After a day at the Archer’s dinner table we have a departure date! 13th of November it is. Took some time and a lot of chatting to airline companies, not great for blood pressure. Surely it is possible to say how much extra you will be charged for a bike but according to the lady at KLM this is impossible. You will find out at the airport….. Instead we’ve decided to take on the challenge offered by Emirates and use our 30kg allowance to get bikes and all kit out there! The threat of $45 per kilo extra will certainly focus our minds during packing.
So what else have we been doing? Last week we had a great couple of meetings with Save Wild Tigers and Shane Winser at the Royal Geographic Society. Loved being in the RGS and chatting with Shane about all things expeditional! We’ve also been out on the bikes up hills around Goodwood (a killer), rescuing pigeons hit by cars and checking out the local Lama population!
To gain some first hand information about the region we asked Harriet to put us in touch with her brother, Josh Ibbett – winner of this year’s Transcontinental Race. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/11814284/Meet-the-man-who-won-a-2600-mile-bicycle-race-…-on-three-hours-sleep-a-night.html
Earlier this year he spent a month cycling around Vietnam, Laos and Thailand before heading off to New Zealand. Apparently 100 miles a day was the norm and great fun – Lucy and I both agreed we would take his word for this and limit ourselves to a more normal daily mileage!
So having come down to Brighton to meet up with Lucy and Josh and eat a delicious meal in Foodilic it made sense to stay a couple of nights with Lucy, her family and Molly the dog to do much needed logistical bits… This morning saw us braving wind rain and bare feet on stones (yes forgot my trainers) to NTC it on the beach by Lucy’s house. We then retired to the dinner table for the rest of the day sorting out flights, bike seats, injections, malaria tablets, insurance and Lucy set up the crowd funding site – to help pay for bikes, racks, panniers, injections and the incredibly expensive Malarone tablets.
Alan Campbell, bronze medallist in the men’s single scull at the 2012 Olympic Games, very kindly agreed to give whoever donated the most amount of money to our cause in the next six weeks a one on one sculling (rowing but with two oars) lesson! Please take a look. http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/meandering-the-mekong
All donations gratefully received! We’ve also had schools express interest in following us so things are progressing well towards our departure. Oh and a new tent has arrived as the other one was the same size as me, so not much room for Lucy and I couldn’t even sit up in it. As Mum and Pa have visitors this weekend I’ll get a chance to test it out in the back garden.
Sadly my grand dad passed away last week. At the age of 92 he’d lived a very full life and travelled to a great many countries but always loved north Norfolk and as I stood on top of Cromer church tower watching the sun sink I could easily understand why.
X Tash and Lucy