I seem to have left some unfinished business as I haven't actually managed to get Thelma home from Mongolia.
So at the end of June (in fact shortly after the UK HU meet which was a great success) I flew to Los Angeles and picked up Thelma. I hotfooted it up to the BMW MOA Rally in Oregon - a massive event with over 5000 riders.
Christmas greetings to all those reading the blog around the world - it is still holidays here and i have to apologise for not sending this out earlier but I have been in an internet black spot (my parents' house) for the past six days.
The good news is that my bag arrived from Iceland Air - what lovely people, they had not lost it or forgotten I was waiting for it. Everything is intact and I have learnt a valuable lesson about what to take as hand luggage next time. Or at least, I hope I have learnt the lesson.My boyfriend got me a great present - a GPS tracking device so that he (and the rest of the world) will be able to follow me on my travels and have a rough idea of where I am when I'm not at home.
My Christmas Day involved not only opening presents but I also headed down to the beach and took part in the annual fancy dress swim in the sea. A bracing experience it was too. Particularly as the last swim I'd had was at the Yucatan where the sea temperature was 25 degrees (centigrade) and down here in Cornwall it's more like 8 degrees if I'm lucky.
A brief but memorable dip.
I'm finally home (or at least for the moment). I've arrived back to find Arctic style weather conditions and to discover that the airline have lost my bag. This is a bit of a problem as it means I only have the clothes I was wearing when I landed, plus full bike gear. Though I am still luckily in possession of the seven pairs of knickers.
The major issue is that my photos are all in that bag. I had been somewhat anal during this journey about always backing up my digital memory cards onto memory sticks and then had a completely brain dead moment in Seattle whilst packing ( I must admit my mind was more thinking about Iceland than packing) and I rather stupidly put both all the memory cards AND the memory sticks in one bag. Doh!!!!!!!
I've been waiting to hear what the airline have to say about tracking it down.
I've had a couple of emails from Confused of Camberley asking where on earth I am heading and what has happened to Thelma. One minute I'm bike travelling around Japan, the next I'm on a KLR in Guatemala and then I'm suddenly in Iceland.
Well Mr Confused (and I think there are likely to be several more people feeling the same way). I arrived in LA in early November with the knowledge that I should have been home by then but with the realisation that I was still halfway around the world from England. Having got to North America I decided I wanted to bike to Nova Scotia to visit friends there, however, even I will agree that this was an inappropriate time of year to head across America.
Therefore I've decided to leave Thelma in storage in LA for the winter while I fly home to spend Christmas with my boyfriend and the rest of my family. I will then stay in England for the winter months working and saving hard so that when the weather is warmer I can head back to California and ride Thelma across the States and Canada to Nova Scotia and ship home from an East Coast port.
I had an unreasonably early morning call to get to the airport, after a late night eating turkish borek. I was flying out via Seattle to catch up with friends there, but as I was delayed 24 hours by order of the US Customs Department, I missed the "Welcome Back Tiffany" party in the George and Dragon pub, arriving in time to witness the bleary eyes and hangover of Mick and friends at Vallantine Motorworks. At least Shaun the dog greeted me warmly and definitely seemed to remember me from seven years ago
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