A beautiful climax to a real love story.

The regular readers will know that I often mentioned Ronnie Borrageiro, the man who started his RTW (Round The World) ride on March 1, 2010.

Some will remember the striking way, in which he described the love of his life, Patricia Spahn, whom he met in Bali during his ride.

A few weeks ago he sent me another email. He completed his RTW trip.

Tonight he sent an email. He and Patricia are going to get married in 18 days’ time!

I am going to copy their story of how they met from their website http://www.ewedding.com/sites/pattiandronnie (.)  Take time and read it, then you will understand why I am sitting with such a broad smile now. One biker did the right time at the right time.

On Saturday night we will toast this good man and his good wife-to-be.

Life is truly good to those who pursue their life destiny (The Alchemist).

Their first “public” photo together, June 2011, Bali

Ronnie’s Story:

My story starts in December 2010, in the Syrian Desert, in the middle of the ancient Roman ruins of the Palmyra Oasis… Or maybe it really all began a few weeks before that, when I was prevented from riding into Azerbaijan and Armenia, by an unseasonal snow storm in central Turkey… This brought my schedule forward by a few weeks, and I found myself in Syria, sooner than I had originally intended…

I was sitting in the foyer of a tiny hotel in Palmyra, looking out over the ruins that had captivated me for the past three days…  My bike was parked right outside the window I was staring out of, and I noticed a couple standing next to it… I rapped on the window and indicated for them to come inside and join me for coffee… They were the first Westerners I had seen in weeks, and I was understandably eager to speak to someone who could understand every word I was saying…!!

I discovered that Trevor and Chenty Wilson were also riding their bike around the world, albeit on a more direct route that the one I was on… They rode the same model bike as me; Trevor wore the identical riding kit to mine; and we quickly discovered that we had a lot more in common than just the things connected to our motorcycles… We spent the next day together and then rode out of the Palmyra Oasis together, splitting up a few hours later, when they headed south towards Damascus, and I turned west to ride into Lebanon…

We remained in contact via email and three months later were reunited in Pakxe, Laos… For the next 8 weeks we would tour South-East Asia together, cementing the friendship which had begun in the Syrian Desert… During this time, Chenty chipped away at the walls I had built around certain parts of my psyche, and I began to see the world in a different way… She made me realize that no man is an island, and that I should begin to open my heart and mind to the possibilities of sharing my life with someone again…

On the 24th of May 2011, we parted ways, Trevor and Chenty flew to Australia to continue their ride, while I planned to ride across Indonesia and enter Australia from East Timor. When they heard I would be passing through Bali, they mentioned that they had met a girl in Turkey the previous year, who now lived and worked there… They gave me her email address and promised to send her a mail to introduce me to her… They felt certain that she would offer me a place to stay if I needed it, or at the very least, could help me with any problems I might encounter on my way through Bali…

Apart from her name and email address, and the fact that she was a Yoga and Pilates instructor, I knew very little about Patricia Spahn…

I first made contact with her by email when I arrived in Bali… She explained in a mail to me, that she would be travelling to the USA in a few days time, and that I was welcome to use her home as a base while she was away, as long as I looked after her dog…!! I had planned to spend no more than a few days on the island, as I was keen to keep moving, knowing that I had to get into and through Australia before the weather in Alaska changed for the worse… At that stage of my journey, I intended to ride the Americas from North to South…

I decided to accept her invitation nonetheless, and use the time while she was away to catch up on my writing… I cleared my bike through customs, sent her a text message to say “The Eagle has Landed”, and made the ride up to Ubud, the village north-west of Denpesar where she lived… I arrived in the village a few hours before Patricia was due from work, and spent the time parked in the middle of some rice paddies, while I waited for here to text that she was home…

When I did eventually call her to get directions, I started the conversation with “Hi Honey, I’m home…!!” These were the first words I ever spoke to her, and boy did they turn out to be prophetic…!!

