Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Brief Round Up and a Thank You

So, that’s it. We have now biked back home.  We’re here, it’s all over, we made it!  We cycled home from South Korea.  The last few months seem to have gone by in somewhat of a blur, and all of a sudden it’s over.   Being back in Dublin, surrounded by all things familiar and comfortable, the rose-tinted glasses have been firmly affixed to our faces, remembering all the good things and times, while the difficulties have all conveniently slipped from our minds!  I’ve actually already left Dublin again and am now in the French Alps for the winter, where I’ve swapped my bike for a pair of skis.  Life on the bike seems like a dream, a different lifetime ago, and sometimes I find myself wondering, did I even do it?

We arrived into Dublin port on Saturday the 15th of October to a right hero’s welcome.  All our family, and loads of our friends, were there at the port waving banners and ready to cycle the last few kilometers with us up the quays to the city centre.  We couldn’t have asked for a better arrival home.  We left Holyhead in the rain but by the time Dublin was in sight the sun was shinning and the sky had totally cleared.  Cycling up the quays surrounded by familiar places and faces was a feeling I won’t forget in a hurry.  The magnitude of the journey, the long road home, slowing began to sink in and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear or two as my little heart swelled with pride at what we’d achieved.

After the highs and lows of central Asia, followed by the intense heat of Iran in August, Turkey and beyond through Europe all seemed like a bit of a doddle.  Meeting my folks, who’d driven out from Dublin, in Turkey, helped us feel like we were almost home too - or at the very least, on the home straight!  Eager to get home by then, and with a slight cooling off of the weather in September, we gunned it and cycled from Greece to England without a day off! I had been dreading cycling through England if I’m honest, in much the same way that I hate flying through Heathrow – so close to home but still so far away, but the sun shone for us, the roads were quiet, the drivers were very respectful of bikes and the relief of finally being able to speak English without slowing down or gesticulating wildly was a very welcome change.  The availability of beans and sausages for brekkie was no small part of the enjoyment of the place either and the fact that we had friends and family dotted along the way didn’t hurt.  We very quickly adapted back to modern living with all the comforts we usually take for granted but had been so long without.  It wasn’t a hard transition let me tell you! 

And what next you might ask? Well, the French Alps have called, and we’ve answered! We’re off to work for a chalet company for the ski season while we consider our next move, and maybe even plan our next cycle! Our fundraising page is still open (https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/bikebackhome#/) and will remain so until January.  We have raised just over €24000 and are completely blown away by the support that we have received from everyone around us, be it in donations to our chosen charity, Jigsaw, or emotional support in the form of messages and kind words, or just by taking an interest in the two of us and our little adventure that was Bike Back Home.