So, the time finally came for us to leave our paradise in the Welsh valley. It was hard work, stressful and emotional.
70% of our belongings donated, sold, given away, recycled or tipped. 15% packed away never to be looked at again for well over a year. 15% dragged to my mothers house to live in the back, box bedroom.
Leaving was hard, probably because it was one of the first places Ryan and I lived solely together in. Accar Wen was home. Spacious, but cosy. Light and open, green hills and fields surrounding you, a place you could finally breathe in. We never expected to love life in Wales so much, but of course, who wouldn’t fall in love with an area of outstanding natural beauty? As we sobbed in the garden before the great migration back to Manchester, we asked ourselves, surely if we’re this sad to leave we need to return? But who knows what our future holds. For now, we plan to remain in Manchester after our trip but for how long we stick to that I’m not sure.
Life in Manchester is good, it’s nice being so close to family and Ryan’s work. But we’re ready to get going on our bikes and enjoy our trip instead of stressing out about it.
Today marks two weeks until we get onto that first plane to Japan and I’m currently panic ordering trousers and shorts and staring out of the window watching the rain bucket down. It feels as though we are in some strange limbo, waiting and waiting for the day to come for us to go yet also feeling as though there’s still so much left to do. I think we’re getting there. The master list of what we planned on taking with us is being tackled more and more each day and the parcels seem to be piling up. Unfortunately, Ryan and I remain like passing ships as I work weekends and night shifts and he’s Monday-Friday. This is making it so hard for us to actually sit down and plan much, we may only be able to sneak in a couple of hours planning a week at the moment, but I know we’ll get there.
A more boring topic, I cut my long hair into a bob ready for the trip. There is no use for long hair on a cycle tour, and someone else could make use of it. So 34cm was cut off and donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for young girls who have lost their hair to cancer or other medical conditions. I’m loving having short hair, so convenient and easy to maintain perfect for the trip.
On more exciting and sad news: we will no longer be going to South Korea, at least not to travel along the 4 rivers bike path. After further research we’ve decided the night time temperatures will just be far too cold for us; it would probably mean we’d need to pack extra wardrobe and maybe even different sleeping bags. For the sake of 2-3 weeks, it just isn’t worth it for us. We will now be travelling to mainland southeast Asia via Taiwan. Similar to South Korea, Taiwan has a dedicated cycle route, circular around the island, which takes between 10-12 days to complete. Sounding perfect for the time we now needed to fill as we’re dropping South Korea. Although, through reading online this route isn’t to be taken lightly and we should expect it to be very mountainous with lots of steep climbs. This doesn’t mean we won’t get to see South Korea, we’re hoping to plan an excursion there for 2-3 days, looks straight forward to organise from Fukuoka.
There is still lots to be done behind the scenes until we can set off, plenty of organising, buying, and planning still left to do. Wish us luck, cause we’re gonna need it.
P.S. special thanks to our wonderful friends, Beth and Tommy who gave us this lovely card with some super handy bike tools, so kind of you both. We’re gonna miss you homies.