The Final Countdown

[Insert soft rock classic from 1986 here!] It’s the fiiiinal countdownnnnnn….Na na na naaah, na na na na naaaa…

Time to consult the list and tick off some of the last minute preparation jobs. First on the list…haircut. After spending an extra 5 minutes in the shower trying to drag knots out of my hair – again – it had to go. For some reason I have knot free hair, tie it in a ponytail, put on a beanie and head out for a run and return with a fully clumped birds nest hanging off my head. Why-o-why does it happen? I could cope with the time it takes to undo the mess when standing in a hot shower at home but I don’t want to spend my time doing that in a cold, coin operated, timed shower in a cold camp ground shower block, so…off to D’Ayrne, hairdresser extraordinaire and a few minutes later 15cm of knot-attracting tresses hit the floor. Tick.

Next, take my little bike out for a final ride, through the bush, into the village, a tootle around to let it feel the wind in its spokes and the road under its wheels for the last time before it’s confined to a box and hurled onto a plane. The sun shone, the wind didn’t blow too hard and my little bike and I enjoyed a final pedal together before we pedal through parts unknown. It’s been a few weeks since Steve got on the bike, so big Clyde will have itchy wheels and be raring to go when we touch down. Little Essie has enjoyed the carefree wheelin’ we’ve been doing most days and this last pedal around was another nice final tootle about. Tick. (Note: there are reasons our bikes are named what they are, I’ll fill you in sometime).

Next, pack and weigh and unpack and weigh and repack and weigh and take things out and weigh and put things back and weigh and do maths and weigh and do more maths and weigh and…on it went. We got rid of things that were once considered essential that we then reclassified to non-essential just to reduce the weight – some camping gear we used all the time last time…out it goes, the water bladders we use to hold water at campsites…gone, most disastrously of all, my tea – ditched! We got serious on the culling of non-essentials and everything we’ve left behind we’ll just have to buy again when we get there. For the flights, we get a total 60kg allowance for the two of us and the bikes alone take up 44kg of that, so it’s razor edge when it comes to everything else that gets packed. More on the final weight and excess baggage damage when we make it to the airport, but we know the dollars are going to involve more than one zero. Still, we’re packed. Tick.

Everything sorted. This is what I’ll be carrying on the bike – four panniers, a rack pack and a handlebar bag. Ready to load

Then, take the bikes apart like a championship session of Meccano and pack them into their boxes…weigh the box, weigh the bike, weigh the bike and box again together and add it to the calculations. Tick.

Steve doing the dissection surgery on the little bike so it’ll fit in the box
Travel safe little bike. Don’t get lost…or manhandled…or squashed…or…

Finally, clean and tidy around the house, so it’s spick and span,  and…boring, booo, housework…nothing more to say about that. Tick

So that’s us. Just a few bibs and bobs to finish off and then off we go. I’ve woken up the last few mornings with butterflies doing aerobics in my stomach. Not excited butterflies, just nervous butterflies. I am by nature a worrier, I am a natural born scaredy cat, so anything new or unknown brings on a case of the mega-worries, so trips like this, while I love them when we’re in them, are full immersion therapy for me to deal with all the worries about the new things and unknown things that come along with it, throw into that a fear of flying, with hours and hours ahead confined to a metal flying tube thousands of feet off the ground and…well…just a teensy bit on the nervacious side at the moment folks. (You see, I even invent words at times like this, because real words just don’t always do the job)! Still, deal with it I shall because let’s face it, my worries are most definitely in the class of First World Problems! 

Oh, and the forecast for today in Zagreb is 9C, rising to 15C for our arrival and so far, no sign of rain. Wait for it…wait for it…!

2 thoughts on “The Final Countdown

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  1. Safe travels! Can’t believe it’s here already and definitely looking forward to following along on your adventures again. Got my European map and pins ready to go!


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