England to Indonesia: approaching departure (5 weeks to go)

departure towards Santander
our departure towards Santander in 2009

I can confidently forecast that on the evening of the 16th of June I’ll be sitting in the middle of my room surrounded by bulging panniers, merino underwear and tent poles clasping my head in my hands. The reason for this is that the 17th of June, exactly 5 weeks from today, is now the official leaving date for my tour to south-east Asia. Within these next 5 weeks I need to get travel insurance, investigate the necessity for vaccinations, for which I’ve an appointment with a doctor tomorrow, procure a water filter, a few spare bike components and other odds and ends. Some of the more difficult challenges will be to decide which of my many cherished jackets I’m going to take with me but I’ll probably just have to find a way to hide or justify the fact I’ve taken all of them because I simply can’t bear to be without them, I have one for every conceivable weather condition – I’ve been told I have a problem by more than a few people. I’d also like to see if I can still squeeze in a decent set of snorkel and goggles as I have in the past on smaller trips. My reasoning behind that extravagance can be read here.


swimming in the Ionian
swimming in the Ionian

Money is a thing I need to spare some proper thought to and something that might become an article on CycleFar in the near future, there are numerous options for carrying money when travelling; in a nutshell my current strategy is to use a travel debit card, such as the Halifax card and trickle funds onto it from a different account, as backup I’ll have a credit card some cash and perhaps a second debit card (this may change).


Before my departure there’s also the obvious; saying goodbye to family and friends. I’d like to think I’ll have chance to meet some of them before I go, but with most people being in their final year of uni, including myself, I doubt everyone could be free at the same time so I might just have to ‘go visiting’ on my bike and catch people when I can. In addition to this my mum, step-dad and sister will be in Spain when I leave so I’ll only have my Granddad, who lives just up the road, and my cat to say goodbye to on the morning that I leave. I know, it’s tragic, I think I can hear the worlds smallest violin playing.


the reason I need goggles
the reason I need goggles - I get a disproportional sense of excitement from spotting an octopus

Riding away from England and (absent) family and friends won’t be quite as sad and lonely as it sounds though because I’ll be riding with Joe, a childhood friend I’ve known since . . always, and we’ll be first cycling to Reading to see my dad and his family before heading over to Charlie’s family home somewhere north of Brighton which will be the last stop before heading to Dover and leaving the county.


Just so I’m not idle for a single moment I must also complete my final project for uni and pull extra shifts at work before I quit my job around a week before I leave. It’s going to be a hectic approach and when I finally put the wheels on the road and ride I’m expecting to feel mostly exhausted but with a great sense of relief that the hard part is over. Pedaling should be easy after that.

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