Thursday, May 13, 2010
The last 1%
We're home! Alive, safe and happy. But before we let you in on the ups and downs of completing the adventures and bore you with the nerdy facts, here's a bit about the end of the journey, written on the penultimate day of the tip.
Hitting France 5 days ago felt like a momentous moment. From there a quick hop, skip and jump over some hills and The Channel and we're done. But as is the way with challenges, the last 1% always seems almost too much to handle. The weather turned the moment we left Germany. 40kmh head winds brought with them freezing grey skies and soggy wintry days. The land became void of services and we cursed the French for their laziness as shelter and food throughout the days grew scarce. The landscape closed in and nasty, steep hills seemed never ending. Our legs grew heavier every day and Carlos started to fall apart.
'Do you need our passports?'
'Na I just sit here doing nothin' all day luv'
Once we hit the M25 we resisted continuing on to London, a day earlier than planned. Swanley Community Center staff spent the best part of an hour trying to find us a local camping spot and after several cups of tea and no success pointed us in the direction of the best B&B in town. 10 minutes down the road Antonio and Pauline welcomed us into their spare apartment. After explaining our trip we were plied with kindness once more; tools to fix the still falling apart Carlos, chocolates, sweets, biscuits, fresh coffee every hour, sausage sandwiches and another massive breakfast. Thankfully, it turns out you don't have to go too far to find the generous souls of the world.