Gatwick - Spetember 17, 2015
Well, you know your trip is over when you're sitting in the airport waiting for your flight home. I'm now at Gatwick with less than an hour until boarding time. Trying to mentally gear up for getting back into work mode. Not like riding across Russia isn't a lot of work though. Just a different kind.
So I didn't do a whole lot in London. Just went in one day when there was a break in the weather, hit a lot of areas on the underground but really only spent time at the London Museum. What a history for such a small area. And so much being found still. Pre-Roman sites, Roman sites, Saxon stuff. All very cool. But the prices here are a limiting factor. You look at the price of something and go, oh, that's pretty much like home, until you remember that you have to multiply by 2. Yes, everything is twice the price of home. Sometimes that just puts things into the ridiculously stupid range. I went to the London Transit Museum but they wanted 16 for admission. 16 dollars is a lot for a museum, and one that you would have to weigh in your mind. By 16 x 2 is ridiculously stupid. So I walked the streets a lot, trying to confuse the facial recognition software that they employ all over London. They're still trying to figure me out as I was seen popping up out of the underground at all different places, only to quickly disappear again. What is this guy up to? Kind of like the bad guy in the game Scotland Yard.
So I've been sitting on pins and needles for the past few days hoping not to get a phone call about the bike. When I dropped it off at Gatwick on Monday, things were different than before. In the past, I would take the gear off the bike and they would inspect and xray the bags right there. Then I'd put it all back on the bike. This time, they said to just leave it as the bike was going to be taken to Heathrow for secondary inspection. Heathrow has a more powerful xray so they can make sure that I don't have a bomb in the crankcase. Well, I had to remind them that there might be a fee for that and had to make some silly arrangements for paying it. I haven't gotten a phone call yet indicating any problems, but that's not too reassuring in this case. I really seem to know more about the procedures than they do. Very frustrating. I was particularly afraid that someone would say that the bike was supposed to be going without any gear on it, then we would get into this whole kafluffle again about what the contract really is for... motorcycle or weight. I'd prefer to just skip all that and push the bike into the container myself as I do in Vancouver.
So it's hard to say how finishing the trip will affect me in the long-run at home. I'll be busy and have things to do, but I've always had that. Not having that little project there in the back of my mind, always present, always giving me a bit of direction... not having that... well, I don't know. We'll just have to see. There won't be anything else to replace it, I don't think, at least not right away. This is the first trip where I have arrived home in debt. And with a pretty limited income, it will take a while to recover. So I will drown (or be drowned) in work for a while. Maybe not having an unfinished project nagging at me will be a relief. It will be interesting to see.
So I have lots waiting for me to do at the clinic apparently, and of course lots to do on the website. Particularly posting the photos... and my acknowledgements. So I'll let everyone know when that is ready. Otherwise, once again, thanks to all of you for following along and for all your support. Establishing and re-establishing connections has really been one best things about doing this trip!
Take care and stay happy. And if you're not happy, get happy.