Magazine Talenti

Feeling the Magic of Getting Lost

Da Arturo Robertazzi - @artnite @ArtNite
- written in Pag, Berlin, Birmingham

When you are on a motorbike trip, 1000 kilometers away from home, it's all about trusting - trusting the weather, the road and your motorbike. On a lonely road opened up in front of your eyes, you feel homeless and the motorbike becomes your only shelter.

I have always wanted to go for a long solo ride. I remember, when I was a kid, I saw a motorbike packed with bags on a mountain road of the Amalfi coast. That foreign registration number meant that the rider traveled for hours, maybe for days.

How would it be to ride solo? Would I feel lonely? Would I be scared?

I found the answer on the tired face of that stranger - He was happy.

"That is what I need to do", I told myself then.

The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called yourself

I leave Berlin early in the morning, when the summer air is only timidly warm. The comforting sound of my Moto Guzzi accompanies me out of the city and roars through the empty roads. Keeping a comfortable speed, I head South East, towards Dresden.

I won't have time to stop in this wonderful German city, but at least I will enjoy the beautiful landscape of Saxony, a well-known tourist destination at the border with Check Republic. I follow a curvy road along the river Elbe, which moves through villages with unpronounceable names, surrounded by green valleys and hills.

The temperature drops to an ideal 25 degrees, but before I can really enjoy that fresh whiff, heavy clouds gather on the horizon; through the black plastic of my visor they look much darker than they really are. The rain drops on my jacket are refreshing at first, but eventually, I start shivering.

We, humans, have some real trouble at accepting reality. When you are on a motorbike and it rains, you constantly think how you would love to wear dry clothes; if it is warm, you dream about the cold weather you encountered a couple of hundred kilometers before.

The range of temperatures in which we feel comfortable, in which can be alive, is so narrow that makes you think that life in the universe, the way we know it, it is indeed a miracle. Or a huge stroke of luck.

The cold, the rain, the sun: everything is so inevitable. Everything can be pure pleasure. Or suffering.

Centuries of wisdom whisper that it is in this gap between reality and fantasy that our suffering occurs. It would be so much easier if we could mindfully accept what is.

Fuck it, it is warm; Fuck it, it is raining.

That rain is not going to kill you; the worse that can happen is that you have to find a bar or diner, have a coffee and wait for the sun to come back. And who knows, maybe in that bar you find the love of your life or the most brilliant idea comes visit you. Would it still be bad then?

I stop at a petrol station. Maybe it is my lucky day.

We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people's lives

Before starting the motorbike, I carefully check the cargonets and the straps; they need to hold my luggage for hours, every day, for 15 days. And at motorway speed.

Now that the sun has heated the rain away, the Czech motorway feels cozier compared to the fast curves of Germany, where the no-speed-limit policy allows drivers to really push on their gas. There is no much to do apart from maintaining the gas open the right amount and monitor the traffic in front of me.

Some 500 Kilometers from Berlin, I am about to approach Brno, a historical city in the region called Moravia. I would need at least a day to visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, famous for the bells that always ring noon one hour earlier, and the Brno Underground, a network of tunnels, crypts and cellars, with the second largest ossuary in Europe.

The traffic slows down without warning and I have to swing between the vehicles for about 10 kilometers. Eventually, I surrender to an impenetrable wall of heat, metal and people.

Among families on a holiday, pissed-off truck drivers, and road workers, fellow motorbikers have gathered on a side of the road: no helmets, jackets loose on their machines. It is too hot keep the engine on, so I switch off mine and join them. Three are German - they are riding to Brno for the famous superbike race that will be held next day. The fourth motorbiker, from Czchek Republic, tells us in his difficult German that he knows an alternative route.

"The Good news is..." he says, mixing German and English, "I can bring you away from the traffic."

"The bad news?" I ask.

"That road does not go to Brno".

The German riders have paid expensive tickets to get to the race and decide to stay. I just need to travel South, so I am open to suggestions.

When the fellow rider from Czeck Republic starts the engine of his bike, an elegant honda 500 from the '70's, I can tell that those pistons have been going for a while and have no intentions to do otherwise. I follow him to a hidden road that bends besides the motorway into the East. We ride for about 30 minutes on a pleasant valley, until, at a large crossroad, it is time to say goodbye.

"Motoguzzi! That is all you need to be happy." He says with an almost perfect Italian pronunciation. He then hugs me as if we have been knowing each other for years.

I am again on my own, headed South.

Feeling the Magic of Getting Lost

Sunset on the island Krk


the power of sea

details on krk and vrbnik

how did I get here - the bridge and meditation

The power of the sea

I grew up on the sea side, but years of living in Berlin have put these emotions back at the border between conscious and subconscious mind. One minute in the waters of the Croatian island of Krk and everything is back. The kid screaming, my father telling me that I have been too long into the water, the old man who sells ice cream on the beach, my childhood comes back. That is the power of the sea.

The beaches of Krk are disappointing in some way, perhaps I am spoiled by years of sea in the South of Italy and the stunning waters of Sardinia. I have tried several spots, XXX, and I know that my trip has not reached the end yet.

After a few swims, I choose a small town to rest in the afternoon. It is medieval town of Vrbnik.

- where, which, details on Vrbnik.

The guy in Rjieka that tells you to go to Krk.

Going back: sunset photo - after taking the picture amazing experience riding in the evening

Way to get there fantastic: why do I love going on a motorbike - meditation/Pirsig.

Pag, the moon island

Pirsig best read for the trip

  1. fast forward - Pag con Pirsig - andare in moto è come fare meditazione - check yout thinking - we are on the edge of going crazy, all the time - link to Crystal seed
  2. aggungi viaggio (Croatia, Krk, Vir) con Pirsig
  3. crystal seed
  4. Pag description in details

2.000 kms after, it is already my last day in Croatia and I have finally found my place. It is the beach of Bosana, a few Kms from the island of Pag. All I do is read, swim, dry at the sun and swim again. It is quiet here, my mobile does not work, and, while burning my skin under the mid-day sun, I recall the roads that brought me here. From Velehrad, I rode on the motorway through Austria towards the coast of Croatia. From there, the most beautiful roads took me to the village of Volosko, the island of Krk, and finally, from Senj to the Island of Pag.

Here there is no escape from the desert-like terrain and the boiling air that adds up to the temperature of the engine, cooking my brains. No trees, no water - it is a lunar landscape. I expect to see some alien aircrafts on the small valleys that find their way between the sea and the mountains. The village of Pag is small oasis populated by locals and tourists; a half moon cutting through the sea on which bars, restaurants and hotels bring life during the day. Unlike Novalja, one of the villages I have visited, at night Pag shows all his tranquility.

Crazy crystal

The most beautiful beach in Pag is Bosana - describe the beach. How did you get there - experience (motorbike diffulties around Rjieka) - reading Pirsig. He really went crazy. Connection between the trip, the book, pirsig and me. The journey is a journey inside me. That is all I want to write about.
How did you get back.
I am on the sofa: final quote + journey on the motorbike is the journey I have started a few years ago.
Remember the guy at the car wash:
That is all you need to be happy.
Quotes from Pirsig
- "That everything you think, you are" - pag177
- Who has horn rimmed glasses pag 195
- All the writers wrote without rules, putting down whatever sounded right, then going back to see if it sounded right and changing it if it did not. Pag 221
more quotes>
The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there
It's the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top.
First you get the feeling, then you figure out why
QUOTE No one ever travels so high as who he knows not where is going.

STAFF: I need to ride on an unknown road, without destination nor scope.


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