An American Interlude.

Ten hours in an airport terminal is not a great way to start your travels. The alternative was a fight from Rotorua that would have allowed us an hour to switch terminals in Auckland, assuming all domestic flights were on time.

Air NZ flight NZ8 to San Francisco was full to capacity. Everyone’s returning, going, escaping.

We’re on our way to spend a few days with Jen’s youngest son James, wife Sarah and gorgeous children Jasper 8, Anna 4 and Siena 2. The family have recently relocated back to California after two years in the UK. They’ve bought a house in Marin County at the semi rural edge of Novato. The children are enjoying the freedom and sunshine of California and have fitted in seamlessly. Jasper is in a swim club and at 8 years can swim a length of the pool in 19 seconds in any of the styles. It’s great to be able to visit family and take a break from the tedium of an otherwise 24 hour flight.

This is an extremely materialistic part of the world. Massive houses, multiple cars and Mexican workers. As Tom Russel sings, in his CD Wounded Heart of America “If Uncle Sam Sends the illegals home, who’s gonna build your wall?

The days here are warm and sunny. Too early in the season for searing temperatures, they will come. Nights are very cool and comfortable.

Tomorrow we will take our leave and board a British Airways flight to Heathrow. At least we hope to. Jen read yesterday that BA have had to cancel hundreds of flights due to the lack of ground staff at the airports in the UK. The twin disruptions of Covid and Brexit have taken a toll.

Resuming our Overland Journey.

So what’s ahead for us? First, have Poki made street legal again and cleaned up after two years under a car cover. Then we are off cycling in France for a month and meeting up with friends Mike & Wendy in Normandy. Jen has been communicating with Adam who has been looking for companions on ‘Africa Overland’, to travel back to South Africa with him. He also has Land Rover Defender and has been hole’d up in France, over Covid. We’ll catch up with him and chat about options. His plan is to drive down through Africa from November. It doesn’t quite fit with our plans but it could be a great opportunity for us to continue our trip around the world? From Southern Africa we could then ship to South America and onwards from there. Let’s just see what transpires.

The shadow over any plans, is of course, the “Ukraine Situation”. During a walk into Novato today we visited an inviting looking bookshop. One of the titles we bought was ‘Ukraine-What Everyone Needs to Know’. Written by a Ukranian author, Serhy Yekelchyk Hopeful it will give us a more balanced understanding of the disaster that is happening there. Driving across the endless plains of Ukraine in 1970, it was deepest USSR.

Rather than get too far ahead of ourselves, Jen will take up the narrative in a week or so’s time. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike again. It’s been 4 years, and in the meantime, quite a bit of rust has set in and clock has ticked on a bit…:)

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  1. Congratulations for being able to get mobile again!!! Happy Birthdays to all since it has been that long , we have all had a couple.
    When you land in America, let Jan and Me know if you are able to come up to Calgary Canada, our way or maybe we can meet you some where…..
    Good Travelling!!!

  2. Hi! Bruce, great to hear from you. Won’t be back in Canada till late September, if the government will give me a visa! I think they have lost my application. It would be excellent if we could meet up but only have six days in Whistler. We’ll keep in touch. Hugs to Jan. Did you get a tan in Hawaii?

    Us 🙂


    Un petit bonjour de Laval ou nous nous sommes rencontrĂ©s en vĂ©lo. Je pense que vous avez bien trouvĂ© le camping de SAINT BERTHEVIN. C’Ă©tait un plaisir de faire votre connaissance et de partager quelques minutes de vĂ©lo avec vous, malgrĂ© la fatigue. Nous vous souhaitons une bonne continuation dans tous vos projets et encore fĂ©licitations Ă  vous pour ce que vous entreprenez.
    Claire et Nicole

    • A little hello from Laval where we met by bike. I think you have found the SAINT BERTHEVIN campsite correctly. It was a pleasure to meet you and share a few minutes of cycling with you, despite the fatigue. We wish you a good continuation in all your projects and congratulations to you again for what you undertake.
      Claire and Nicole


  4. Bonjour Claire et Nicole,

    Vos conseils et votre sĂ©jour Ă  Laval ont Ă©tĂ© fantastiques. Oui, nous avons trouvĂ© le camping et apprĂ©ciĂ© notre sĂ©jour. Jen est dĂ©finitivement en train d’acheter un vĂ©lo Ă©lectrique maintenant… :). Nous avons terminĂ© la VĂ©lo Francette et sommes maintenant de retour en Normandie.

    Merci encore, nous avons apprécié votre compagnie.

    Denis et Jeanne

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