Just a touch of the glums today, with nagging thoughts of this being our last full day in England. Time was taken up with organising some things like laundry, a final wash of the bikes and then padding them up and packing them into their boxes for their journey. We also did a trial run into the airport, to make sure the terminal could be found and to do some recognisance on the parking situation and how to find the hire car drop off. We put together a plan of action which requires dropping me at the airport with the bikes and all the bags and waiting while Steve drives a couple of miles up the road to return the van, then catching the bus back to the airport to meet me. We checked as much of the plan as we could and now it just has to be put into action tomorrow and hope for the best!
The day was not to be entirely spent on housekeeping and preparation though, we must drain every last drop from this trip, so off to a village we went. I had wanted to see Chalfont St. Giles on our previous visit and we didn’t get there, so we took a quick trip towards the Chilterns, to see this little village. It was a cute little place, no chain stores there, just rows of independent little shops, a butcher, green grocer, bakery and pub, set around the village green and along the High Street. It was a nice little place, not far from the bustle of London, but far enough to feel like a quiet little hamlet in the countryside. I also discovered that Chalfont St Giles was “Walmington-on-Sea” in the original 1971 film of Dad’s Army (a family favourite in our house in my childhood!)
We strolled along the street and past the green and I tried to just soak it up, feel the place, feel all that it represented that I’ve loved so much about our time here – the charm of a village, the sense of history and story in the buildings, the locals going about their business with a wave and cheerful remark.
It was hard at times to keep the glums at bay, with the thought that this was coming to an end. I banished those pesky glums as best I could and just enjoyed looking around another nice little village and then taking in the scenery as we motored back. We passed through Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross and then back to Hounslow to wash the bikes and pad them up.
That was it. The final full day of our European Grand Tour. The adventure is not over though! We have about a week before we arrive back on Aussie soil and in that time, apart from being in transit, I will be enjoying some much awaited time with a friend in Kuala Lumpur. I looked at the weather forecast and when Steve learned that our first trip to Malaysia would be done in 34C heat, you could probably guess the reaction. His face lit up, he beamed, his eyes sparkled, he threw his arms in the air in a victorious double fist pump a-la Rocky Balboa. “Yeeeaaaahhhh!!!!” he shouted! I think all of Big Steve’s dreams came true in that one moment…HEAT! SUN! A lot of heat! In fact, more than three times hotter than we’ve been used to these last few weeks, but Steve is celebrating already!
The blog continues, but there may be some delays with the posts in the next few days, as we enjoy visiting my friend Sweeny in Kuala Lumpur, a very special visit, and as we zoom through the sky between countries and continents. The adventure continues…watch this space!