I've been back in London for 2 days and the majority of my stuff is still lying in a pile on the living room floor waiting to be unpacked. Arriving back at my flat on Sunday afternoon after 14 weeks away was a bit odd. Whilst on my trip it surprised me that I didn't miss my little flat and so walking back into what I feel is my 'pre-adventure' life was strange. I will say though that my one bed flat now seems rather palatial after spending so much time in a one man tent!
The last few weeks since returning from my Bikes, Booze & Bothies trip have passed in a blur. Spending time with family and friends in the north east was truly wonderful but I also found it a little overwhelming at times to be surrounded by people after spending 12 weeks with just Monkey and my bike. Needing a little bit of me-time I decided to take a detour to Hathersage on my way to a weekend in Derby. It was a good excuse to visit the Alpkit shop and spend another night in my tent - I think I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms from having spent the last 9 days sleeping in a house, haha!
It was nice to be back in the fresh air! I'd forgotten how beautiful the Peak District is and it felt so good to be outdoors seeing green rolling hills dotted with sheep.
Settling down for the night in my tent I smiled. Back in my cosy little nest and listening to the rain showers outside felt like coming home.
Heading south to Derby the next day for the weekend was my final stop before London. Prior to my trip I'd signed up for the Filthy Girl Mud Run with my sister in law Steph, her friend Ruth and my friend Hannah. With my still swollen dodgy left ankle and tennis elbow it would be more of a mud walk for me but the girls were amazing and walked the whole 10km with me! They helped me through the slippiest bits and it was great to feel part of a team.
The prosecco, wine and beer flowed into the night as we enjoyed the post-run party. The morning after the night before ended at 6am as Steph and I arrived back to the campsite having spent 5 hours in Burton A & E. It wasn't calamity Jayne striking again, Steph had damaged her shoulder in the run but hadn't felt anything until later on. It was a suspected rotator cuff tear, very nasty and painful, not a great way to end the weekend but all in all it was a really fun few days.
Ready to make the final leg back to London my friend Hannah kindly drove us back as I hadn't managed to get enough sleep to drive safely. It was lovely to catch up with her after 3 months away. We've been friends for about 8 years now and she's one of my closest friends.
Back in the big city again I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such amazing friends. Tim, who had been keeping an eye on my flat and collecting my mail had turned the fridge back on and put milk, beer, a strawberry tart and some homemade beef stew in the fridge for me. He knows me well, haha! Such a thoughtful thing to do and it put a big smile on my face.
I still haven't processed the fact that I've completed my trip and am back in the real world. Being so busy hasn't left much time for contemplation and I feel that there's a lot more for me to say about the 12 weeks I spent on my bike. There will be many more blogs over the coming months from me as I start to process and revisit times from my trip, what I have learnt, what my plans are for the future and obviously planning of my next adventure! That's it now, I'm an addict. My life has been changed and there is no going back - exciting times lay ahead, watch this space! 😀