclists passed me, a very good sign, and once, a walker on the opposite side, heading south. I wondered if I looked as miserable as he did, I wondered if he was as happy as I felt.
I’ve walked 7 all day and the last few hours have been hellishly hot as the road left the coast and led me up and over a wretched series of exposed climbs. The traffic is constant but I just ignore it, thinking about ice-cream, women, and the oddness of life.
I am on course to do over 35 miles today, the longest day of my walking career. If I am to make my secret destination in time, I will need to do several 30-mile days — and I will do them willingly, because even with the heat and bouts of monotony I am having a blast.
Now, gotta see a woman about some shades…
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote