A collection of cycling adventures and other thoughts

Tue 17th Mar 2020

Final Dodge and Indefinite Postponement

This update is coming from the comfort of Ian’s sofa as I have made it back to the UK… my lucky streak continues as I managed to get out of Slovenia just in time, on the 3rd-to-last flight out of the country!

To fill in the details from the brief updates on the end of the last post, I tried to chase up the results from my test as I was starting to get a little worried and the hostel was getting nervous too. They have been hugely helpful and supportive throughout, but with lots of travellers coming and going it is all quite concerning. Thanks to their persistence on the phone we found out it was likely that I was negative as there were a lot of people that needed contacting and they were prioritising the positives first (understandably). I was to keep sitting tight however because it could not be guaranteed by the person the hostel spoke to, but it was likely it was true. About 30 minutes after we’d heard that I got my actual call to confirm I was negative. Massive relief 😀 I was really glad to be able to talk to people in person and just chill. Sharing a Chinese with Tanya and being out of my isolation room was awesome. I slept sooo well that night, nice to have a known position.

Sunday 15/02/2020

A new day and the next challenge was to get working on my exit plan. Things in the hostel were interesting — the situation for each of us was changing constantly and there was a lot of different information flying around. Many countries including Slovenia were discussing shutting their borders, which made train travel too risky (as much as I like train travel!). I booked myself, the bike and hold luggage onto the evening plane out of Slovenia on Monday. Working through the to-do list, next was to collect the negative result certificate (just in case)… this took a little work and a high level of caution from the people at the hospital, but got it ok eventually.

Waiting for paperwork… at least it is a sunny day

The trickier part was to try and get the bike packed up for transport. It needed to be taken apart and boxed. But as it was a Sunday and after lunch, so the bike shops and other general shops were shut. Therefore I did not have a chance to find a bike box (cardboard or otherwise). Rather than worry about it I decided to explore a little more and went for a ride around the large park in the city. It was a lovely afternoon and nice to be out on the bike after so long not riding and being cooped up. It felt really weird to ride without carting a ton of gear around!

I headed back to the hostel to try and relax. There was still a level of concern and controlled anxiety about getting home. Tanya checked with the airport and it looked like it was fine for Monday, so I just kept going and offered any help I could. Cooked up dinner with left overs and extra rice from the Chinese, and then headed to bed quite early as I had a headache.

Monday 16/02/2020

Flying out day! Most important thing I needed to do is pack my bike… pretty much all shops except grocery stores were shut, so time to get creative! Luckily the hostel had tape so that was half the supplies required. Next, cardboard. A trip to the largest supermarket in walking distance and I acquired a stack of orange boxes… and so armed with a cup of tea it was time to start…

I was the last person at the hostel and ended up getting to the airport way too early and waiting for ages, but I would rather be safe then sorry. Everything went off without a hitch and I could see all the flights on the next day were cancelled :O Was sat next to an awesome guy who was returning home despite trying to get residency in Slovenia, so spent a lot of the flight chatting. Eventually landed and everything survived 😀 I was so relieved when the box came out on the conveyor in one piece. Ian picked me up and took me home!

So I am safe which is the main thing, though for now the adventure is postponed. Who knows how long this Coronavirus will be around, only time will tell, but for sure it will get worse before it gets better! While in many ways it’s nice to be back to home comforts, part of me is pretty bummed that I’ve had to abort and not get further with my adventure… had things been different I would still be going!

Now I need to work out what to do. Short term plan is to isolate for 14 days (need to double check the advised time line) and then see where the country is. I may be able to do some cycling in the UK, though given the potential length of the pandemic I probably need to find some work… but in the meantime I will be working on some updates to the blog, finishing off the pages on the equipment I used, and maybe some kit reviews for how it all worked out.

I want to thank you all for your support during my adventures. The messages and knowing you are there has been amazing for my spirits and kept me going. The ride has been amazing and I loved it overall despite the low points and problems. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m adventuring in some shape or form once again 🙂

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Love this blog I am so grateful you are safe as can be and back in the UK but share your disappointment in having to postpone. Let’s hope it passed in time for you to resume. Mummy love and relief.

