We pulled up around the rear of the warehouse, expecting the personnel to be long gone. Crunching to a stop, a dishevelled head jumped out from a corrugated iron shed. A tuft of hair stuck proudly high of his crown. A fan of noel gallagher I gathered. We were greeted by a fresh faced middle-aged man dressed in high-vis trousers and a well fitting t-shirt . He walked with a uncomfortable gait, his wide shoulders rocking from side to side as though compensating for too many years of toil.
Recognising us immediately he questioned my co-pilot about his tattoos. “Is that a horned viper? I saw one in Morocco. Don’t take pictures with cobras,” he informed us, before demonstrating their spitting technique using his forearm and pinched fingers. Hissss.
“Looking for the bikes? Do you know place St. Louis? Of course you do,” he shouted before jumping into his bintruck and scooting off. Our guide was waiting for us at out arrival, assuredly indicating a parking spot behind his vehicule. Safe in the shadow of power.
Giving the bikes the one over, he continued his enquiries. I sweated away in the high 30s, every turn of a tool causing me to pump sweat. Sitting on a wooden chair he seemed immune to the heat. Rattling away, he raised our spirits, engaging us in erratic conversation.
The work done we said our goodbyes. Solidly shaking our hands he looked us keenly in the eyes. His glasses were sparkling clean .
“Make the most of your time here. It’s often cut short.”