The Spoked Traveller | Melanie Chambers
Trails and advice cycling around the world as solo female cyclist and adventurer
mountain bike, adventure travel, cycling travel, bike tours, outdoor, solo travel, female mountain biking, badass female cycling, female travellers, women travel, adventurous
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Author: Melanie Chambers

At 29-years-old, Lena Dunham (creator of HBO's GIRLS and recent memoir author--a memoir at this age? Seriously?) has got it all figured out: 'we're all screwed up and that's ok.' Wow, I'm almost 42 and I only figured this out in the last few years. I assumed I should have come to some epiphany by now; that I should have some things 'straightened-out.' Well, in some ways I have, but new and strange moments of living in 'awkward-city' crop up all the time.

Every time I walk to town, San Juan, about 10 minutes from my cabin on the beach, I pass a host of characters. Off to the side of the mud road, before turning onto the pavement, broken tube lights hang over a dozen pic nic tables. It's Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-ish. The roof is made from corrugated metal and blue tarps. Illegal gambling. IMG_4021 Across the mud road: a dozen or more knee-high A-frames for roosters. Illegal cock fighting. I pass the gambling, roosters, and men who watch me intently, before turning the corner on to the paved road in front of the church. And there they are: two giant white slabs inscribed with the ten commandments. See the irony? Non? ten coomands

Ok, in Philippines now for two and a half weeks; another few weeks to go. Coming from Java Indonesia, where everyone is trying to sell you something, that is not the case here; however, walking through San Juan, my little town in the north, I feel like a celebrity. All eyes watch me because I'm the only white person. But, people smile, and wave. Some even blurt out a big 'hello ma'am!' Everyone calls me ma'am. I flew into Manila and then gum booted it out of there (chaos and unsafe) on an eight hour bus ride north to San Juan City to find my cabin on the beach. Arriving around 2am, I could only hear the waves crashing on the beach. Beautiful. IMG_3527   Fishing boats outside my cabin.       If I thought Indonesia was humid, this is an entirely new level of stickiness!