December the 8th saw us fly back from Mumbai for a month at home before we would head out to Africa. An opportunity to enjoy the things you miss while travelling – a rest maybe?
As I landed at Heathrow my facebook post noted that, in addition to friends and family, I was looking forward to salt and vinegar crisps, pickled onion monster munch, real ale and earl grey tea. With a trip to the pub to see John’s friends on our first night home the desire for real ale was soon fulfilled though it would be the following day before the crisp and tea needs were met.
We were not due originally to be home for Christmas, both had the World Cycle Challenge gone ahead or our original plan to travel for 12 months or so started in July. It had been my ma’s health that had changed that. While I did not wish to regret a cancelled travel plan and bike tour I was certainly also not going to regret time not spent with family. As it happens doing the trip this way also means one does not take travel for granted – no longer being interested to see what is around – it was a great chance to see friends too. John and I had only met three times before we set off and, while we get on well and have made a good team, a hug from others was much appreciated.
On reflection Christmas is a tough time for this with time out for festive celebration and the preparation it involves and while able to meet people it was brief. I felt I saw few people properly and while I enjoyed my real ale etc having had a five month period with little booze it succeeded mainly in giving me a headache. I hope on my next return from Africa I can plan proper time rather than a mad dash.
It was the mad dash that made the rest impossible. In the 28 days I was home not one was spent with my feet up on the sofa! We’re in Cairo now and with bikes assembled, pyramids visited (amazing and more to say on that in the next write up) I’m finally able to read, lie in and write a blog! For those folk I saw over the break… it was fantastic to see you, however brief. For those I didn’t see enough of – let’s make more proper time in June and as for the crisps and ale -well, whatever? For now it’s just the earl grey that made it to the final Africa pack.