After lugging my gear up a series of steep stairs which she had directed me too, I began walking down the narrow pathway that led to her house… Each time somebody walked towards me, I would put my gear down and prepare to greet Patricia… I still had no idea what she looked like, and after three woman had walked towards me and passed without stopping, I called her again and was told that she would stand on the path and flash her torch for me… By the time I finally reached the spot she was standing in, I was sweating heavily…

I saw before me a beautiful blonde woman, dressed in white slacks and a blue blouse… There was not much time for pleasantries, as she and her sister Mimi had made arrangements to go to dinner as it was Mimi’s last night in Bali… I was directed to the shower and told to make it snappy, as they were already running a bit late… The shower helped only marginally, and I was still sweating heavily as I followed them back to where the bike was parked, and on towards the home of her friend Amanda…

We enjoyed a few drinks there, and then left to have dinner at a restaurant nearby… All the while, I watched Patricia interacting with the people around her… She was enthusiastic about any subject that was being discussed; she laughed and smiled a lot; and made sure I was included in the conversation… At dinner she sat next to me, and at some point asked if she could have a small taste of the meat I was eating… I had a piece on my fork at the time, and without thinking about etiquette, held the fork to her lips… She took the morsel without hesitation, and later helped herself to more food from my plate…

I found her directness a little disarming at first, but loved the fact that she was treating me like a long time friend and was completely comfortable with me… After dinner we moved on to a small night club nearby, where I found myself dancing up a storm, something which I think surprised my hostess…!!

We went back to Amanda’s place for more drinks and in the very early hours of the morning, began our walk back to Patricia’s home… As we were crossing the main road, two scooters came racing down the hill towards us… I put my hand out to prevent the two ladies walking behind me, from stepping into the road and into the path of possible danger… I felt someone take my hand and looked up to see that it was Patricia…

We crossed the road hand in hand and when we reached the opposite sidewalk, Patricia did not let go… I felt the warmth of her hand in mine and wondered when it would be appropriate to let go… We turned to walk up the steps and I heard Mimi ask why we were still holding hands…!! I could think of nothing better to say than “Because I am guiding you home and making sure you don’t fall over something in the dark…!!”  I did not really know why we were still holding hands, but it seemed the most natural thing in the world at the time, and after a few minutes, I felt my heartbeat begin to race, as I began to think about the fact that I was walking hand in hand with a gorgeous woman whom I had met only hours before…

At noon the following day I carted Mimi’s suitcase towards her waiting taxi on the hill behind Patricia’s home… I stood watching them say their goodbyes, and then waved as the car turned and rode away… Patricia and I set off back down the hill, walking side by side, and without thinking about it, I took her hand in mine… We walked hand in hand all the way home, not saying much… From time to time I think we just smiled shyly at each other…

I felt a strange kind of current flowing through my arm and into hers as our shoulders touched while we walked… I wasn’t at all sure of the emotions that began to surge through me… There were forces at work here that I could not comprehend… If felt as though I was walking on air…

When we arrived at home, she poured us a glass a wine and we went to sit out on her patio… We made small talk for a few minutes and then I turned to look squarely at her… Her gaze held mine for a second or two, and then I found myself taking her hand in mine, and leaning forward to kiss her… It seemed that she leaned towards me simultaneously, and we kissed for the first time…

I thought my heart would explode in my chest, and at that moment I knew that whatever might come from that kiss, my life had turned a corner… I felt that “lightness of being”, and did not want the moment to end… I was trembling all over when we finally drew apart and looked into each other’s eyes… I think we knew right away, without admitting it to each other, that somehow our futures were destined to be entwined…

Later that evening we went out on our first “date”, to have dinner at a Mexican Restaurant, where Patricia tried to teach me the difference between a tortilla, a burrito and a taco…without much success I might add…!! 

