The panniers are packed, the tickets are bought and the spare pants are securely stored. It's now the start of a great adventure that will see me meet up with Pauline in Spain, to cycle the famous Comino to Santiago de Compostela.
The first part of my journey is easy: by train to London. There is little time to waste however, as I have just 55 minutes to cycle, fully loaded up, across London to Waterloo station . . . in rush hour traffic! From there it is a simple train journey to Portsmouth harbour.
I'm looking forward to the next stage after that, which will be a 36 hour crossing to Bilbao in north east Spain. Part of that journey however, does involve going through the Bay of Biscay. Hopefully I'll be King of the World as opposed to prince of the head-down-the-toilet.
I'm most apprehensive about getting from the port of Bilbao, which is amongst the less than picturesque parts of the ancient Basque city, through unfamiliar streets, into the centre, to find the bus station.
It doesn't end there however. At least I hope not. I have bought a bus ticket to take me from Bilbao, two hours south, to Logrono to meet Pauline, however, at this stage my bicycle is not booked on. I had zero success with the less-than-helpful staff of the bus company on the phone, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that all will be fine. Thanks to a friend of mine, Laura, who speaks fluent Spanish, I was able to find out some valuable information about packing the bike for the bus. Hopefully I can then get it stored for the journey.
So by mid afternoon on Thursday 19 August I hope to be seeing one friendly face I haven't seen for a couple of months.
I'll be trying to blog at some point, but Pauline will be continuing her blog as we go, which you can find at this link: