"A couple hundred years of velvet cushions have rendered our reflexes obsolete, but haven't wiped them out."
I came across that line today. It's been on my mind a bunch the last half year. Humans have great mental capacity, but frail physical capacity relative to much of the animal kingdom. I can sit in a car, shiver, and turn on a heated seat on the way to the mountains, where outside a wolf or fox or bear or wolverine is wandering about just fine. Even though I try, I'm coddled, and coddle myself, way too much. We need Gore tex, wool and down to even give us a chance. But with that available, so few even do. That's part of why I slept outside for a winter, although that was over 10 years ago Even Andalucia people complained about moderate weather, and even at home so few get outdoors in the winter when in reality a 5h ride in -5C takes just a couple smart layers.
I'm trying to find adventures that can fit into my fluorescent lights and climate controlled office schedule, ones that reduce coddle, not enhance it.
Iwona spent a bunch of time at Andalucia telling me about Mongolia. 5am starts, cold rain, trucks struggling to cross swollen rivers, vastness upon vastness, and friendly people. I was sold. I think in reality you're taken care of quite well, but just surrounded by vastness and simplicity.
I'm going in September. I was reminded by guys at work that "you know you can afford hotels, right?". Sure. But sometimes, less is more. Often times less is more. Especially after reading the Steve Jobs biography.
And I think still we're well taken care of there - tents and food all easy peasy. It's just really a string of 120km days with what you can fit in a jersey pocket that strip away and simplify.
Pinkbike guys took some great photos.