Are we there yet?

Long haul travelling is not fun, by anyone’s definitions.

Travelling from Devonport to Bordeaux is a long way…a seriously long way, seemingly visiting as many airport as possible en route to maximise the number of handling transfers on the previous cargo.

Oh the precious cargo is not me! I am quite ‘what will be will be’ with me when I fly, although I do have a little ‘superstitious’ routine when boarding the long haul planes..I touch the side of the plane, giving it a quick tap and rub.

The precious cargo is my bike!! Unlike me, it is 100 percent replaceable, whereas I know I am not. I am unique, one off, never to be repeated, they broke the mould when I was made, type of woman. So I know it seems a little incongruous.

Devonport airport, the young buck at the check in counter suggested possibly I would like to pay $972 AUD for ‘excess baggage’. I very politely declined, quoting terms and conditions, showing him where on the website the terms and conditions were located.

HIs final question ” so you are absolutely sure about this?” I nodded and bang the charge was wiped.  If i had been wearing my heart rate monitor it would have revealed one very fast heart beat!

Melbourne to Dubai was via Singapore and the worst part of the whole trip. Just a seriously long time. The upside was that by the time we reached Dubai I had watched a very interesting movie about the King of Norway during WW2, and 8 episodes of the historical drama on the young Queen Victoria.

Leaving Dubai

Dubai to Madrid was ‘my turn’ to have a window seat, and for me, the most interesting part of the trip. It was daylight and clear and I was able to see just where we were.

Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula, Suez Canal, Nile River were all clearly visible and I was fascinated.

Sinai Peninsula
Here we have Egypt on the left, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia all in one shot. It also shows Eilat ( top left lake) a southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea.
Suez Canal at Port Tawfiq.
Nile River mouth past Rashmeed, Egypt

Arriving in Madrid was interesting. Dry and barren topography where olive trees seem to be able to grow in really dry shale


After clearing passport control in Madrid you then walk for ages, catch a train to go to a different terminal to collect your luggage. Tension was high as we had another flight to go but needed to source our bikes, that often arrive well after ordinary luggage.

Heathrow airport are excellent for bikes, arriving before ordinary luggage. Madrid is the opposite, ensuring nerves are frayed to the maximum! Some 30 minutes after all other baggage had been collected the bikes turned up, appearing to be in excellent condition.

Liberian Airlines insisted that I pay an additional 130 euro for the two bikes. I negotiated that down to a total of 90 euro! They don’t do bike bags as ordinary luggage and I was not confident on that aspect, in Spanish, so pleaded for mercy instead.

So the bikes are now in Bordeaux, reformed into their complete state!


No bike riding today. Need a day to recover from jet lag for safety reasons. I also have a less serious form of epilepsy that is triggered by extreme tiredness so seems like a sensible idea.

We have one week in Bordeaux, 6 nights in an Air BNB apartment opposite the Aquitaine Museum.


But as I stand on the apartments little Juliet balcony and look right, just over there on Rue de Victor Hugo is that little cafe now open? I smell an espresso!! Priorities!




15 thoughts on “Are we there yet?

    1. Thanks Badger… there is always a story to tell, pictures as well. I was a sessional sports journalist/columnist with a Tas regional paper for 14 years or so writing about Swimming. I would have to be quiet creative in quieter weeks.


  1. John Hodgson

    ‘Enjoy the Ride’ Sharon and Tony, great report you could probably get a job with NASA with all that geographical knowledge from afar !!!! Will follow with interest…..’Ferret’


  2. John Hodgson (Team CLS)

    ‘Enjoy the Ride Tony and Sharon’. You could probably get a job with Nasa with all that high altitude geographical knowledge. Will follow with interest……’Ferret’


  3. Dolphus Meyer

    I can feel the tension Sharon! I’ve often pondered that it might be easier just to buy a 2nd hand bike upon arrival and just dump it at the airport when coming home. Bikes are so much hassle but at least they are there now.


    1. Yes it is nerve wracking but this is the 4th time we have travelled internationally with bikes. On each other occasion we flew directly into London thereby minimising bike handling. Flying back from Paris ( BA) to London and then directly back to Sydney with Qantas (2015) our bikes had an extended stay in London arriving home 2 days later with one having a cracked frame. Qantas coughed up and we did quite ok out of it. This time we had far too many options for poor bike handling but worked out fine. Nice to ride your own bikes.


  4. Good to see you are still Blitzkreiging your way around Europe harassing and intimidating innocent flight staff and baggage handlers Shaz!!
    I hope you weren’t standing naked on that Juliette balcony in the morning light??!! … this may cause serious psychological trauma for the local Boreaux’vians!!!
    Mark H

    Liked by 1 person

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