sorry for the wait but it's been so strange being back home and using an alarm clock that i completely forgot to sign off this blog.
Last I updated was about 115 miles outside of Cherbourg in a McDonalds. from there the ride was fine, just wet and cold really. i found a cheap youth hostel in Cherbourg where i dried all my gear and bought i nice dirty greasy kebab :)
that's pretty much it really, woke up in the morning, boarded the ferry and then 4 hours later arrived in the UK.
Customs pulled me over but only to chat for about half an hour about what I'd seen, what was camping in -20oC like and what was it like riding through the mountain passes in the alps etc.
then i just bimbled my way back from Poole, got distracted by the pub in Torrington and then home.
anyway, the trip was like nothing else I've ever done, it was so amazingly humbling to be at the mercy of the elements and finding somewhere to sleep in a hedge where mother nature couldn't get you.
but more than that it was the people i met; language or actually knowing someone really is no barrier to a genuinely nice person. I had mechanics do full services and work for days and you couldn't even give them money. people would take you into their home and give you hot meals and a shower, or drive you to the nearest cities just to help you find parts for your bike. and they do all this just because they want to help someone who is raising money for charity.
The strange thing was what my bike became, it wasn't just a machine anymore, it was my legs, when i was cold the exhaust heated my hands and melted snow so i could drink it. sometimes just sitting in the snow and watching it tick over when it's 2 in the morning and no-one is around was almost emotional. and when the mechanics at the elefantentreffen worked for the entire day with me kicking it over and she finally was finally running, i don't mind saying that a tear came to my eyes, my best friend who was carrying me all this way was alive again.
Sometimes it was hard work (riding for 28 hours in one go) (or having ice form on your sleeping bag) but the pain was almost nice, really pushing my body and mind further than it's been before and wondering where i'll be tomorrow.
And knowing the human race still has some hope left in it was worth any amount of shivering.
Thank you to everybody who donated to the air ambulance, sent me nice texts while i was away, took me in an gave me hot drinks or food, worked on my bike for free or was just genuinely and without prejudice a nice person, no matter what country i was in (except Switzerland, what a pathetic excuse for a country)
Ed March signing off