Since the last entry on this blog it has been all about preparations for departure. There wasn’t any time for cycling or camping or many of the other things we had planned to do before leaving Dublin. I never realised how much work is involved in moving house and country but having no future address to move into! Banks don’t really like it when you tell them that your forwarding address is ‘a tent somewhere in Europe for the next few months’.
I finally managed to hand in my notice at work (Monika had already been made redundant a few weeks earlier) and so this was really the first point at which I realised that this trip was actually going to happen. Our tenancy notice was also given, utility services cancelled and after a frantic last couple of days packing and placing our items into storage we left our apartment in Dublin.
Our flight wasn’t for another four days, so we booked ourselves into a hostel in Dublin. This would help us get used to life outside our safe apartment. The short cycle from our apartment to the hostel was literally the first time we had cycled anywhere on our fully loaded bikes. We know this wasn’t the best preparation but with both of us having full time jobs and Ireland having year round rubbish weather – there isn’t a lot of opportunities to practice. That short cycle was enough to tell us that we needed less stuff!! A lot less stuff. We were so wobbly and unsure of ourselves that it was like we had never been on bikes before!
Over the next day or two we managed to remove six or seven kilos of equipment that was previously listed as ‘vital’. We also spend a considerable amount of time repacking our panniers to reduce the weight on the front wheels as much as possible.
Our flight was on 20th September, so by the evening of the 19th, the bikes were packed, the panniers were prepared and we were ready to rock and roll. By this point we were so tired of the planning and organising for the past two months – we both just wanted to get all the stuff on the plane and get there. The next time we would wake up will be the first day of our trip.