Before we planned this trip I began a course in horticulture, learning about plant biology, the soil environment and garden establishment. Once I realised I might miss my final exams I decided to make a special trip back to London in the middle of our tour to finish what I’d started. It was also the perfect excuse to see friends one last time.
Flying back north up Portugal was a rare opportunity to see where we had come. The map on my screen said 1,520km to London – a distance we would cover in just two hours. Comparing that to 4,200km in two and a half months made me proud and a bit overwhelmed by how slow we travel!
On the tube to my old neighbourhood, I was crammed in with the Saturday night crowd. There was no way I would ever miss this. Everyone grey and unhappy. But, I was excited to be back and it was felt such a relief to hug my friend Sarah that evening.
In retrospect, I’m pleased it was only a brief visit. Enough time to catch up with girlfriends, relax and get things together for the next part of the journey. It felt like I had actually moved on from London and that I no longer fit in there anymore. I cycled past old haunts and managed not to get all sentimental like I had when we first left in early April.
I guess cycle touring was a pretty big unknown then and I was scared about leaving. This time I was eager to rejoin Baden and the bikes in Lisbon and get on with the trip. I’m nervous about what Mexico will be like to cycle but I’ve have seen lots of blogs with great stories and photos so I’m sure it will be just fine.
The exams went well and it’s great not having to study on the road anymore. Big thanks to Sarah, Reza, Tracey, Anne, Gwen, Josi, Steve, Suzi, Benj, the Hughes’, Lorraine, Andy, Tammy and Sejal for the London fun. Who knows when I’ll be back?.