Friday, December 16, 2005

Hermine is on the road again

Hermine Stampa-Rabe is heading out for another tour. Hermine has a wonderful outlook on life and a terrific way with a story. Hermine is one of my online pals and she forwarded this note from her home page. Her notes from the road are some of the best gifts anybody could ever receive.



I cannot stay any longer at home! It goes to South America!

My bottom, my arms and legs are itchy, my spirit likes to meet once more new corners and strange people of the earth. Even though I become in January 68th years young, I fly at the 1st January 2006 to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina in South America. This is the southern most city of the world. There I start my new bicycle expedition and ride alone with panniers and tent north through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia to Lima in Peru. There my flight goes home at the 1st July 2006 to Hamburg in Germany.

To make this tour real, the big outdoor market Globetrotter sponsored me the new, light weight and very strong Hardo Wagner bicycle. It is full made by hand for my measures and my own requests. Tomorrow we have the 10th December 2005. I go by train to Hamburg to receive it, hang my panniers at it and make my first bicycle trainings tour to Berlin. By train I drive back to Hamburg, where I bring it for inspection. It shall also be in good shape and full functioning that it will not let me abandon.

To go by bicycle across this big continent healthy and come back at home healthy, I needed many vaccinations:

1) tetanus,

2) diphtheria

3) poliomyelitis

(These three vaccinations I got still 2004 before starting to my Alaska-bicycle tour)

4) 1st Hepatitis A&B

5) 2nd Hepatitis A&B

6) Typhoid

7) Yellow fever

8) 1st rabies

9) 2nd rabies

10) 3rd rabies

11) The 3rd hepatitis A&B I get after coming back in Kiel in Germany.

This way I got many new pricks. Pricks I have in any case always enough. I do not notice them, but only the other people. With that I can live.

My preparations are going to final stage. Now I count my vitamin pills and let send them. Because I wish to come back in best health. This time I shall cook on the tour. But I do not love to do it more. But finally I have only very few money and therefore I shall live cheap on tour. Most of my camping will be limited in the wild. That is for free and shall be, because there are no campgrounds or motels or hotels or houses. Besides that I have to fight against hard storm and do not know how far I come daily. Maybe I have to push all the day my bicycle – 8 km a day? Oh, that can become nice prospects!

Against the mosquitoes I swallow keen vitamin B1. Besides that I have for this tour a new helmet – with mosquito net in the front, that the small insects shall not fly under my helmet to be caught between my hair, where they will struggle to become free. But that I cannot like absolutely. That tickles!

A new tent which has only the half weight of my tent from the Alaska-tour, waits on my attic and waits for its stake. Because I have to tent often on loose sand I bought tent pegs for sand. With them my tent shall stay all the night through the hard storm. Let us see, if it becomes true. In any case this time I have no problems with grizzly bears and other wild animals, who can become dangerous to me. There where I am cycling and sleeping, there it gives such beasts not, at the most snakes, scorpions and such. I have to shut the zippers of my tent every time fine till the last millimetre. The mountain lions, who are at home on the Anden Mountains, will not come there where I am tenting. They have enough to eat like young alpacas! I hope that the ostriches will not chase me how they did with other bicyclists. These big birds are faster than me and can stick me hard with their beak! But I am short. I think they do not count with me. To be short has also its advantage.

In the south I have to fight against storm and hurricanes, later in the north of Santiago de Chile with cruel heat and sand storms. My brain knows about. I wish to buy a beautiful Llama-pullover from the Inkas. That attracts my attention most in the north.

Weekly I send a report to my daughter Gudrun to Valencia/Spain – if I find in the Pampa a telephone for my small PocketMail. I also try to send to Gudrun CDs with photos, that you have some impressions of my surroundings. And as soon as Gudrun has time to do them into my homepage as soon you can see all. It can be that you shall wait something longer – but it is sure to come!!!

Keep yours fingers crossed for me, that all will went well. Till then!

Yours, Hermine

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