So we are back home and deluged with the day to day stuff that does not seem so important anymore. It took a full 20 minutes to get the bonnet open on the car to connect the battery charger. The worse news was the brake fluid had all managed to leak out of one of the rear calipers while we were away so some repairs are necessary. Still has some MOT left though so good to have transport at least.
The bikes managed to arrive at London Heathrow but I immediately wished we had stayed there to get them instead of arranging road-freight. What I had not figured was that they needed to go through customs even though they are both UK bikes. I quickly discovered we needed an agent to do this so I went ahead and appointed DSV air&sea since DSV road were bringing them back home from London. Big mistake that turned out to be since they could not work out how to handle it and got themselves convinced they needed the Carnet which by now was safely tucked up in Donaghadee. All the while we would be paying around £80 a day storage fees. Nice.
I did a quick (10 minute) search on the internet and found the correct forms myself. Unfortunately we could not submit them ourselves and would need an agent to do so. By now I was loath to phone DSV back to tell them how to do their job and then let them charge me for the privilege so I handed it over to HWFS who (after I completed the forms) had it done in 20 minutes. Know for next time!
A few days later the bikes arrived at my parents house. They were perched precariously on the tail-lift coming out of the lorry but made it down ok somehow. There was some damage to my box but the bike was ok inside. It was nice to pull them out and put them back together again. Suraj did a good job in packing them. A few hours later we rode them home. The option of leaving them in Nepal had occurred to us, though with Helen’s health still being uncertain we didn’t know if, when or where we would continue our trip. Truth be told I was also unhappy at the idea of not having the bike nearby – that’s the curse of building the bike yourself.
It was surreal riding the bikes on familiar roads again. Over the past 5 months we had ridden into countries where the scenery changed gradually. Squat toilets started to appear in Turkey, drier desert conditions in Iran (and the most friendly people imaginable), poorer roads in Pakistan and even worse in India. Then suddenly *shazam* we were back were we started. 24 hour electricity, good roads (even though people here don’t think so), clean air and the majority of people didn’t drive out in front of you. Hardly anyone beeps the horn either – weird. I felt like we were doing something illegal travelling at a whole 40mph on the dual carriageway where the limit is 60. A powerful diesel bike makes more sense here than in Asia where you never get to stretch its legs I guess.
More specialists were consulted for Helen and appointments made. The outcome is basically that no-body seems to be able to give us 100% confirmation of what’s happened. Helen is feeling a lot better now and the doctors seem to think it was all related to having a tummy bug for so long. So for now we have to wait for at least a few months and see how it goes. It gives us a chance to earn some more money in the meantime at least though its difficult to concentrate now. Peoples gossip about what’s happening on EastEnders or whatever seemed utterly drab and pointless before we left – the trip has done nothing to cure that. The only respite seems to be planning our escape…