In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The End?

The End?

So I have by now posted my Rio blog. How things can change so quickly when you are trying to do something like this. Its difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't tried it how hard it is to cycle a country when you cant speak the language and the customs are all foreign to you.

Let me explain what has happened in the last 24hrs or so.

I got to the airport in Rio at 10am even though my flight out wasn't until 10pm as I had seen Rio and thought I may as well wait at the airport and be early and not rushed. I was first in the qeue after waiting until the 7pm check in. My bike with all my gear wrapped inside was accepted and I boarded the flight relaxed and happy to be on my way.
At the Airport in Rio and Ready to Go.

We arrived in Heathrow and once again I had 4hrs before the connecting flight to Casablanca. All through my wifi played up so only now can I post this blog. However for the first time in 2 months my vodafone cell phone decided to work and I sent a happy txt home to Adi. I enjoyed being in an English speaking country for the first time and jokingly hoped my Mercian wouldn't desert me and stay in the country it was built. I had no luggage to cart around as it had been checked right through to Casablanca on British Airways.

It was a long flight and I was worried about getting to the Hotel in Casablanca with the bike. I had already decided since I arrived at 10pm that I would just throw everything in a taxi and pay whatever it was to be taken there. I didn't want another set of hassles like my arrival in Lima.

Then the nightmares started. Stress never seems far away for me in this adventure. After a long flight and now in a new country and foreign airport my baggage did not arrive! So except for my carry on bag everything I have is missing. The lost baggage people do not speak English. But I manage to explain what has happened and they take the details. But they cannot find the bike and gear. So alone I make my way from the airport, get some cash from the machine and out to a taxi. I don't know the exchange rate at this stage but have an idea in Moroccan money how much I should be charged to the Hotel.

I arrive at the Hotel totally devastated. How can I explain the feeling of being totally without anything , not being able to explain this to anyone and needing to know what to do and get some reassurance. The hotel staff don't speak English. But at least I am booked and checked in. I switch on the computer to see if I can get wi fi. Its the only way I can let Adi now whats happened. I could just cry my eyes out but what good would it do. I just need to make contact with someone who will understand and can help me.

Thank God the wi fi works and I send a message to Adi and my travel agent asking what I should do. I go to bed with no reply and try to sleep. Eight hours later when I wake up and check my messages there's nothing from Adi. But one reply from my travel agent. I open it with relief to find it is a note saying she's in Aussie for a week. Trying not to panic and thinking off all the reasons Adi may not have replied I pace about and get the reception staff to ring the airport baggage staff. They do and are told the system is down so they cant check anything.(All this is done by sign language)

I go back to the computer and thankfully Adi has replied asking what the problem is? And I thought I had explained it 8hrs before in the email. So we go back and forth but Adi managed to get hold of another travel agent who calmed me by saying that the luggage was being traced. And if I had to he could arrange tickets home.

The feelings I have are so hard to explain. But amount basically to feeling incredibly vulnerable. I have lost my bike which is so dear to me and all my gear. Not only is it the whole reason I am here but in my eyes my only way out and home. So I needed to know that the agent could get me tickets home if the bike doesn't turn up.

At this stage I would like to say that if anyone suggests I just get another bike and everything here then they don't know Casablanca or in fact how difficult it would be to do that in English speaking NZ let alone here. (By the way they speak French here). So if the gear doesn't turn up in a couple of days I suppose its all over.

I don't Know what to bawl about first. The loss of my bike, missing home and Adi so much or just the general loneliness I feel.

Anyway its hard to blog about it and I have been told by the receptionist at the hotel "Airport say no luggage today try tomorrow"
Lost And Depressed.

Out now to get a razor and tooth brush.

But before I go two things are clear to me. You are all right in foreign countries where you don't speak the language until things go wrong, and then you can be in a power of shit. And the other thing is, family and friends are so important. I only have a very small family caring about me and my friends are all a long way off.

I suppose that's why they say travel broadens the mind.


  1. Kia kaha Niel. I hope things are resolved quickly, and that you and your steed are soon reunited and underway

  2. Neil,
    We feel your pain. You have done so well thus far. We hope you baby turns up soon and you can be on your way.

  3. Hi Niel,

    Congratulations on the ride across Sth America, it was a bold trip and you pulled it of in style.

    BUGGER is the word that comes to mind with regard to the loss of your bike. These things often turn out ok so hopefully that will be the case. Lets know if there's anything we can do from this end, like sending hate mail to BA, or sticking pins into model aeroplanes. What ever you do DON'T GIVE UP!!

    We're just coming to the end of the best run of Autumn weather we've had for years, perfect cycling weather.

    Good luck with BA,


  4. oh no, that is rather shitty but you are clearly already aware of this. Hope you and bike are reunited soon...
    Still fail to understand what security measures are for when flying, if they can't even manage to get you and luggage on the same flight.
    Adds BA to the list of airlines I will try and avoid flying with, also on the list are Air France.