Day 21 (May 22nd)
Today is a rest day as my knees were in bits after yesterday.
I woke up and Karen gave me a tour of the mountain ranges in the area and then took us down to the same restaurant for breakfast. She introduced us to her friends and we all sat and chatted for an hour.
Before I could even get my wallet out Karen had paid and refused my money. I’m still awkward around things like people paying for me but I thanked her for the hot food (hot food is kind of a luxury these days).
Karen knew a Wolf sanctuary near hers so got us booked in. We got there and it was only myself and Aurel for the tour. The boss man Mark walked us around these beautiful animals and told us in detail about each one. Man knows his wolves!
As we came to the end of the tour Mark said that we would now be going in with all the wolves and I laughed, it turns out he wasn’t joking!
Before we entered each area he told us which wolves we could initiate contact with and which ones we weren’t to approach unless they came to us.
There was one pure Wolf named Thor that I was told not to approach. He walked over to me, got up on his back legs and put his giant paws on my shoulders and looked down at me, his nose inches from mine. He stared at me, sniffed and then started licking my face.
As if this was a sign that Thor had approved of me I was now allowed to stroke him, which was lucky as I was starting to struggle under his weight.
What an incredible experience!
I must stress that this wasn’t a zoo, it was a refuge for wolves that humans had naively thought they could domesticate who then in a lot of cases would abuse. Oh humans.
On a lighter note I really thought my first experience with wolves would be me running through a foggy, moonlit wood crying with a pack hunting me down. I preferred today.
Yours in cycling,