As Summer turns into Fall

As Summer turns into Fall,
And leaves start changing color
Turning brown, red and gold,
And as the hair turns grey,
Or starts to fall,
Do you ponder,
Which is the trail
To go yonder?
In search of not searching,
In need of not needing,

As the crossroads you reach,

without doing much math,

You choose the poet’s path,

Towards the kingdom
of peace, Harmony and wisdom,

Ksemendra in Kavikanthabharanam, a thwefth-century verse treatise on poetic training, compared poets to Nature Sentinels:
With his own eyes a poet
Observes the shape of a leaf.
He knows how to make
people laugh
and studies the nature of each living thing.
The features of oceans and mountains,
The motions of sun, moon and stars.
His thoughts turn with the seasons.
He goes among different peoples
Learning their landscapes,
Learning their languages.

And to you, Dear One who are reading this simple words of dreams and love, may the following Apache Blessing be fulfilled for you:

May the Sun
Bring you energy by day,

May The Moon
Softly restore you by night.

May the Rain
Wash away your worries,

May the Breeze
blow new strength into your being.

May You Walk
Gently through the world and know
It’s beauty all the days of your life.

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Nayoro to Asahikawa – Haikus

Yesterday, sunny morning, no rain gear,

Afternoon showers,

Bicyclist wet…

 

Today cloudy morning,

Rain gear in the bicycle

No rain…

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Steep ascent,

Hard Pedaling,

Sweat falls like waterfall.

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Steep descent,

Speedily gliding down,

Extending the wings like elegant crane

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Haikus: Hamatombetsu to Nayoro

In the carless road
 A  poem without words,
Silence speaks…
In a carless road
A riderless bicycle,
Pedaling through the Gateless Gate
In a carless road
Green mountains in the background
Flowers watch bicyclist go by…
In a carless road
The forest’s sweet scent
Lungs overjoyed…

Fast or Slow?

Today we pedaled from Termoli to Vieste, left the Molise region and entered Puglia.

The first part of today’s journey was mainly flat and we had a long a steep climb after lunch. But more than route, today’s story is whether to hurry or whether to slow down. Whether to Pedal at your own pace, to go fast or to go slow?

I’m riding an extremely comfortable mountain bike with wide tires, shock absorbers, a wide handlebar, a mirror and a soft saddle. The guide thought that if,  instead of riding my bike, I ride a spare road bikes of his, I would be able to pedal faster.

One of the guides switched the pedals from my bike to the spare road bike, I took the two pictures below, mounted the borrowed fast bike and I went hurriedly towards our day’s destination in Vieste.

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So today I rode fast, I was able to keep up with group.  I  spined at high RPMs (Revolutions Per Minute) and speedily went forward. If you pedal fast and stay close with group you need to pay attention to keep a safe distance from the person ahead of you. That is what I did. I did not get distracted and looked straight into the behind of  the person ahead of me, but soon I was bored with the view. So I accelerated and passed both of the people pedaling ahead of me and I went my own way pedaling fast.

In the picture below you can also see the behind of the person that was riding ahead of me…

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Here was our lunch stop for the day…

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If you have studied physics, it is likely that you have heard of Heisenberg’s indetermination principle that says that you can either observe the speed or the location of a given particle, but not both… So if you pay attention to speed you can not pay attention at the same time to the surrounding location., and therefore I was able to take only a few pictures like tow above I took when I arrived fast and lonely to the lunch location and another one when the group was also there…

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Today was the days of behinds. I was able to take the picture below when I had to slow down and share the road with the horses ahead.

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And speedily arrived in Vieste…

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In one of the hotels we stayed during our journey I saw a book, one of those books that people leave behind after reading them… The book was written in German, and I loved the title: “Fur Eile fehlt mir die Zeit” which can be translated as “I have no time to hurry”.

Next day I went back to my reliable and comfortable bicycle. I rode it fast for a little while, but why the hurry? Scenery was very beautiful. Maybe it is wise lo learn how to slow down…

Santo Stefano di Sessanio to Pescocostanzo in the Province of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a comune and hill town in the province of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy. Located in theGran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, in the highest region of the Apennines, this medieval hill town sits adjacent to the high plain of Campo Imperatore.

The tiny medieval village of Santo Stefano lay largely abandoned with many of its ancient building in ruins and only a small number of inhabitants until recent years.
Below the elevation gain profile for today’s ride includes going over Leonardo Pass after a long climb.

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We pedaled by Capestrano, sister city of Buda’s Palace in Budapest, Hungary and San Juan Capistrano in California, USA

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Capestrano lies in the heart of Abruzzo in the fertile valley of the Tirino river, on a hill at 500 m a.s.l. Its territory, half of which is included in the area of the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga, has a population of about 1200 inhabitants both in the municipality and the minor centres of Capodacqua, S.Pelagia and Forca di Penne. The place is world-famous not only for the celebrated Capestrano Warrior, but also for being the birthplace of one of the greatest Franciscan Saints, Saint John of Capestrano (1386/1456).

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Pedaling towards the Leonardo Pass

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Lunch stop at Leonardo pass

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We found picturesque views during the ups and downs on our way to Pescocostanzo

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Pescocostanzo, where we have our lodging for tonight considers itself one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, and is located within the boundaries of the Majella National Park.

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During the last days we went across the regions of Umbria, crossed a short distance of the Rome Region, went over Abruzzo and tomorrow we will pedal towards Agnone in Molise.

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Umbria Province of Perugia

We are now in the heart of the Apennine Mountains. We went from Pienza to Assisi to Cascia in the Province of Perugia in the Umbria region.

Assisi is the birth place of St. Francis. In the picture below you can see a panoramic view of the city.  (The picture was borrowed from Wikipedia).

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Around 1000 BC a wave of immigrants settled in the upper Tiber valley as far as the Adriatic Sea, and also in the neighborhood of Assisi. These were the Umbrians, living in small fortified settlements on high ground. From 450 BC these settlements were gradually taken over by the Etruscans. The Romans took control of central Italy after the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. They built the flourishing municipium Asisium on a series of terraces on Monte Subasio. Roman remains can still be found in Assisi: city walls, the forum (now Piazza del Comune), a theatre, an amphitheatre and the Temple of Minerva (now transformed into the Church of Santa Mariasopra Minerva). In 1997, the remains of a Roman villa were also discovered containing several well-preserved rooms with frescoes and mosaics in a condition rarely found outside sites such as Pompei.

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Flowers in Spoleto.

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Break stop in Spoleto

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Lunch along the way

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Steep and challenging climbs with beautiful views.

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Towns and villages in the Apennines usually crown mountains.

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A fast descent after a steep climb on the way to Cascia.

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Cascia one more picturesque town.

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H21 – Bac Ha to Hoang Su Phi with lunch on the way at Coc Pai

After reading the road we pedaled up and down hill step grades of 11% and more, but more often than not, both the uphill and downhill stretches were brief.

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This lady wanted her baby to see the funny foreigners riding by in their bicycles.

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We arrived to lunch at Coc Pai….

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You can see in the next blog’s entry the pictures taken after lunch….