The following morning Patricia left for the Turks and Caicos Islands… I walked her to the waiting taxi, holding tightly onto each other all the way there… When I kissed her goodbye, I told her to hurry back, and that I’d be waiting for her… She looked deeply into my eyes and I think she knew that there was far more meaning to the words I had just uttered…

For the next ten days, I set about bonding with and training Sadie, and trying to concentrate on my writing… I remember that I kept looking at my watch to try and figure out where Patricia was at any given time… We skyped and g-chatted, covering many topics about ourselves that we had not had time to discuss during the 30 hours we had been in each other’s company before she left… Whenever we made contact, I felt as though she was there in the room with me… I hung on her every word, and searched her face for signs that she missed me as much as I missed her…

When she asked what my intentions were after her return, I found myself agreeing to stay a while longer to get to know each other better… Patricia seemed to like the idea, and returned to Bali on the 10th of June. I went to the airport to meet her, wondering how she would act upon seeing me… Would she be a little distant, and treat me as a friend, or would she mirror the emotions that were coursing through me at the time…

When I finally caught sight of her blonde locks bobbing above all the much shorter Balinese around her, I waved and called out to her… She dropped her bags and ran into my open arms… The post I wrote about what happened next can be read on my website…http://ronnieborr.com/blog/asia/confirmation       

We spent the next 10 weeks together, falling deeply in love, and committing ourselves to each other and a future we desperately wanted to share… We bought each other rings to confirm this commitment and before I left the Island of the Gods, we had already begun to discuss plans for our marriage…

We did not discuss them with our friends and family until later, because I think we thought that they would tell us that we were crazy…!! After all, we had only known each other for a few months…

Those few months were some of the happiest in my life, and being with Patricia unlocked a side of me that had been “missing in action” for the longest time… She is an amazing person, filled with the joys of life, and living that life to the max…

She radiates warmth and friendliness wherever she goes and always has a winning smile and a good word for everyone. She has a self-assuredness about her that I have not encountered in any other woman, and I cannot imagine my future without her in it…

The Gods stopped their frowning and smiled down on me when I set foot in Bali and met Patricia Spahn…

Since leaving Bali, I have interrupted my forward progress around the world to fly back and spend time with her whenever I could… We have kept in constant contact, and I have at many times along the way, felt her presence around me, urging me on and willing me back to her…

In February this year, on a deserted beach in Middle Caicos, I went down on one knee, and officially proposed to her… Even though our marriage plans had already been set in motion, I wanted her to hear the words and remember the moment…

There have been too many serendipitous moments in our lives since we met, to deny the fact that we are meant to be together…

I can think of no better words to describe Patricia, than those written by Mike Scott for the song, “She is so Beautiful”, and I repeat them here… I am sure you will agree with me…

She is so Beautiful…

She is so beautiful,

I have no words to describe,

The way she makes me feel inside…

 

I’m riding solo, free and as light as a bird,

Yet I would lay my wings down in a moment,

To protect and comfort her…

 

She is so beautiful,

Light-filled, loving and wise,

See the laughter dancing in her eyes…

 

Long roads behind and before me,

And I never dared to plan on a wife,

Yet she is the most beautiful soul

I ever held in this life…

 

For she is like a song, a ray of bright light,

She is like children praying,

Like harps and bells and cymbals playing…

She is like the wind,

Moving, soothing….

Bringing joy…

***

I look forward to you all joining us on the 14th of September, to witness us making our vows and commitments to each other, and be there at the beginning of another wonderful chapter in our lives…

And on that day, you will know that I am the happiest man on the planet…!!

Patti’s Story:

On a crisp sunny December morning in 2010, I met two people that would play a very important role in my meeting the love of my life. Trevor and Chenty Wilson, as pivotal as they were in introducing us, were not the only forces that would bring us together; there was a serendipitous series of events that occurred. On that December morning,

I was in Cappadocia, central Turkey. Nestled among ancient cave dwellings, staying in a hotel that was actually carved from a cave…a beautiful setting, a special place, with ancient energy and substance. Trevor and Chenty Wilson were having breakfast on the veranda, and I came down to have a coffee and contemplate my current situation. Turkey had become a very special place to me.

