It’s Sally here (sorry mum 😉) writing what will probably be my last blog post 😢
We’ve finally made it to our destination in Essex, England where we’ve been spending time with my lovely family and getting Betsy ready for take off!
Prior to getting to England we spent some time in Holland which we absolutely loved ☺️
After the night we spent in a tree house we rode to Amsterdam to see our friend Deborah whom we met on the border of Cambodia and Laos during a stand off with some dodgy customs officers which in retrospect we are very happy happened!
As we were staying at Deb’s flat in Amsterdam we needed to get Betsy in an elevator so we could store her in the underground bicycle parking area… Maybe not something you are ‘supposed’ to do and certainly not a situation Betsy has been in before but we made it work (just) despite a few odd looks from other residents. Everyone in Holland is super cool though so we usually just got encouraging smiles 😊
Once we were inside Deb’s flat, armed with wine, snacks and Jenga she told us that she was giving us her apartment for as long as we wanted it and was going to stay with a friend. This was so incredibly kind of her but we felt bad making her sleep elsewhere, besides, we wanted to hang out with her… We’ve had enough alone time!!
‘Stay here with us Deb!’ I said ‘I’ve had enough Dean time and he’s had enough Sally time’
We tried not to look to desperate for different company 😉
Due to her having to work she spent the first night with a friend and the rest of the weekend we hung out riding bikes, drinking, dancing and playing Jenga… It was lots of fun and so nice to see a different, more local side of Amsterdam.
I was a little scared of the Dean + booze + bicycle combination after our ‘incidents’ in Italy but he managed to keep it together and it was me that got very drunk and went tumbling off the back of a bike on to the road…. Apparently I rolled and jumped straight up and back on the bike so no blood or bruises and police were avoided (unlike the ‘incidents’ in Italy…). The guy riding the bike I fell off of wasn’t so impressed with my gymnastics and told me I wasn’t allowed to ride with him again. I didn’t blame him even though I thought I was managing quite well!
We sadly left Deb’s place and rode to Bruges in Belgium which is a cute medieval town where we spent the night walking around trying the local beers and feeling a little sad that it was our last night on the road but also happy to be getting ready for the trip home.
We made our way to Calais the next day with plenty of time up our sleeves for the ferry to England. We’d heard about ‘The jungle’ which is what they’ve named the refugee camp there and heard there may be delays.
We rode past ‘The jungle’ which was a pretty sad sight and the smell of burning rubbish reminded us of India. It makes everything so much more real when you see the reality that these people live in everyday surrounded by barbed wire.
Calais was dead so we had no delays, in fact we got an earlier boat. This allowed us time to have lunch in an English pub before heading to Essex and spending the evening laughing, talking and eating pizza with my lovely aunt, cousins and their respective partners ❤️
The last two days have been spent cleaning every millimetre of Betsy and all that she contains ready for Australian quarantine. She is now sparkly and shiny and all we have to do now is pray for no rain on Monday when we take her 150km to Surrey to the freight company who are putting her on a plane to Melbourne…. hopefully, fingers crossed, in time to meet us!