In October, with one week left before Paddy had to go back to work, we decided to take the bikes away to escape reality. With only a few days available and looking for some fun rather than a challenge we decided to head to Norfolk to explore a part of the UK neither of us knew.
Home to the Broads and hundreds of canal boats, Norfolk is famous for being flat. We had a great few days pedalling around the Queen’s backyard and hope to return for a longer tour when time allows. (more…)
Lying wide awake at midnight last Wednesday, I start to hear distant police sirens wailing in the distance, which triggers memories of having a local police escort whilst cycling in northern Peru. Fast forward through a couple more random memories, I then realise that it’s precisely three months since we finished our circuit of South America by bike.
“How are you finding adjusting to being back?” is one of the most common questions we get asked. Not that I mind of course as I honestly enjoy any opportunity to talk about the trip, but it’s a question that I have probably not given the same answer to twice. I feel like I’m expected to say that “it’s awful”, that I can’t stand another day and that I’m going to leave on the bike tomorrow. Overall, though, I think we have surprised ourselves about how it has been fairly easy to slot back into life. (more…)
London, Peckham – Greenwich – Dartford, 35 miles
After six weeks back in the UK, catching up with friends and family over countless meals we were keen to get back on the bikes for a bit of exercise. Having returned to work though, our time was limited, so we chose a local ride along the Thames Cycle Path and were pleased to discover a quiet route with plenty of interesting sights on route.
From our house in Peckham, south-east London, it was a short ride to the old, market town of Greenwich. We didn’t stop to explore the food stalls, but picked up the National Cycle Route 1 next to the impressively restored Cutty Stark. The only surviving tea clipper, when we left London in 2011 she was a burnt out shell after a fire, but now stands tall and proud again having been reopened earlier in 2012. (more…)
The taxi driver eyed me quizzically. We were heading towards Rio de Janeiro Airport for our flight home and he didn’t seem to believe my English/Portuguese account of our 14-month, cycle ride around South America. Suddenly, a look of recognition washed over his face as he said, ‘You were on TV’.
He wasn’t the only one to recognise us after our appearance on Brazilian national TV which showed us returning to the start point of our trip on Ipanema Beach. We were spotted on the metro and congratulated by a passing motorist in the centre of town, an odd feeling but an amusing three minutes of fame. (more…)