I had been living and teaching in Istanbul for the past three years, and had built friendships and relationships, and loved the country so much, I thought I could settle there. Trevor and Chenty from Salt Spring Island, off the coast of the Island of Victoria, Canada were in the middle of an around the world tour on their motor cycle.

I struck up a conversation easily with them, as they are two beautiful open souls, and we bonded over the fact that strangely enough I had visited their small Island home many times, and had an odd connection with Salt Spring. I had recently been presented with the opportunity to spend a year in Bali, to teach pilates at a world class Wellness Resort, and run their small activities department.

I was struggling with my decision to leave Turkey, as it meant cutting some serious ties, and the decision had to be made that day. If I decided to accept the Bali position, I would fly that week from Istanbul. I felt comfortable sharing this information with Chenty…who has a warmth and presence similar to a healer. I would call her a healer of sorts, as she did just that for my beloved, but that is his story.

She felt very strong in saying to me “Go to Bali”. So…I listened. As difficult as it was to break from the idea that I had found a new home in Istanbul, I went to Bali. I left that week.

Trevor and Chenty continued on their epic adventurous journey, and shared it on a blog they kept. I checked in with them every now and then, to see where they were, and let them know that in the end I was very happy with my job in Bali.

Later that year spring 2011, I found that they were riding in Thailand, very close to Bali and asked if they were coming my way. They had already been to Bali, so they said, sadly, that they would not come over but they mentioned they had met a fellow motorcyclist, on a similar worldly endeavor and that he was planning on coming my way and they would give him my details if that was o.k.

“Sure, of course it was…” was my reply. I had settled in nicely to my new job and life, had adopted a little street pup, and was quite content. There was no man or relationship on the horizon for me, and I was very happy; I was settled and o.k. with myself, for maybe the first time in my life. Life was rich, spiritual and fulfilling…in the past I had only felt such a way when in a relationship.

Things were going so well with my situation at COMO Shambhala Estate, the wellness retreat, that there was another position I was being considered for in the company. A bigger job, but on their sister property in the Caribbean, managing their biggest spa with the element of teaching.

I expressed an interest in the job as spa manager on Parrot Cay, as I would still not relocate to the Turks and Caicos and stay in Bali until the end of the year. The other incentive being that it was closer to home and family. I had planned a site inspection of the property, to meet the General Manager, and see my possible new living situation and work environment to insure it would be the right fit for all.

This trip was scheduled for the end of May, into the first week of June 2011. As I was preparing for the trip, I received and email from Trevor and Chenty’s riding mate…who called him “The Gypsy Biker”. He said he was planning on coming to Bali at the end of the month.

I explained I would be gone for most of time he was planning on being in Bali, but after having a look at who he was (he had been dedicated to keeping a blog, which I read just a bit of and found it to be quite candid, and funny, ascertaining he was not a serial killer) and trusting T & C, I invited him to come and stay in my house while I was gone as long as he would please look after my little dog Sadie.

The Gypsy Biker arrived in Ubud, Bali on Friday May 28th, I was leaving for NY and the Caribbean Sunday May 30th for about 10 days. He phoned me to tell me he was in the Ubud area, as it was impossible to give anyone directions to a house on a rice paddy, so he was instructed to call so we could figure out a way to guide him and the “Big Fella” (what he affectionately named his trusty motorized steed.. quirky to say the least) to as close to my house as possible.

When I answered the phone he said “Hi honey, I’m home!” in his most chipper, funny South African accent. Those were the first spoken words I heard from his mouth… The night before, he had texted just to say he was in Bali and the bike had cleared customs, with “The Eagle has Landed” I was having dinner with my sister Mimi, who had been visiting me, and I looked up at her and just rolled my eyes. At least he seems to have a sense of humor, and a light heartedness to him is what I thought.

