Sat here in Osh, Kyrgzstan, the official ending point of the famous Pamir Highway (the second highest highway in the world), brings quite the sense of achievement to my being.
Having just traversed it solely with man power and my own legs shows me now that anything is possible during this big ass bike trip. And it can also be extended to a metaphor for life, as you can deal with the most challenging obstacles that come your way, if you simply don't define them as obstacles and pass them by. In this case, it was bloody hard to pass these humongous mountainous obstacles, but we stayed strong and managed it. Yet, it wasn't just the sheer height of these hurdles which made the challenge all the more challenging, because of other factors that made their way into the equation - like perpetual sickness, trucks hurtling past you within inches, and even the risk of Taliban sending a bullet over the river separating us from Afghanistan.
So with all these things all mixed together in a cocktail of complications, it made the Pamir Highway an ultimate test of willpower and determination, towards what is essentially a very arbitrary and odd goal - cycling across the world.
Pushing yourself to your very limit physically and mentally an extra inch, up a seemingly endless climb up a large protruding rock spike, is really quite the peculiarity, considering that there's no sensible or obvious reason at all to be doing it, other than for the completion of an utterly crazy trip, configured by an utterly crazy person - me.
It's funny that when you're cycling the flat coastal roads of southern Greece, you can't help but mentally applaud yourself for designing such a wondrous idea of a trip, and for putting yourself in such a paradise, atop such a liberating freedom machine. Yet, when you are unforgivingly climbing, in headwind, with a gravel road slipping beneath your tyres, you really do question everything about your sanity when you planned such a ridiculous voyage. But saying this, it doesn't mean that the challenge wasn't an absolutely stunning challenge, for everywhere you looked were striking stark spikes, absolutely monumental in stature - which could bring even the sourest fellow into a state of awe.
The mountainous mountains of the world really are a sobering sight, especially the Pamir Mountains.