Bags and baggage

My kit from a previous tour

My kit from a previous tour

At some point I will put up a detailed kit list, mostly for the benefit of other tourers who seem to like these things. In the mean time here is a bit of fun for those who keep asking, “what will you take with you?” It just goes to show that the basics of life don’t change, at home or on a bicycle tour.

At HomeOn Tour
HouseTent/Hostel/B&B/Warm Showers
GardenThe view from the campsite
BedSleeping bag, liner, inflatable mattress, home made pillow
Wardrobes/drawersCycling clothes x 2, evening clothes x 2, underwear x 2, training shoes, hat, gloves, socks.
Bedside lampTorch
Junk under the bedNo room under bed
Personal hygieneWashbag
Bath, shower, toiletWet wipes, trowel.
Spare bedroomThat's just a silly idea
Central heating systemIf only
TV, hi-fi, music, booksGadgetry
Sofas, tables, chairsWe can make very comfy seats from our inflatable mattresses actually.
Wood burning stoveCamp fire where permitted
PicturesThe view
Ornaments and nick nacksNope. No shelves in tent.
CookerSmall meths stove
Fridge/freezerNo but we do expect the occasional frost.
Assorted pots, pans and crockeryTwo pans, one plate/choping board
Drawer full of cutleryTwo plastic Sporks
General cooking accessoriesPen knife
SinkTap in field
KettleYes! (for meths stove)
Cupboards full of food1 - 2 days dinners, up to 7 days breakfasts, lots of T bags
Shed full of tools, bikes, junk2 x bikes, 4 x inner tubes, small tool kit.
Car, trains, buses, taxisBikes
Endless supply of electricityBatteries, methylated spirits

Tic toc, tic toc, five months to go.

Well, strictly speaking, as I type its four months, four weeks, one day, 22 hours etc. etc. and this is where we are with our plans:

Our landlady has been informed and she will be selling the house we currently rent so there is no option of coming back to our current abode. We will be officially homeless as of end of April 2014.

Gill has broken the news to her employers and despite their howls of protest and begging her to reconsider and come back to her job after the trip she has remained strong and told them it’s not an option. We are moving on.

My job is temporary anyway but if I am offered an extension beyond the end of January it will be on the understanding that I can only work until the end of March. They gave me the job on the clear understanding that I had adventures to live so they will just have to deal with it.

A lock up storage facility of 50sq feet has been booked and anything that doesn’t fit in there is up for grabs.

The disposal of the majority of our possessions has stalled since I went back to work but I will be back on it big time in the New Year. We are also trying not to acquire anything that isn’t edible, drinkable or has a life expectancy of more than five months.

Our route is as planned as it needs to be, i.e. we know where we are probably staying on the first night. After that we just keep the sea on our left.

Sea on left = good

Sea on left = good

Kit is sorted with the exception of a few items we still need to buy. These are:

Digital wizardry in the form of a tablet PC, a keyboard for same and a charging device. Only the first of these is a probable definite if I am to continue this blog during the trip. The other two are still being investigated.

Shorts for Gill because her existing ones are, as she says, “past their best”. I.e. they impinge on her sartorial elegance.

Trousers for me because Gill doesn’t like my current ones. They were a bit big and blousy to start with and now I have lost some weight they are ideal for sharing which is not a good look.

Collapsible plastic bowls but the jury is now out on these for two reasons. Firstly, experienced touring friends Vicky and Woolly that we stayed with last week suggested eating straight out of the cooking pans is the way to go. They may have a point. Secondly, the bowls cost £13 each which is ridiculous for a bit of folding plastic and I am struggling with this.

Two new tyres for my bike. I don’t expect anybody to get over excited about this.

Other than that we already have everything we need from our previous touring adventures. It seems to baffle some people that we won’t be carrying any more than we would on a two week trip but in practice we will just be doing more washing and shopping.

The blog is very obviously up and running. I am getting to grips with it and the keen eyed nerdy types will have noticed that you can now use www.gillandtony.co.uk to find it. I won’t bore you with details of DNS settings and URL forwarding because, well, it’s boring.

Emotionally I think we are both more than ready. It would be fair to say that we would be happy to leave tomorrow if we could. Well, maybe not tomorrow, but as soon as it warms up a bit definitely.