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.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Good at Finding Things.

Well it would appear British Airways are good at finding things. As they have had so much practise.
 Pouring down one minute and sunny the next. That's Casablanca at the moment.

The changeable weather is not the only thing that is totally unpredictable at the moment. Following my last report I once again checked the lost luggage site on BA expecting to see yet again that information on my luggage was unavailable at the moment but that they were doing their best to locate it. But no!!!

The bag had been located subject to confirmation!!! Who's confirmation ? There can surely only be one Mercian Bawling its eyes out and lost in a foreign port. My boy needed me, where was he, was he damaged? I asked the hotel man to ring the BA number immediately. No reply. So we rang all the numbers at the airport and after he was off the phone he said that Mercian was at the airport waiting to be picked up!

It seemed too good to be true. So I had them call Mohamed a taxi driver I could trust. He'd been good to me when I was down the night I'd lost my luggage and we took the hours drive through Casablanca to the airport. While he waited I did the rounds of the airport looking for the retrieved luggage section. And there he was , plastic film wrapped and looking happy. BA gift wrapped him for me. Or maybe they wrapped him because there was so much damage?

No. On closer inspection of the outside of his bag and a more detailed check back at the hotel, all looked well.
My M.U.M (Mercian Urban Machine) is Back Again.

I am so happy to see him again. The baggage staff gave me no info on where the hold up had occurred and honestly I was only joking at Heathrow when I wrote in my diary that the Mercian may want to hang around in London having been brought up near there so to speak.

Adi has not yet paid for the ticket home so my journey around the world could continue from here although I would possible have to cut a little distance out of Morocco.

But. And I have thought carefully about this. I am not going to continue this trip for a number of reasons. But the main reason is because during my distress Adi was my rock. She has saved for this trip, encouraged me and been denied a part of it which was originally planned. She has endured the stress of her cat (Bob) almost dying while I was away and has now next week got to go into hospital to relieve pain in her knees and feet.

I feel if I go home now I have achieved the goal of having cycled another continent. I have not lost my bike and most importantly I can support Adi when she comes out of hospital and we may still have enough money to go on a cycle trip to Vietnam which she was looking forward too.

So that's it for the World Cycle Race but certainly not it for me and overseas touring. I have no regrets and I still have a Visa for Vietnam later in the year. Adi hopefully will be up and running for a joint trip. I certainly wont be going without her. So keep in touch with this blog if interested. ( I have unfinished buisness in China and Southeast Asia).
The Suns Out But it's Still Stormy along the Coast.

I'm coming home Adi, book me a ticket and put the jug on. O' that's right you cant walk. I'll put the jug on.

Ps. have you noticed the tv in the picture of my bike and I. Broken. Just like everything else in Sth America and so far in Morocco. I can't wait to be somewhere where stuff generally does what it should.

Thanks to everyone who has made supportive comments I appreciate it. I will be blogging as usual since my bike and I are re- united and cycling life will go on and must be reported on.. Adi and I will soon be also re united and then its back on my wheels and out on the roads.

And I wish the still racing WCR riders the best. I can now follow from the comfort of the sofa. But with a new appreciation of all that can go wrong with even the best laid plans.


  1. Well done on getting this far Niel, I've been reading your travels but this is the first time I've commented. I'm sure that when you're in your situation you just need one real bad bout of trouble to make you seriously reconsider what you are doing. I'm sure you've made the correct decision and I hope that you don't have regrets in the years to come - you've achieved too much for that.

    All the best.

    1. Hi Robert, Thanks. I dont think I will regret this decision as I feel I have at this stage lost nothing. Having completed Sth America completely I go home another continent closer to the ultimate goal of cycling everywhere.I have my beloved bike back to fight again on distant shores and I can help Adi achieve her cycling ambitions. She encouraged me to do the race but I know now she needs me home and that has been confirmed by how happy she is now I'm headed back.

  2. It's definately the right decision. The world is not going anywhere, we can do it together on my new bionic legs. You have suffered like a dog ,mentally, emotionally and physically. I can't wait to spoil you and put some lost weight back on that body - there is a chocolate easter egg waiting for you.

    1. What only one Easter egg!!!

      My only sponsor Brightwater 4 Square should be able to do better than that. They dont sell after Easter afterall.
      Thanks to Jim and Lorraine. I will make up for the support by riding my bike with a 4Square cycle top on if you get one made. (Even though colours will clash horribly with my bike)

  3. Sorry to read you are stopping Neil but if I was in the same situation I'm sure I would have stopped long ago, before crossing South America. Family is important and supporting them should always be a high priority. I will miss your tales from the road, they have been a very interesting read for an armchair WCR follower. I will look forward to reading your about your future travels on a bike.
    Safe trip home.

    1. Please keep following Nick.

      I am always cycling somewhere. And with Adi pulling her hair out with frustration at home not being able too cycle because of her knees I'm sure that after her op next week she will be pushing me to train up with her for Vietnam.I am really pleased with my choice to do Sth America first as it was one continient that I had never cycled and is expensive to get to from NZ. I feel I have done it justice and can now concentrate my future efforts on China and Asia.

  4. Sorry to hear that you are stopping, although can understand given what you've been through (and Adi I hope this go well in your Op!).... I'm sure you'll both be back touring around countries in no time. Has been really great reading your blogs and I'll still keep an eye on them to see what's happening in your world. Take care and safe trip home! With EVERYTHING.... Note to self, stay away from BA...

    1. Hi Wayne, Thanks for that.

      To be fair to BA they are probably at the mercy of a contracted baggage handling company.But still they need to sort it because they are the ones who will go down the gurgler. When I went to retrieve my bike there was another distraught and unhappy customer abussing the baggage man and I tried to explain to the customer that BA are one of the best rated companies at finding lost baggage since they loose it so often. And it comes back plastic wrapped with lots of extra tags on it!

  5. All the best for you and Adi.
    I really understand your reasons.

    Good trip.

    M. Morais

  6. Thanks for the reply to my blog Marcio.

    You were the friendly and understanding person that I needed after a tough crossing in Sth America.

    Relationships in life are all important. Next you must follow your dreams. I am so lucky to have a wife that shares these feelings. So now I can help her have some cycling adventure when she has had her operation.

    If you need a friend in New Zealand anytime I am an email away.

    All the Best

  7. Hey Niel,

    Sorry to here about Adi, I think you are making the right decision. It isn't easy to deal with these things from the other side of the world. As you say the world will still be there and you have had a great adventure, just a wee bit shorter than you planed.

    Good luck to you and Adi, might see you on the road back home sometime.