Back in, oh I don't know, June maybe, when my younger brother Ed looked like he was going to be winding up his epic round the world trip via Morocco, Spain and France, I tentatively suggested he might like some company for the last part, a bit of a mobile cheering squad to fanfare his progress back to where he started from in late April 2011. Warm sunshine in an exotic location sounded pretty good to me, if I could swing it. He had been thinking the same thing (probably just wondering how he could organise a fanfare, I expect), and wheels were put in motion.
Shortly after, his flexible routing system required a significant change of direction and his final stage moved from warm, exotic Morocco to chilly, wintry Italy, Switzerland and France. Still, I was committed, but suddenly not so sure how excited I was to get inevitably very cold and probably very wet! For this reason, i have been working hard at putting on a blasé front and being (apparently rather too) relaxed about everything.
I almost pulled out altogether a fortnight or so ago as finding a bike was proving tricky, until a coincidental conversation with a mystery benefactor bore very surprising and rather poetic fruit. I am holding off revealing to the world in what shape that fruit came, as I want to surprise Ed, but all will be revealed in due course.
Which brings me up to today, where I am taking a brief break mid-dash to procrastinate a little more and get the blog underway once more. This will be but a short blast, I think, probably all over by the end of November, but hopefully it will provide enough material for mini-adventure and a few photos. If you're lucky.
My tentative route plan at present will take me to Calais tomorrow morning, Troyes tomorrow night, then Milan the next day and finally Pescara on Italy's east coast by Thursday, where I should meet Ed and we can begin a more sedate return run with a bit of roses-smelling on the way. Watch this space, and check out Ed's version of events at his Riding in the Tracks of Giants blogspot. I wonder how they might interpret events differently....