The climate by the sea is significantly different from that of the inland. The temperature is the same as it has been throughout the journey, 32-33 C but the humidity enhances heat. Although we shower few times a day, the continuous sticky state is quite uncomfortable. Clothes are also moist. The tent is like a sauna. We sleep without any sleeping bags, blankets or linen, not to mention clothes, but still everything is sticky and damp and really hot. And, like out of spite, although by the sea, the air does not move at all at night. Absolute silence. The sea is like a mirror when waking up in the morning. And if there is no wind at all then the ventilation of the tent will not work well and in addition to the heat and moisture, there is lack of air.
Because of all that, we decide to change our lodging and move to a local guesthouse not far away. I found it quite casually a few days ago. Good room amenities, hot water, air conditioning and a refrigerator. The guest house is even closer to the city centre. And the price is more favourable than for two persons in a tent, a 15 $ room compared to 20 $ for camping. So, we packed our things and got on the road.
After a couple of kilometers happened something we should have gotten used to by now – we have a flat front tire.
Oh, how I do not want to deal with it again. Fortunately there’s a man about 10 meters away under a tree that repairs rubber things. So with the help of locals, we lifted the bike central fork and I took of the front wheel.
I took the tire completely off the rim to find out what’s the deal. The man under the tree cut patches from an old bicycle inner tube and glues them at the right spots. There are two holes. The pattern is the same. I found the same gash from the tire as previously. This time it’s a little longer.
I could no longer remember whether the whole tire was correctly checked over the last time, whether the gash could have been there the last time and just did not notice it or it was a new one. The whole thing with the front tire is like one big gray horror, I am no longer able to distinguish details. But life goes on. We also patch the gash and it should hold up at least until to the guesthouse. We’ve reached to the level that I don’t even have to tell Oksana what kind of tools are needed to pass or when to turn the compressor on. With the compressor doing its thing I put the tire back on the bike. We do not talk to each other this time. And this time I do not swear either. I do it wordlessly. Oksana, however, hears it. And she reprimands me, as always when my use of words is not proper. But she’s a smart girl and this time she does it without words. So, silently, we packed our tools rode on. The guest house should be only a few kilometres away. I did not remember exactly how far it was, but I remembered that it was on a street parallel to the main road leading to the city. And I remembered the place where I had to turn to the left.
We rode about 500 meters when the bike signalled that something was wrong. I checked the front tire, it was full. True, when installing it in a hurry a mistake was made, the direction of the rotation is wrong. But this is not a very big problem. Okay, I thought I just imagined everything. But after starting our journey again I realised that everything was not ok. We stopped again and this time the rear tire was empty. Really it was! We looked at each other and thought the same thing. Which god have we angered? We should light a candle. But to which one? All kinds of them are represented here … Hey Hey! It’s only a tire! Only a tire! A rubber tire! Rear tire! There aren’t any devils running around the bike!
I connected the compressor and hoped that I could get some kind of pressure to the tire so I could reach the guesthouse somehow. I would have time to deal with it there.
The sun was already low. But no, the gauge did not even move. There is no injury that can be seen from the outside. Ok. How bad could it can be. I tried to ride quietly, maybe we would find the guesthouse from right there on some side street. Oksana walked behind me. But I did not find the familiar place and the the side street turned out to be a dead end. I turned back from the houses to the main street. Fortunately, there was a smoother area where we could set up our own outdoor workshop. We needed to lighten the load so the entire load had to be removed from the bike.
I managed to get the inner tube out. It’s really damaged. There’s not just a hole. It’s shredded.
I wasn’t really worried since I had a spare. I slide my hand over the inside of the tire to check if there weren’t any nails in there but can’t feel anything. No, I did not trust myself. I could have been wrong. I took the tire completely of the rim and checked the insides.
And there it was. Diagonal, not very noticeable, big rusty nail. The nail has penetrated through the tire so that it could have been there for a long time before it made the hole.
Then, already empty, it moved on a rim and pulled out a large piece. Whatever, at least there was a specific reason. There was some messing around before I got the nail out. I couldn’t have done it without the clamps. New one on and just before dark we could get moving again.
Our new nest was about 5-6 kilometers away and we could not have managed it without further damage with a flat tire. So it was the right decision to try and fix it on the road. Fortunately, we have a warm shower, cold beer and a wide bed in the room waiting for us. We’ve arrived.