The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Monday, 27 February 2012

On your marks, get set, go.

And he's off. The last week has been hard. Niel has been stressed to the max. His eyes are glazed and he needed a bourbon in the evening to calm down and so he can sleep. We don't drink much, and the bourbon bought at Christmas to last the year, is greatly depleted.

His nerves and anxiety have rubbed off on me. I've tried to remain calm and steady, but I get teary eyed easily and cried myself to sleep one night when Bob - our critically injured cat escaped outside and ran away. [He returned at midnight].

The Vet bill is now over $3000 which is adding to our anxiety. Yesterday he sent to the vets yet again to get a special Stem cell bandage, that is supposed to grow skin. He doesn't have enough skin left to cover his wounds. The vet told us this special bandage was 200 Euro. EURO. That's $400 New Zealand. - just for a bandage. He's not a race horse worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, we had to put our foot down and refuse this bandage that must be made of gold dust. The vet took pity on us and managed to give it to us for free. Thank God they agreed to me being able to pay this bill off.

In the last week I've had lessons in changing a fuse [ we have the old style ones with fuse wire]. Pages of instructions on what to do if something goes wrong with the water pump or if we get a leak in the house. I've had maths lessons to work out the power bills for all the 3 houses that are on our electrical meter and monthly account. And I've had lessons  in how to download Niel's position - latitude and longitude onto the World Cycle Race site - not easy - as he will be too busy, and I'll always know where he is. We've had the local paper come around to interview him. I've cut all his hair off - all over.  I've had to keep the garden tidy, as there were wedding photos in the neighbouring meadow on Saturday as well as working 6 days a week [ although that's now gone down to 5 days a week].

One last stress has finally been eased with his passport arriving back with his Chinese and Kazakhstan visas stamped in it, less than a day before he was to leave. I'm sure these embassies do it on purpose. One of the other competitors in this event, only got his Indian visa granted and returned to him on his last day before leaving as well. Talk about cutting it fine.

It's been a year in the planning. We've scrimped and scraped some savings together, planned a route and counted kilometres until I felt like I was going blind, and redid it several times.I remember it was Feb 22nd last year that we decided to do this. We were excited and wanted to tell everyone, but we couldn't because there had been that huge earthquake in Christchurch that transfixed and horrified the nation, my own family were caught up in it. So we had to keep it to ourselves and wait for quite a while before we could talk about it. But now it has begun. Niel tried to eat some bacon and eggs for breakfast, while threatening to throw up with nerves, and I couldn't stop crying, and then he was gone.


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