4th September 2012

We're off!

On Sunday night after a very very hectic few days, Suzi and I finally departed from Dover. However it looked as though we were almost going to stumble at the final hurdle as when we were waved onto the ferry, suzi started then cruised into a stall, and wouldn’t restart. This looked bad, we’d ridden fine the whole way there, SURELY she couldn’t have just died now, not after her fantastic spa day courtesy of crescent Suzuki that had left her spruced up and better than ever….? No, of course not.

While I was there sweating away in my helmet to a growing crowd of cars waiting to proceed up the ramp behind me, the man ushering traffic called over “you having problems love?” with a face wracked with sympathy. “er, yes, seem to be”, I called back, genuinely puzzled. Then much to my profound embarrassment I realised that I’d made a classic idiot’s error of failing to switch the fuel tap back on after the wait on the dockside. How embarrassing! Ah well, as usual I laughed heartily at my own imbecilic behaviour and cried over to the usher “ha ha, and I’m off to capetown!!!”. The man’s face dropped as he simply replied “no!”. Hard to be sure whether that was a recommendation or an expression of amazement, but in any case I was so delighted to have suzi roaring back into action, I just gave him a grin and a wave, and off we went onto the ferry, on our way at last!

It’s now Tuesday evening and we’ve got as far as the foret d’orient area at a lovely lakeside campsite. The champagne region today has been spectacular to ride through, and the temptation to stop and sample likewise overwhelming!
It’s only been 48 hours since I set off but already I’ve learnt a lot not just about life on the road (how to use my camping stove without burning off my eyebrows being the most significant) but also about myself. I’m slowly starting to worry less (by which I mean anticipating bad stuff happening rather than fretting about problems I know I have) and just enjoy the moment more for what it is and take each challenge as they come. People have been really patient, kind and curious, especially in the campsites, so i’ve not yet struggled with anything or felt lonely for long. So far, so good!