Well, what a journey. Getting in the taxi this morning with everything packed up in some way or another was a strange feeling. One was that it was equally as frantic driving through the city and it made us realise how vulnerable we were on our bikes. Also, now we obviously know we have cycled to Rome, but not quite sure it has sunk in properly yet…….still feels very surreal.
On arrival at the airport and upon joining the queue to check in, we were starting to get a few looks from people no doubt due to our bike boxes (albeit a little homemade!). We are sure there were also whispers of ‘they will never get away with that’ and ‘can’t believe we are stuck behind them in the queue’.
On reaching the check-in desk we could almost see the look of despair on the member of staff when she realised she had us to deal with. So after a few questions and checks, it appeared that we were all set to go and after checking our panniers in all we had to do was take our bikes to the oversized baggage area. As it was now obvious we were allowed to go through with our brilliant bike boxes, we could almost see the disappointment on the other passengers faces when they realised there would be no drama to entertain them……..ha ha!
Annabelle and Dalmation managed to be smuggled through security safely and saw this as just another adventure. They also enjoyed their own seat on the plane. Not sure how they are going to cope with a more normal life once home, maybe they will start to plan their next adventure!
After a relaxing flight (what a great way to travel!), and looking down over land (in particular the Alps) that we had cycled over, we eventually arrived in Birmingham. We were so relieved not to have to cycle back home let alone put our bikes together.
And so our journey ends as we head back to Ashby, where we are sure it will all start to sink in fairly quickly once home.
Words and pictures will never truely describe what this challenge has been to us, what we have seen, what we have been through (the great and the tough times) and the feeling of completing it. We hope you have enjoyed following our journey, and feel you have travelled parts of it yourself, even if from the comfort of your own home. We are looking forward to reading the blog in the comfort of our own home too!!
Although a huge once in a life achievement, the biggest motivation for this challenge being born was to raise funds, and awareness for Wishes 4 Kids. A very special local charity who grant wishes for very sick children in Leicestershire. This challenge, as with everything else we do for this charity was totally self organised, self funded and self supported. Just us, our panniers and a huge amount of grit and determination. Therefore every penny donated will go directly towards granting a wish, and every penny really does make a difference.
Thanks to everyone for your support. The donations, the good luck messages and for following our story through the blog. It really has helped us to achieve this what we set out to do.