I just wanted to let you all know that I am on the mend. After a pretty awful weekend, I seemed to turn a corner and have been able to get out of bed and go for walks. My mouth is still pretty painful and my diet of yoghurt, mashed banana, tuna mayonnaise, soup and scrambled egg (which the hotel staff here very kindly let John cook for me in their kitchen!) will be continuing for a while yet. But I am very grateful to be feeling up to some gentle sightseeing and hoping for continued improvement as the week goes on. Unfortunately, it is looking unlikely that I will feel up to cycling the tandem the last 40k so John has organised a van to pick it up.
John has also been doing a stellar job of not only caring for me but organising the shipping of the tandem before we leave Istanbul. It should be picked up from our hotel on Thursday all being well, along with a box of camping equipment.
I am still extraordinarily disappointed not to have been able to end our journey on the high that we had talked about, planned and dreamed of for so long. But I have been trying to reassure myself that it doesn’t diminish the overall achievement. One of the things we often discussed as we were cycling along were the mind boggling statistics involved in our trip…
Km travelled – 4091
Number of times wheels turned – 1,168,857
Hours in the saddle – 217 (I thought this sounded rather pathetically small!)
Number of borders crossed – 10
Fastest speed of the trip – 75kph
And as we look back, some of our favourite bits:
Favourite campsite – Camping Simuni on Pag. Good job too as we were stranded there for three days by the bura!
Best meal – John’s was at a restaurant we can’t remember the name of in Sibenik! Mine was the fresh fish in Thessaloniki.
Best view – looking down on the turquoise sea crashing into rocky coves on the Croatian coast
Best up – the first serious hills in the Ardennes. We just flew up them.
Best down – coming down from the Katara pass on a perfectly clear day with no other vehicles on the road. I felt like I was on top of the world.
Best hotel – The Hilton Imperial in Dubrovnik
Best rest day – our day in Metsovo after escaping from the campsite that was rapidly becoming one with the lake. Beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, a comfortable hotel and a well deserved rest after cycling over 1000m of up the previous day.
One of the best things about the trip has also been this blog. Checking for new comments was one of our favourite things to do! So thank you very much to all of you who’ve been reading and to those of you who have shared your thoughts with us. It’s meant a lot.
We’ll be in touch again to let you know how the remainder of our time in Istanbul goes and also how the train journey home is. We’re both getting quite excited about that now -3 days and 3 nights to travel the same distance it took us 3 months to cover! We’ll mostly be going through countries we didn’t cross on the bike which is even better. Istanbul-Sofia; Sofia-Vienna; Vienna-Munich; Munich-Paris; Paris-London; London-Sheringham. It will be very strange to see the scenery whizz past so quickly! But a lovely way to adjust back to the idea of being home – and being cold!