That Friday evening was my sisters last night in town, she was leaving the next day, and I was leaving the day after, so we had planned to go “out on the town” that night. My good friend and the head chef for all of the COMO properties Amanda was having us around for drinks and snacks, and then on and out for some more revelry and dancing. Those of you, who know me well, know what that means…..

I guided Ronnie to the Pennistanon stairs, the only real marker and way to tell him to get to my house (in the rice fields) and a place I knew Big Fella would be safe. The stairs were a monster set…long steep, and it was a bloody hot evening.

Not really understanding, he was in full riding kit, and him not knowing what he was in for, I instructed him to climb the stairs. He did. I told him at the top just follow the path, and I will meet you on the path…..

I found an exhausted, sweat drenched man, in blue, head to toe, heavy duty riding gear in front of me…looking not quite sure what he had gotten himself into. We figured out the logistics of getting some of the other things needed off the bike and up the stairs to my home, and I told him he could sleep upstairs and I would sleep downstairs with my sister.

I also informed him we were going out in the next 10 minutes, he was welcome to join if he likes, but he better hurry and get a shower…chop chop!I think were my words. Poor Ronnie didn’t know what hit him, I tortured him with a ridiculous set of stairs, and then two women were barking orders at him to hurry up and get ready …we were going out! He did what he was told.

The evening turned into quite the party, as Amanda had friends from Australia visiting, and we ended up dancing up a frenzy at OzzyGo a local hang out with an excellent Balinese cover band. I kid you not…they could sing anything and sound really good, from Lady Gaga to Pink Floyd, (those of you who visited me will attest to that!)

Hours of revelry and dancing later (I’m not sure if I sang with the band that night) we walked back home…Ronnie and I had found a little time to sit next to each other and swap some information about ourselves, but mostly we laughed, and I stared….there was something there. I knew it almost immediately.

My sister also felt it…and was like a sheep dog making sure the wolf didn’t eat me!! It was entertaining to say the least! The next day shortly after my sister left for the airport, we were sitting on my porch playing with Sadie and overlooking the rice fields…when it could not be denied any more…and his dark beautiful eyes took my gaze, he grabbed my hand and kissed me passionately…

I knew then in that moment…”This is it…I’m done”. Goodness knows, I was well practiced at…. let’s say coming close, but this was very, very, different…..and I knew it at that moment.

I left for the Caribbean the next day, we emailed, and g-chatted almost every day. I told my friends when I passed through NY that “this is different”…hmmmm was what I got in return with a look of concern.

When I returned to Bali the Gypsy Biker, told me he would like to stay with me and get to know me….and he did…..for the whole of the summer, before continuing his world tour. From there, we have never been apart for longer than three months.

He has stopped his quest many times to be by my side for family weddings, medical emergencies (which could fill a whole other story).

He is the most passionate, beautiful, exciting, funny, man I have ever met…and am so proud to be calling him my soon to be Husband and partner in life.

I am committed to our life together as a spiritual pursuit, as relationships are a spiritual practice. And Ronnie Borrageiro has awakened a part of my spirit that I cannot explain, so with this, I ask for all of your blessings to us both on this new chapter of our lives. I look forward to seeing all of you on September 14, and for all of you to also fall in love with the man I will call my Husband.

About Lodie

Africa, Africa, Africa!
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2 Responses to A beautiful climax to a real love story.

  1. Emil says:

    Lodie, (dalk het ek dit al genoem) ek ken Ronnie persoonlik, laaank voor hy met sy rit om die wêreld begin het en dis great om te sien hoe gelukkig hy lyk op die foto. Na alles van vroeër wens ek hom net geluk toe!

  2. Wow Lodie, dis nou ‘n fantastiese storie! Dankie! En mag dié twee baie geseënd wees op die pad saam vorentoe!

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