Thursday, 6 September 2012

Day 90-93 Amsterdam to Whitley Bay. 45kms (3950kms total!!!)

16 months after our journey began last May, our travels are over and we're finally back on English soil.  Our 3950km (2454 mile) bicycle trip has come to an end, arriving into North Shields last Tuesday to a hero's welcome.  It was tempting to add the ferry's distance onto our total, or cycle round the block a few times till we'd reached 4000km's, but we refrained and are still pretty chuffed with our total.

Tulips anyone?  At Amsterdam Flower Market
We had a fabulous weekend in Amsterdam, catching up with old friends, reuniting with new friends from our travels and celebrating Johns birthday.  It was also amazing arriving in a city that's so dominated by bicycles, and such beautiful ones at that.  I was ever so tempted to buy a huge shopping bike with basket or trailer, but it just wouldn't have fit in my hand luggage, and now that we own 6 bikes between us I think we need to get rid of a few before buying anymore.

John and Ad putting the hangover to one side for a birthday breakfast

Birthday celebrations with friends

A visit to The Movies to watch the latest Woody Allen film (pity half of it was in Italian with Dutch subtitles, oops!)

After a short 30km's to the ferry port we embarked on our 'poor man's cruise' across the seas, with John's family and a huge banner dominating the fish quay as we pulled into the Newcastle port.  It was amazing to see them from the ship - we felt so special & I'm sure were the envy of other passengers.  John said it was the wind making his eyes water but I'm not so sure!  Our final 10kms took us up the coast to John's home town of Whitley Bay where we celebrated our homecoming in style & took time to reflect on our achievements.  

Waiting to board - our final moments on the continent
Nearly home - approaching the beautiful Tyne coastline
John's family welcoming us back from the Fish Quay

So 'real life' resumes!  It's actually been a really busy week, catching up with family, getting the van ready for her all important MOT, applying for jobs (now that we're skint) and house hunting (now that we're homeless).  It's been great though & we're embracing all of the comforts we've missed out on over the last few months.  My favourite has to be sleeping with a pillow every night - what luxury!  And Johns mum's amazing home cooking. 

With just £100 (5000 Thai Baht) of our fundraising total left to reach, we'd be so grateful for any last minute donations to New Life.  The photos prove we definitely did make it all the way.  Click here to donate 

And what now you ask??  Well we're happy to get comfortable back here, at least for a little while.  But I think the travel bug will always be with us so watch this space.  Thanks to everyone for reading our blog, sending messages of encouragement & supporting us along the way.  It's been a blast.  

Laura & John, 
Over and Out. xxx

MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!