Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

It's the people that make the places

I received a comment yesterday, from Kate Lord, a fellow cycle nut who while cycling from Istanbul to Norway broke her leg in three places doing an (unsuccessful) sky dive. Sadly her trip was cut short but she reminded me of this:

The people you meet will stay in your mind far longer than the scenery you ride past.

Today I needed to get both me and Meg (my bicycle) from Rosario to Buenos Aires on a bus. Sounds simple enough but it took six hours of running around and the efforts of four complete strangers to get me there. I've chosen to tell the story from their perspective, rather than my own, imagining what they might have been thinking when they helped me.


Stranger 1: Veronica the Information officer

After a few minutes of trying to communicate with a tall woman, wearing a bicycle helmet I realised she spoke English. I managed to tell her she needed to find a bus company that would take her bicycle to Buenos Aires and they would explain how it can be transferred. She came back with a ticket but no clue about the bicycle, to help her out I wrote down questions in Spanish and she went to the bus company and wrote the answers, then I translated. It was a slow process and after going back and forth four times my colleague (who was on a break) went and talked to the bus company directly. I translated that she needed to freight her bike to Buenos Aires on a separate service which she didn't seem happy about at all. She has a lot of courage cycling on her own, I hope my English was good enough to help her and I wonder if she made it to Buenos Aires?



Stranger 2: Paolo the bicycle mechanic

At about 11am a woman burst through the front door of the shop pushing a fully-loaded touring bike. She pointed to the expensive bicycle bags we sell and explained in broken Spanish that she needed a bag or a box for her bike. I told her the bags are very expensive (1000 pesos) but we had a spare cardboard box out the back so I gave it to her. I helped her loosen the pedals and she found a quiet corner of the shop and went about dismantling the bike. I was busy out the back and when I came out half an hour later she was still trying to get all the parts into the bulging box. I gave her a hand and we got everything in. I used almost a whole roll of masking tape to seal it up for her, she kept trying to give me money for the box and tape but I wouldn't take it. She seemed a bit desperate when she arrived so I was happy to help.



Stranger 3: Adriana the passerby

I had just finished my grocery shopping for the family and was walking home when I saw a woman dragging a huge box. She was talking to one of those lazy taxi drivers and he wouldn't take her because she had a lot of luggage. Her Spanish was not very good so I stopped and joined the conversation, telling him his attitude STINKS. This girl needed help, she was trying to get to the bus station by 2pm but couldn't manage all her luggage and the big box. I hailed her another taxi and the female driver reluctantly agreed to try and squeeze the bike box into the back seat - I think she decided it was easier to do what I told her rather than arguing with me! We pushed and pulled but it wouldn't fit. Hmmm, what to do? I went into the bike shop to find help and I ordered a truck to transport Diana and her luggage. I waited with her for 15 min to make sure she is ok, we talked a little and I found out she is from New Zealand. The driver arrived and I instructed him to look after this lovely lady and to help her get all her bags and the box right to the platform. We kissed goodbye and I wished her good luck. That's when I remembered I better get home to cook dinner for the boys.

Adriana   Truck


Stranger 4: Shalom the Jewish Rabbi

I took my seat on the bus next to a woman who seemed a little nervous. She had her bags sitting on her lap and I was convinced she thought I was going to steal something. I got chatting to her and put her at ease. Remarkably, she is on a worldwide cycle trip but sadly seems a little disheartened with Argentina. I share my water with her and tell her all the wonderful things about my country. She is from New Zealand, a place I would love to visit and her eyes light up when she describes it. At the end of our journey she seems much more relaxed and I wish her the best of luck on her spiritual journey ahead.

Bus   Rabbi


Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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