Martine and I had decided that, if she felt well enough to travel, we’d go together to France and Italy. If she felt unable to travel, I would go by myself to Peru and possibly Bolivia. At the end of January, we took a little test trip to the Anza-Borrego Desert in San Diego County. Although we had a firm bed, it wasn’t firm enough for Martine’s back. Fortunately, we had an air mattress that was firmer, so Martine slept on the floor. This option would not work as well for overseas travel, as both of us travel light.
On the plus side, Martine is getting better slowly; but she still depends heavily on a super firm couch and a super firm mattress for her comfort. Without these, she would be awake most of the night for all the days of our trip. Understandably, under those circumstances she would prefer to remain behind in Los Angeles.
I, on the other hand, have this great yearning for travel. The pity of it is, I will be deprived of my favorite traveling companion. I am used to this, as I have been alone in Iceland twice (2001 and 2013) and in Argentina once (2006). We will probably travel together to Southern Arizona by car—with the firm air mattress—so that Martine doesn’t get a case of cabin fever.
In the meantime, I am continuing my Peru reading program in preparation for a three week vacation there in September and October. As Rudyard Kipling wrote in his poem, “The Winners”:
Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,
He travels the fastest who travels alone.
Most memorably, in Josef von Sternberg’s film Morocco (1930), Marlene Dietrich, writes these lines with her lipstick on a hotel room mirror before ditching Adolphe Menjou.
So I will travel faster, but I’d rather not be alone.