Europa Report

Its been a while, since the cycle tour stopped still in Southern Colombia. Its stopped after weeks spent in a hotel room ill to an alarming point. At first the thought of a week off would see us well, then we would set off. After a week of not improving and being toilet bound the thought came of going to a doctor, while trying every drug from the local pharmacies. Prescriptions are not required in Colombia so anything is available. The drug that fixed us in the end after weeks of illness was conveyed to us as a drug that will kill everything in out guts. We took it according to the vague guidlines of the pharmacist. After taking it we googled it and found the combination we were given was banned in most the world due to the very nasty side effects caused. The severeness of the vertigo effect was horrible, I couldn’t make it the meter from the bed of the hotel room to the door, making it to the bathroom was no fun. Me and Karli were stuck on the bed wondering if we needed to go to hospital with the double realisation we didn’t know the address of the hotel room, the number to call or how we would convey the problem over the phone. The whole day and night was spent doing backflips as the room span violently. Knowing this was the side effect made it less painful just closing eyes and riding it out. A couple of days later the diarrhoea had stopped but motivation was lacking. It felt like half the cycle tour was spent ill. We also read about a series of climbing fatalities in Peru in the days around, this really put a damper on our spirits. We decided to stop the trip.   When we were well enough to travel we took the bus with all of our gear back to Bogota It was a long slow journey despite the lightning speed the buses drive. A few more days and we were in the states.  I know this won’t be the last I will see of Colombia or South America, there are plans to return and continue. I love it over there. But for now circumstances have changed.

We couldn’t spend time in the states as my Visa only allows 6 months out of each year and I had already maxed the 6 months the last time, so we flew on to the UK. We waxed a lot of money flying us, our bikes and gear out of South America short notice, then even more money moving us and the gear onto the UK. Touching down in mid December to darkness at 4 pm and continual cold damp rain was quite sobering. We moved into my older brother Mikes’ house for a few weeks while deciding what to do next. Over Christmas I bought a van and we moved into the Travel Beasts house for the next 6 months. With buying the van, business insurance and just the general costs of living the debt after the flight climbed up. It was good fun living with best friends but at 6 months Karli’s Visa for the UK was also maxed.

It was a hectic 6 months of work and very little play, we only made it out for one ice climb, a few scrambles/hikes and a couple of rock climbs while back. The month before going was spent trying to help the travel beasts with their Landcruiser project and before we knew it was time to go again. A hastily converted van giving us comforts of life inculding insulation, power sockets, a leisure battery, double burner and sink, draws, cupboards for clothing, a double swivelling seat soon sank more money but the feeling was it would be worth it.  We swung by a castle on the way south, had a few days on a beach in Cornwall then boarded a ferry for Roscoff, France. We have three months in Europe and a modest but steady online income to slowly recoup our expenses and get us onto the next trip.

At present we are living in Quiberon on a quiet beach car park surviving off fresh baguettes, cheese, wine and all the other fresh veggies and fruits. Things we will have to endure in this barbarically sunny place with a tedious fresh morning breeze and ground coffee. Its a suffer fest out here.  The van is packed with two surf boards (newly aquired and brilliant fun), two kayaks, a bicycle, the climbing and mountaineering equipment, the tent, basically everything we own combined for a summer of fun and work. All around the area are Old Bunkers from WW2 and its quite spooky to walk around them seeing the damage from shells and bullets.

Something more interesting here tomorrow……………………


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