Until tomorrow, we’ll just keep moving on…
“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.” - Joan Baez
Back on the road.
After a manic few days at Christmas it is amazingly peaceful to be pedaling again. Daydreaming, watching the world go by and hanging out in the… sunshine….
First things first though, Houston.
Not actually somewhere we had planned to go.
But at 7pm last Wednesday, in the dark, as the rain began to fall and the temperatures plummet we rocked up somewhere in the Northern suburbs.
Attempting to read the GPS in the blurry half light a very sweet homeless lady wandered over.
“You guys lost.”
“Erm, are we, yes.”
“Well, don’t go any further. There’s only a couple of motels ahead and I wouldn’t stay there. This one here isn’t too bad. I mean, they do rent by the hour but at least the crack dealers wont bother you.”
We stopped. It was everything you could imagine of a seedy motel but it was warm, dry and had Aladdin on TV.
It was my birthday so Jamie braved the weather to get a cake and some food (thanks Jamie – you rock).
Lucky really as I was too scared to leave the room!
Anyway, we awoke the next day to the ‘arctic blast’ that had hit the South. Since we had a load of time to get to New Orleans we decided to hole up and stay put. The decision was made much easier as we had also found that the lovely Mike Mercer (friend from Lloyd’s) had just moved to the US to terrorise beautiful ladies.
He would rescue us after work.
And so it came to pass that - just a short while after our less than salubrious introduction to the city - we found ourselves in a loft apartment with a hot tub on the roof overlooking the sky line.
Very Miami Vice.
If Miami was in Texas.
And didn’t have as much vice in it.
Anyway, a huge thank you again to Blake for putting us in touch with Mike and to Todd for lending us his apartment. Such unbelievable and unexpected luxuory.
In fact, so much so that we didn’t leave the following day either – opting instead to head out to the Museum District to immerse ourselves into a bit of culture.
A soothing antidote to the mayhem of New Year.
Much as the last couple of days.
Quite a bit of the journey from Houston to Lafayette was built up and traffic heavy but just being on the open road has a curiously soothing effect on the soul.
There were a whole load of great quotes in the museum library so the meditative state was exacerbated by some serious pondering.
When not spotting alligators.
Or being amazed by the continued Southern hospitality.
Once again, everyone we meet has been wonderfully friendly.
None more so than Jeff at the Louisiana Solar Energy Society who has not only been in touch with the press in Baton Rouge on our behalf but who has offered us food, water and a roof over our heads. Plus, help with the bikes and all our solar kit. Oh and he has an electric bike that runs off solar panels. Something we tried (and sadly – failed) to make back home. Be great to see it in action.
Anyhow, Jeff was also involved in drafting the legislation for the Louisiana Tax credits, which give the state the best solar incentives in America.
Looking forward to finding out more.
The SolarCycle Diaries is supporting the ‘We Support Solar’ campaign in the UK (sign up if you live there). The UK government is currently debating the level of a feed-in-tariff for people adding solar power into the national grid. A good tariff will hugely increase the amount of renewable energy in the country and provide thousands of green collar jobs. As it has in Germany. It will be interesting to see how the tax incentives here have taken affect.
Anyway, that is all later on today.
Right now though I had better get a wriggle on or we will never make it!
Hope you are having a great one wherever you may be.