Today we had a 30 km ride to Brussels, a Eurostar journey to London and a 15 km ride to my parent’s flat in west London. We waved goodbye to Alex as he headed off to work on his motorbike. It was great to see him and a nice end to our trip.
We found a bakery and breakfasted before the ride to Brussels. The 30 km seemed to be really long, mostly I think because we were on quite busy roads and it wasn’t that enjoyable. But we were lucky to escape the forecast rain and the sun even came out when we arrived at Brussels Midi and found a cafe to wile away an hour in.
Taking the Eurostar with the bikes is actually quite good (although you have to pay £30 for each bike!). We dropped them off no problem but then had to tackle security and boarding with all of our panniers on a trolley! Not ideal but at least the luggage racks are plentiful.
The journey was only two hours and I had a sleep whilst Dave read his book and then we were in London! That’s where it got annoying. Dave piled all the bags onto the platform whilst I went in search of a trolley. There were two on the platform that had both been commandeered by Eurostar staff to help old people with their bags. There were no other trolleys to be found, and a few other people looking for them, so I followed one of the staff helpers and his trolley until he got to the lift and decided that the one wheely bag on it could just be wheeled and I could have the trolley!
We loaded up and walked out through customs, through the whole of St Pancras station to find Despatch at the end of the Earth where our bikes were waiting for us, by this time 40 minutes after the train arrived!
Now for the fun bit – a 15 km ride through central London with touring bikes at rush hour. Gulp. It was actually pretty fun though. Dave navigated smoothly and we zoomed out of town past Hammersmith and into Chiswick, feeling at home again amongst the kind of traffic we’re used to.
I thought it was going to be strange or uncomfortable to be back, but I actually feel pretty good about it and I think Dave does too. It’s nice to see everyone again after 5 months and I actually feel pretty at home being back in this city. We’ve got quite a long time here before the next tour, so hopefully the feeling lasts!
After our return, I was hoping for a rest, but I’ve got a job interview tomorrow and Dave’s going to start helping out with the flat and there are people to visit and things to organise and no time to catch up on sleeping in a bed! But it’s good to keep busy and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. (But also boo! The tour is over! I can’t believe it!)
Until next time 🙂