Cold! Snow covered pond
It's freezing outside. The slightly weird picture on the left is the pond iat La Celle. There is frost on the ground, but the pond is covered in snow.
Packing is going badly. Firstly, I have lost the two aluminium water bottles that I bought last year, and we have just remembered that I had cooked Tadek's TEVA sandals in the wash (they stank) when we got back from Thailand in March. Too late to order anything here in rural nowhereness, so we're hoping that we can get something at duty free in Dubai. Not much hope really. Alternatively, we may have to wait until we arrive in Singapore on February 14th.
Off to town to pick up some cheap, nasty water bottles, and a new register plate for our second chimney.
We've done such little research for this trip that we only noticed last night that we needed to have visas for Sri Lanka. Donkey comes to mind! Disaster averted by completing the ETA form online and parting with €30 each. Visa on arrival in Singapore and Malaysia so no more last minute shocks there :-)
We'll be updating all the blogs from Tadek's iPhone as of Sunday as we don't want to take the computer this time. Hence, the posts will be a lot shorter and less photos no doubt. Once we get to Singapore, we might invest in a tablet and make more professional updates from then on.
Arrived at Charles de Gaulle at about 9am after about 2 hours sleep on route in a lovely motorway service station. Free car park and shuttle bus sorted and plenty of time waiting on plastic chairs for the Egypt Air check-in to open.
First problem - tyres not deflated enough - easy fix. Second problem - they did not like the plastic bags for the bikes . Had to buy boxes from Air France, slightly annoying, but only €7 each so not really a problem. Third problem - they wanted to charge us €55 each for the bikes. We had checked their website and phoned the UK office and as long as the bikes were within our baggage allowance of 46kg!! , they should be free. Many explanations and more and more heated conversations got us one for free from the check-in manager. Tried to pay the fee, but the Air France handling agent wanted $75, so they call Egypt Air. Strangely enough, at this point, Egypt Air decided that the bikes should go free and there had been a misunderstanding re the method of packing (we should have taken the front wheels off!). Anyway - all free - but 2 hours taken from start to end of check-in!
Finally, we are both back in a freezing cold wreck in France and starting to plan our trip to Thailand and Laos which starts on Wednesday! Some speedy packing tomorrow will be required to get all our dispersed gear into one bag and the mothballed bikes back in a fit state for a short spin around a little of South East Asia.
No snow here at present, but the village pond is still iced over and the fire is still not roaring enough to heat more than one room. Five weeks away from dull greyness should be a welcome tonic after a harsh winter spent renovating (and not renovating) the house.
Teresa and Tadek
Inexperienced cycle tourists of Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Thailand, Laos & Cambodia