Day-1: The usual packing scramble - The Hills are Alive (with the sound of wheezing) - CycleBlaze

Day-1: The usual packing scramble

Well, my hourly obsessive checking of the international restrictions seems to have paid off: as of tonight I am still allowed to enter all three countries I'll need to traverse to start the tour. It looks like we're going ahead!

So this evening has been the usual whirlwind of packing, last-minute organising, and picking up rail tickets. I've brought a bit less food this time, and together with my lighter tent and somewhat less repair gear I think I've got a reasonably smaller load. It does, at least, comfortably all fit in my panniers (so no extra drybag strapped to the top this time).

Packed and ready to go for tomorrow. Also pictured is the heroic dehumidifer that dried out our house following the flood.
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The plan will be rather similar to last year. I'll finish work in the late afternoon, and will potter down to Sandy train station about 6km away. A train into central London - it's easy these days to get right through the city. I'll still need to make a short ride through the city to reach the Liverpool Street station which serves the ports to the East, and then a direct train to Harwich ferry terminal.

The ferry leaves at 23:00 so that gives me plenty of time. The other side could be a little interesting. The first step of my journey by train leaves from Rotterdam at 10:15 - and the ferry docks at Hoek, 30km away, at 08:00. Unlike previous years, the light rail link is finally operational between Hoek and Rotterdam. Even better, you can take bikes, and while (strangely) you can't get all the way to Centraal station, you can get very close with half an hour.

This means that I won't need to pedal furiously to try to cover the distance myself, as happened a couple of years ago. Technically, it seems you shouldn't take bikes on before 9am - but even in that case, I should get to the station by 10 and have time to spare. So, fingers crossed, even in the event of a slow disembarkation due to Covid, I should be able to make the train ok.

Then follows a five-change extravaganza, necessary to get the bike to Munich. All the changes are half an hour or so, so I'm not too concerned - but let's hope it's not too exhausting.

Fingers crossed!

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Kathleen ClassenIt is so wonderful to have your journal and the Anderson’s journal to read. If we can’t be doing it, we love to be reading about it. Good luck with the five train extravaganza getting to Munich. It is always an adventure hehe.
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4 months ago
Jon AylingThanks Kathleen - it's great to know people are reading! I've learnt my lesson from the 5 minute train changes, so hopefully things will be reasonably relaxed! (and I get to visit Venlo, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart again)
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4 months ago