Two Travelers from Brazil

[[image:house_key_mini.jpg::inline:1]]About two weeks ago, I was stepping out of a pizzaria with 2 pints of beer in my belly when I saw two bicycle travelers hitching up their gear.

Published December 3, 2007 by C.I.C.L.E.
By Bicicleta Bandito

[[image:house_key_inside2.jpg::inline:1]]About two weeks ago, I was stepping out of a pizzaria with 2 pints of beer in my belly when I saw two bicycle travelers hitching up their gear. It was dark, around 8pm and you could tell they had been traveling because they had a LOT of gear on them. They also looked tired. I had my townie (a clunky rusty lavender freecycle gift) out and was heading to a friends house but was feeling a gregariousness that only comes from downing 2 pints of beer:

Where you coming from?

Brazil.

No shit. How long you been on the road?

Two years.

No shit. Do you have a place to stay?

Kinda. We're waiting to hear back from a friend but so far, no good.

Then, not being entirely sure of what I was about to propose, said "Need a place to stay?"

Perhaps it was the beer but I felt like I could trust them – As us kooky Santa Cruzers might say, “they had good juju.” Since my significant other was out of town, my place had been feeling empty but more importantly, it was less than a mile away and had an extra bedroom with a futon already made up, which is to say, there was more than enough room.

As it turns out, the woman was American, of Mexican descent (como yo) but had been living in Brazil for a while. Her boyfriend was straight up Brazilian and didn't speak a word of English.

I explained our no shoes inside/keep the cat inside policy, gave them directions, and my only house key; told them I'd be home around 11pm but not to wait up for me. I then rode down the street to a friend’s house to play very bad bluegrass music wondering if I'd done the right thing.

About 3 hours later I arrived home with more beer in me hoping that they'd found the place, hoping that I wasn't locked out and had given my only house key to two complete strangers, praying that the house hadn't been ransacked Manson family style; wanting to prove that Americans weren’t the selfish, suspicious, property obsessed assholes that I knew we were.

I opened the side gate to find two bicycles leaning quietly against the alley wall. I got inside, no blood, no crucified cat – everything was dandy. In fact, the two travelers had gone straight to bed.

The next morning all 3 of us were up by 6am – the travelers had to be on the road if they were to make Pacifica by 3pm to surprise the woman’s father (approx 80 miles north – impossible as far as I was concerned); I had to be at work by 8. I cooked them breakfast and we chatted about traveling via bike through South America (or rather, I listened), life on the road, etc – They’d been from Sao Paolo through Venezuela, then Colombia, up through Panama – Today would be the last day of their 2 year odyssey. Then too soon, we exchanged contact info, and headed out the door.

I guess I could offer some words of conclusion here although like my decision to offer shelter to two fellow bicyclists, I wrote this off the cuff, and hadn't thought that far ahead. I've often kicked myself for not getting out of dodge more but after this experience, I felt like I'd become a part of someone's journey. And that felt good.