Here's the crux of it. Is his loyalty to the riders race, greater than saving many thousands of dollars that would enable me to have an overseas adventure too? Well it's a 'no brainer' really. I think of this as my Christmas present.
Where do I most want to go in the world? Morocco, but as a couple, not as a lone woman in a Muslim country. Morocco looks to be such a contrast. Dry interior, warm Mediterranean coastline, fascinating old towns and markets. Orchards and oasis', and a vibrant culture. I have only ever heard positive comments about the country. And of course just across the straits is Gibraltar. I've visited there very briefly once and was entranced with the place, I would love to see it again.
South East Asia, particularly Vietnam, has been drawing me in for years. The only reason we haven't been before now, is that the best time to visit, is in the middle of our summer, which is not a good time to leave the garden. I can't just up and leave the garden, when it would need to be watered constantly. Not to mention the stupidity of leaving our own lovely summer when you wait all year for it.
So if I could met up with Niel as he cycles the world, Morocco would be in April - their spring, when all the orchards are in flower and the interior isn't so hot - brilliant. And then S.E. Asia / Vietnam in August. Not the best for missing the rainy season, but hopefully not in the middle of the monsoons. Christmas present sorted.
Christmas. It's such a busy time, even if you don't celebrate it. things need to be done before businesses close for the summer break, In our case, Niel needs the dentist and vaccinations. I need to get my summer annuals planted in the window boxes and flower beds, not to mention hundreds of daffodil bulbs. I just can't believe how many there are that came out of a 2 meter edging strip of a flower bed. There were so many I didn't bother keeping the small ones - I just threw them on the lawn and ran over them with the lawn mower.
After 2 weeks of gale force winds while Niel was away, we've now had 2 weeks of heavy rain - in biblical amounts. The farmers are loving it, but it's so hard to get anything done outside. My summer annuals have been waiting so long to get planted that they are starting to get root bound in their little seedling pots. And why oh why does it always rain on a day off? When the sun does decide to come out, even the cat and chicken have been sunbathing to soak it up. Luckily the sun stayed out long enough to get a bike ride in. My feet played up a lot, but I still managed 100 kms.
We are now looking forward to our jaunt around the south island in a couple of weeks time. I will put my bicycle on the Vespa and zoom on ahead get my bike off and ride back to meet Niel, so that I get some training in without hindering his training. It will be officially the middle of summer so hopefully it will be fine, fine, fine. In the meantime, when it does rain, as it is forecast to do heavily for at least the next 5 days, I've got the trip to reroute, to cut out England and add in Vietnam.