Final preparations

It has been a month within a week, or it certainly feels like it. All furniture went into storage so we were camping out at home.image

Bikes were taken apart and carefully fitted within boxes.image

Keeping everything lightweight became a bit extreme….image

All my clothes for the year have fitted into two stuff sacks the size of a wine bottle.image

Poppy, our brilliant osteopath friend, gave us a masterclass in stretches we may need a long the way; Frank, our excellent bobble hatted bike mechanic,  swooped in at a moment of panic and solved our pannier rack issue; Lisa, my superb hairdresser, tackled Badge’s unruly eyebrows; and Lucy and Andrew, Advantage Man with Van and sidekick (!), saved the rainy day with helping us squeeze our worldly possessions into a crate and making it like a tardis.

There have been many goodbyes and thanks to everyone for wishing us well on our journey. It really begins now….


One week to go

It’s been a week of highs and lows. I can only apologise to my work colleagues who suffered and shared my ups and downs. The lows were mainly caused by technological issues, which I really hope have been solved now.

We have been thinning down our transport options and are now left with our two bikes and the pick up. The Saab left in a plume of white smoke to rival any James Bond deception technique. The motorbike was sold and the Vespa tucked up nicely in Chris’s garage.

My final day at work was on Thursday and it was a day of mixed emotions for me. My colleagues had organised a superb lunch of American proportions, accompanied by a gift of a bottle of Navy strength Plymouth Gin. Given the stress levels in the Hyne household, that bottle may not last the week! Having sorted through our cupboards, the gin will be consumed alongside an alarming amount of cereal and a jar of lime pickle (best before 2007).

We have bought a Spot satellite GPS tracker for the trip. I have been getting to grips with it and we gave it a test run on our trip down to Chris’s barn. The website insisted it had to be named and the obvious name for a small orange friend that would be travelling closely with us was Papi, in honour of our fabulous hamster Papillon. Let’s hope it does not live up to the name as well as the hamster did, and we find it escaping in ingenious ways on a regular basis.

A real high of the week was the Easter egg hunt with the Agombars and the amazing cake that Alex made for us. Please don’t compare it with my attempt in a previous post.wpid-IMAG0776.jpg

Two weeks to go

This week we have spread our belongings far and wide. If you have space, we can fill it. I fear ebay may do well after we’ve gone. There has been some packing this week, alongside working, painting (yep we’re still painting) and purchasing final items. Walking through Exeter with two new tyres caused people to step out of my way. Badge has stepped up on his final biddle and laid down his leggat. I have challenged friends, family and colleagues to a geographical quiz. Match flag with country/state and capital, then place in order of our journey. No internet help allowed.

Flags haven proven to be the most trickiest. I feel I have prepared you all well for the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

This photo sums up home quite well at the moment.

I have started to say goodbye to people I won’t see again before I go. It feels strange. There is still two weeks to go and so much to do. It does make it begin to feel real. Especially when the sitting room looks like this

3 weeks to go

As I teetered on the stairwell at full stretch trying to paint the furthest corner, I pondered on the foolishness of a DIY injury. 70 people die each year due to DIY, in fact 200k have to go to A & E.

To put this in perspective, I then thought about the year ahead. Less than 1 person dies from a bear attack a year. This is a promising fact. There have been 47k drug related murders in the past 5 years in Mexico. We are not involved in such things so no problem there. 1 million people a year die from Malaria. We have anti-malarials.

So, fixing up the house to rent it out is possibly the most dangerous activity of the year….

The week has been full with painting, packing, sorting, planning and working. Frank the Chagford Bike Fixer tuned up our bikes and they are looking good. Oh, and I baked a cake

*all facts courtesy of wiki so absolutely true (ish)*