Thank you Ruth.
I have so enjoyed your adventure, and am grateful you shared it all with me.
And yes, carrying on when you might get stuck in some hell-hole and not be allowed to move would not have been an adventure – it would have been foolishness.
I’m hoping you can view it as an amazing odyssey completed, which it is!
And you can now just plan the next things without particularly thinking about the places you had wanted to get to last time.
Oh – don’t forget to share the next one with me too!

(But I hope you don’t bring home so much virus to Ian that he can’t work! 😉 )

I am viewing it as an odyssey postponed rather than complete, it has been an evolving beast since I started it with just the final destination being fixed (ish). I am going to keep adding content to the blog about the equipment and reviews of how it has coped. Hopefully people will find it interesting although the non-moving tracker takes away some of the fun. I am doing my best to not distract or infect Ian… but he is a grown up so can’t stop him avoiding work 😛
Thank you for following along so far and I will definitely be sharing the future adventures. I don’t think I would have made it this far with out everyone supporting from afar.

Thank you I am glad to be back for the craziness around the virus but also can’t wait to get back on the road at some point.

Awesome keep it up…. Me too going back home, was great to meet you. And yes I’ll be quarantine too. Everything will be great soon. Take care 😘♥️

It was lovely to meet you Resh! Sorry you are having to go home but I know your adventurous spirit will be back! Can’t keep you in one place for long!!

A real shame you have had to have a sabbatical from your sabbatical, but glad you are home and safe. I’ve enjoyed reading your journey so far!

I like that way of putting it a sabbatical from a sabbatical. Thank you for reading, some times knowing you are helps keep me going. Or view the issues as fun things to tell you all about!

Great to hear you are home safe and sound. 👍😃 We are still in Spain in lockdown and trying to decide what to do…… Reading your blog has been helping with all the questions going around in our heads. Great to see you got your bike back with you safely as well. Awesome effort on the cardboard and tape wrapping and packing! Very impressive! We look forward to seeing future Ruth blogs and adventures once all of this mayhem settles. All the best and take care.

Hey Sally and Adrian, lock down sounds crazy especially when we are so use to movement every day, I need to work out a way to not lose all my fitness hard earn over the last two months!! I am glad I could help. If you are coming to the UK and need help let me know and I will see what I can do. At worst I have a garden you can camp in or even if you need somewhere to store bikes/equipment. I am just glad my bike box survived the care of the airports to make it home. Although not opened it yet…
I am planning on writing up about equipment and reviews of how it did to keep the blog alive and myself in the habit of writing. Although starting with responses to comments and emails. Hope you can survive the lock down and keep in touch!

Hey Ruth, thanks so much for the message and your very kind offer to help us. We will keep in touch 👍😊

Ruth
Really enjoyed your blog; think I found it from the FaceBook page of the Cycle Touring Festival? Not sure why you’re isolating if your test was negative though? I guess at some point you could fly with the bike out to where you left off and continue. Perhaps Tokyo Olympics will be postponed until next year too.

Hey Steve,
Glad you enjoyed it. I am planning to use my down time to write up some reviews of the gear I have had and add soem more content to the blog.
Test was negative but I was not out of the 14 day window from leaving Italy for risk plus possible exposure from travelling since then so want to be careful. Having had the concern that I might have accidentally placed vulnerable people at risk while waiting to be tested I want to be sure. And it does me no harm to isolate for a while (no work, no places to be and following governments current advise).
I plan to restart the adventure when I can most likely will take a more direct cycling route to where I was… But I may fly depending on timings and everything else. I really want to minimise the amount of flights I take for the environment. Might also reverse the route (Japan to Europe depending on the time of year).

Welcome home Ruth, I was so glad to see that throbbing red dot in the Southampton area. I hope you get to continue your adventure soon. Your blogs were amazing reading. I hope Ian is spoiling you.

Hmm Ian needs to work on the spoiling but it is nice to see him again! I am already thinking about what I can do when I can continue 😀 Just need to fill the time in between.

We are happy that you are well, we are in a very delicate moment, I am sure that soon everything will return to normal and you with your strength will carry out your journey successfully. Big hug from the 4 of us!

Thanks Emmanoel! My thoughts are with you guys (especially with the girls off school and stuck inside!) I am definitely planning to continue in some form just don’t know when…

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