My wonderful, concerned friends had made me promise to check in on Facebook, both to let them know I was still alive at the end of each day, and where I was in case I needed help. So I posted a live daily travelogue that I’ll just reproduce here, as the daily entries captured my mood of the day much better than any delayed commentary could. I’ve also added a section at the end to wrap up.

 

The start

FB dream

Day 1

Day 1

Day 2

Day 2

Day 3

Day 3

Day 4

Day 4

Day 5

Day 5

Day 6

Day 6

Day 7

Day 7

The aftermath

During the trip I hadn’t slept well. When I’m tired, I usually sleep like a (snoring) log. But when I’m too tired, I don’t sleep well at all.  I’ve been back 10 days as of writing this, and have had only one good night’s sleep since. The hairdresser-verified result is noticeable hair loss. She says this is reversible and hair will return with sleep. I hope she’s right. If she isn’t then I suppose my future lightweight trips will be even more lightweight.

I’ve also lost body weight. I don’t know how much, as having a weighing scale around was just too depressing so I gave it away long ago. Having subsisted on tea eggs and bananas for a whole week, my stomach shrank and now I’m eating smaller portions than before the trip. This is strange because usually cycling makes me very hungry. One friend says I eat like a lawnmower after a ride. Maybe when riding all day every day for a week, metabolism adjusts and you don’t need that much fuel after all.

Besides these two losses, other casualties of the trip include one cut tyre, one punctured tube, one fallen off rear light,  and a pulled left calf muscle on the last day. Not too bad, all things considering.

And what has been gained? A tick on my bucket list, a confidence that I can survive alone, a renewed faith in the goodness of people, a vision of desolate shores few eyes have seen, a memory of a crazy week in my life when a scary dream became reality, and a peace from knowing that in spite of all our human struggles the world is a beautiful place.

I would do it all over again.