After months of preparations, of which the last few months were rather stressful, the final days are a fact. We really feel that these are the last days before departure, because everything is different. It is special to eat at your parents’ house before the start of the last football training. However, it is also a bit uncomfortable, because everyone knows that this is the last diner together and everyone has another feeling about this. For us, we are really looking forward to the day of departure, while our parents might think the total opposite. Why do they start this trip? Often we see these questioning eyes when we pack our bags or when we forgot something, again.
There is so much on our mind the last days. What have we forgotten, what needs still to be fixed? Who do we need to invite for our party? Sleepless nights are no exception anymore. These nights do also affect our behaviour to each other. Not really dramatically, but we do get angry on each other those days. However, while I write this blog, the world is totally different. We sit next to each other like loving teenagers, enjoying a cup of tea alongside a river on our campsite. Life is good on the road!
Traveling for so long without giving a party is not done. We decided to give a party in Bant, at Bertha’s parents place. In Amsterdam we have enough space to organise a party, but the motorbikes could not be placed in the centre of the party. Everyone should have walked outside to see the motorbikes. And honestly, it is Amsterdam, before we know the bikes could have been stolen before we even rode one kilometre. That is why we decided to organise the party in Bant, in the barn where it is dry and ‘warm’. Nevertheless, when we arrived in Bant, there was a big party tent waiting for us. This was a surprise from Lenie en Egbert (Bertha’s parents), as well as the heaters they fixed.
We put the motorbikes on some pallets so that everyone could see them while they arrive and also during the party. We did not have the feeling that our bikes were so big, but when they stand higher and when the panniers and the bags are onto the bikes they look huge. Ready to hit the road! We will never forget the goodbye party in Bant. Lenie had prepared a beautiful song, after a few wines friends of Bertha looked all like Claudia de Breij (Dutch singer), and the whole night we heard the joke of Karel with the turkey and the peacock! Halve of the football team of Erik arrived with a great bus to enjoy the party, the one who had to drive must have had a tough night. After many tears and hugs the great party came to an end. It was very special for us that so many people came to our goodbye party, also with great presents. We will think about it often during our journey. We even received a virtual present that exists out of digital friendship messages who will be visible for us every week. It is no coincidence that we received this from old media study mates of Bertha.
Bertha en Erik gaan weg, (Bertha and Erik will leave)
Een heel jaar zonder pech! (a whole year without any trouble)
Met beide handen aan het motorstuur, (with both hands on the handlebars)
Bijna de wereld rond, (almost around the world)
Soms met een zere kont, (sometimes with a sore ass)
Elk op een motor naar het avontuur…… (each on a motorbike ready for adventure)
During the days after the party we are very busy with everything you can imagine. To pack, unpack it and to pack it again in the panniers. What does fit, what do we really need, what don’t we really need. The first aid case and the case full of pills have been rechecked and all the screws and bolts have been tightened. We also fixed the last visa in this week. On the one hand, at the Embassy of Nepal, which was located at the Herengracht (one of the canals) in Amsterdam, the atmosphere was cosy. But on the other hand, the Chinese Embassy was in The Hague in a dirty tower where the atmosphere was not welcome at all. And this also turned out, the rules for a Chinese visa have been sharply sharpened over the past few days. Currently, it is only allowed to apply for a visa in the country of origin, without exception. And the visa has a validity of three months, which does not fit in our itinerary. By the end of September we want to visit China, this is more than 4 months ahead. It’s a challenge which we have to solve during our trip….
After the days of stress we left on Friday to Maarssen where the parents of Erik live. Also there needs a lot to be done. Do the latest banking, install the GPS tracker and purchase some items. On Saturday 4 o’clock everything was finished and we started to relax. Dick and Marion, the parents of Erik had also organized a nice party for the family. Many uncles, aunts and cousins were present at the goodbye party, where this time Marion was responsible for the music. Together with Dick, Monique, Rob, Sjaak and Caressa, a beautiful song was sung. Erik got a big crunch in his throat, the realization that it’s all going to happen now comes closer every second!
Vrij zijn als een vogel, (free as a bird)
Stralend als een vlinder, (shining like a butterfly)
Onderneem, geniet, bemin, (do, enjoy, love)
All the things you can do (all the things you can do)
We love You (we love you)
Be on the road die gaan op pad pad pad, (be on the road will hit the road road road)
Een jaar weg, ja dat is toch wel wat, (a year away from home)
Missen gaan we jullie echt wel, (we will really miss you)
Want jullie zijn een heel leuk stel! (because you are such a nice couple)
At 21:00 it is time for a toast with everyone, after which the family is left for a final glass. Farewell does not exist, in a year we see each other again. But it’s a crazy feeling, like you are divorced for one year. Just quickly try to forget the feeling 🙂
The next morning the moment has become, we are going to leave The Netherlands. After the delicious breakfast, with the classic cheese sandwiches, we take our parents firmly into the arms. Bart (Bertha’s brother) and Maaike have also come to Maarssen to wave us goodbye, all in all, a very intense and beautiful morning. Egbert and Lenie are driving on their motorbike behind us to finally drink the last cup of coffee at the German border. Here, farewell is a little less difficult as we see each other on the Alp d’Huez when we encourage Bart during his brave Alp d’Six challenge.
And so the adventure starts….