Saturday, 24 July 2010

And you think it is easy returning the vans

Up early, dropped Damo and Jay at the train station so they could get back to Paris. Joe and Bluncky also went back to the hotel to join the others. We had the vans cleaned up and rubbish dumped and were on the road heading for Toulouse by 8.30am

We had a full day ahead of us. First job was to put some air in the front tyre of one of the vans. It had a puncture. Jordy didn't like the idea of doing 120kph on the freeway with a half flat tyre. We pumped it up and grabbed a coffee and a snack.

On our way again, we got to the toll gate on the freeway and the police were doing spot security checks. Guess what, they pull Jordan over. They ask us a lot of questions like what do we do, why are there so many countries stamps in our passports, why have 2 men got 1 van each?? They go through all of Jordy's papers before they seem satisfied and they let us go on our way. All of this eats up time however, and we get to the van drop off place, 25k south of Toulouse. The plan is to drop 1 van, take the other to the UPS depot so Jordan can drop off his bike which he is shipping back to USA as he is meeting the family in Spain and it is less of a hassle than dragging a bike around. We then need to get to Toulouse Airport, find a hotel nearby so we can drop off Jordan and all the luggage, and I then take the second van back to the drop off point 25k away and then I ride my bike back to the hotel, pack the bike, have a shower and head to the airport!

There' s some logistics in all that. It all goes reasonably to plan except that they charge us €300 for the diesel in the water tank in one van, and €300 for the cracked rear bumper and wrecked step on the other.

By the time we get all of this done and I get back to the Avis drop off point with the second van it is 12.50pm and the place is closed for lunch till 2pm! Nothing to do but sit and wait. I have a snooze on the bed. They guy wakes me to move my van at 2pm as I parked in his driveway so I wouldn't sleep too long. Second van dropped off, I then jump on the bike for a 30k hitout back to the hotel. Once again the Garmin pays for itself, as I want to avoid freeways and major roads. It takes me along some peaceful country lanes and pretty outer suburbs of Toulouse as we basically skirt around the city avoiding traffic hot spots.

My only worry on the way back was what would happen if I had a couple of punctures as there would be a risk then of me missing my flight. Luckily, all worked out fine. I got back at the hotel by 3pm, missing Jordan who left for his (earlier) flight 10 mins before, packed up and made the flight with an hour to spare!

Are about to board the plane for Sydney via London. which is an Airbus taking 200 passengers. There must be 80 bikes going on this flight. I wonder if I am going to see my bike in Sydney sometime soon?

What a huge day. Now today took some planning!

Danny, Mitch and the boys did the Tourmalet today. A great ride. Danny text'd me to tell me that his garmin got pinched at the top of the Tourmalet by some mongrel.

Le Foz
Sent via BlackBerry® from Telstra

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