Ruth: Each day we pass through a number of tunnels. Two days ago the daily count reached eight! On the downside they are not very scenic, they don’t always have a sidewalk, and they can be quite loud and scary. Based on my limited experience only about 50% of vehicles are using their headlights in the tunnels, making my reflective clothing useless. 
My relationship with tunnels is a complicated one. I am beginning to realize that without them, I would still be stuck somewhere up in the mountains crying and exhausted. These tunnels have saved me from numerous climbs up and down over this corrugated landscape. The also magically deliver me from one landscape to another one. 

Yesterday the tunnels again transported us from the mountains to the sea. We camped near the beach and had a lovely swim. 

About 5kms before temple 37 a lady called to me and gestured that I stop for their osetttai. The gave us a lovely drink and tea, as well as much needed advice for where to stay along the route. After a delightful conversation using google translate, suddenly all my questions were greeted with blank faces or frowns. I looked at the app and somehow I had toggled the language to Bulgarian instead of Japanese. Their smiles returned with the language switch and we all laughed at my Bulgarian blunder. 

Most of the time I am happy about the curious and happy looks I get with my bike and trailer. It’s very good conversation starter. Yesterday however I has a moment where I just wished I had a less conspicuous bike. I was hot, tired and hungry and buying a baby blanket for Gord. The blanket was a disappointing plan B because the Montbell store I cycled 20 extra kms to buy a sleeping bag turned out to be a little boutique shop in a hotel. No sleeping bags meaning that the two of us are still sharing a single mummy bag when we camp. 

But I digress. After buying the blanket the man in the shop wanted to take a photo of me with the bike. What he had in mind was more of a photo shoot. He insisted I move the bike twice as he rearranged his store’s sign. I am assuming my teeth gritted half smile will be part of his advertising campaign. 

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