I begin my cycle tour in (Spain and) Portugal on the 3rd of March.
From that point until June/July, I am unlikely to update this blog or any of my social media accounts. If you want to know how the journey went, be sure to follow the blog (button on the right hand side) to receive an e-mail when I’ll be back in the UK.
I look out of the window and listen to the birds. There aren’t many of them today. The world has turned grey and wet. I don’t really care. I’m sitting by the fire in my grandmother’s house. It is quiet and warm here. My family had gathered over the week-end, my journey an excuse for a get-together and conversations in the flesh rather than through Skype. They are all back to work or school now and I am left waiting. My train south only departs on Thursday.
I read, help my grand-mother with the kitchen and house, and take long walks during the day. In the evening, I watch some TV and repack my panniers endlessly. This is a pointless task. I have all I need and only the days and nights on the road will teach me how to best organise my bags. But I do it anyway.
My grand-mother asks me again about my journey. Everybody else doesn’t really bother and it suits me fine. We’ve talked about it enough before and my answers haven’t changed. I still don’t have an itinerary planned and nobody is worried about my safety – at least not outwardly. They know I will be fine. This is not the first time I do something like this.
So I wait in between a past that is gone and a future that has not yet taken shape.
It is a strange state to be in, as if my life has been placed on hold. I savour this moment of transition where I simply drift and relax. I can feel the stress of London shedding away from me. My movements have slowed and my thoughts stretched. I have time to ponder questions for hours now and it feels good. I think of the home I want to build when I come back to the UK but it’s too far off to consider seriously. So I empty my mind and wait.
Thursday will come soon enough. I can let my body and brain rest before I engage them everyday in the landscape and people I will encounter. Before I began to pedal.
Pedalling Portugal begins in March 2016. For more information about this upcoming trip, visit this page.