MONDAY 4 JULY
Unfortunately, as predicted, Olga had to be towed the last mile or so from the B & B to the shipping depot. A sad way for her to end her journey.
However, we are just thrilled with how she went over the full trip. In the end she did 3,717 miles, which is 5,982 kms. To put that in perspective, it is the equivalent of riding from our place to Perth and halfway back again, with plenty of narrow, windy, steep, rough roads, albeit over eight weeks. When she gets home she will need a new back tyre. The back shock absorbers are shot, the brakes and clutch need attention, and of course, there is the problem in that she won’t run and just cuts out. The setup of the sidecar has to be redone as well. Mick will be itching to get started by the time she arrives home in early September.
It was a bit sad saying bye bye.
After we waved Olga bye bye we caught the train to London Town to start the next phase of our journey. We are here for three nights. We are staying in the Queensway area, which has a handy street of restaurants nearby, the tube is close and then there is the added benefit in that we just have to cross the road, go through the hedge and we are in Kensington Garden. It is a lovely green space and the hustle and bustle of the city seems miles away. This is where we spent our afternoon.
We wandered into Hyde Park and saw signs to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, so thought we would go and have a look, expecting a fairly traditional fountain. Not so.
It has all different textures as it wends it’s way around.
The signs say that it is a place for quiet reflection and you are welcome to sit on the edge of the fountain and dangle your feet in the water, but there is to be no standing or walking in the fountain.
Well, I don’t think anyone read the sign.
However, everyone was enjoying themselves in the glorious hot sunshine and looked so happy. I’m sure that Diana, being the people’s princess, would have been delighted.
If we didn’t have shoes and sock on, we too would have been joining in the paddling.
We were both in true holiday mode this afternoon, strolling along, eating ice cream and sitting and watching the world go by.
There were heaps of people cycling, which looked like a rather pleasant way to get around, particularly as the parks are pretty well flat. We noticed quite a few bikes with a blue guard over the back wheel and eventually came across this.
The deal is that you pay one pound to access a bike for a day. In addition, if you only use it for half an hour it is free, up to one hour for one pound and then goes up according to how long you use the bike. You can return your bike and then get another bike during the day and you only pay for the time you are on the bike, as you have already paid the access fee. Everything is paid by credit card, so they can charge hefty overdue or non-return fees. All too simple. We had to give it a try.
Now, I used to ride my pushbike everywhere up till my late teens, but I reckon it would be 25 years since I’ve ridden a bike. This was going to be interesting. There was quite a bit of wobbling to start with and it seemed quite hard. Remember, I’m really unfit. Then Mick suggested that we raise the seat. What a difference that made. It all came back and away we went, mind you quite slowly. It was such a great feeling being on a bike again, and no helmets required here either.
Yes, here is the proof that I really did ride a bike. Sure makes my butt look big!! I wonder if I’ll discover muscles that ache tomorrow?
Not only were there lots of cyclists, there were also quite a few inline skaters. This group had some fairly tricky moves. There were also some people on traditional roller skates. Now that I have relived the feeling of cycling, I am itching to see if I can still skate, as I also used to do a lot in my teens. I might have to dig out my skates when I get home, sweep out the shed and see if I can still do it. That will not be a pretty sight.
We continued our walk to the Albert Memorial and had to take the holiday happy snap. A great finish to the afternoon.
Tomorrow we will explore the big city on a Big Bus.