Today I have mostly been packing my panniers! On Monday we head to Cuba for a cycling adventure. I can’t express clearly how excited I am at the moment.
Having been stressed for a few weeks now about getting the trip organised I thought that packing might tip me over the edge. And yet it was a pretty smooth process. The panniers weigh more than we want them to but we will certainly have strong legs by the end of this trip.
I could certainly shave a little weight from my luggage; I doubt many people take a pair of high heels cycle touring. But anyone who knows me knows my heels are important. I have no problem with getting muddy, sweaty and dirty but I also love to dress up at the end of the day. There is no reason that sport and adventure has to compromise this.
Packing: The Necessary Extras
Jamie and I have both packed pretty light on the clothes front. In fact, I think we both thought we were going to get away with light loads. The we started to add in all the bike tools and spares, the hydration tablets and energy gels, the first aid kit and our wash bags.
Suddenly we are hauling 20kgs each in our sparkly new pannier bags! I am glad now that we went for fairly small sizes, otherwise we may have just kept packing things in! I have chosen a pair of Crosso Expert 40 panniers and Jamie is using Altura Arc 40. So far we have found both pairs easy to fit to the bike and I am loving the fact that mine have extra, small, detachable bags. Time will tell how well they perform.
Feeling The Responsibility
I have done a fair amount of travelling in the past. However, previously I have always been something of a trip member rather than leader. This time I feel I am the leader. This is a whole different type of trip for Jamie and I really need him to enjoy it. I need that because I am never going to be a ‘week on the beach’ holiday maker. If I want him to keep joining me on adventures I had better make sure he enjoys this one.
Luckily Jamie is as excited as I am. Tomorrow we head up to Manchester to spend couple of days with my sister Sian and her wife Emily. They have been instrumental to us getting this trip off the ground. Seeing their pictures and hearing their experiences from a similar trip in 2015 lit the touch paper in my adventurous mind.
Sian and Em have also been an enormous help. Giving us masses of tips and information on Cuba; places to stay, what to expect etc. and sourcing some cardboard bike boxes which our two Specialized Tricross steeds will be travelling in.
A Friendly Start
When we get to Cuba we have some accommodation planned and some we will be chancing on along the way. I feel as though I am friends already with some of the Casa owners, they have been so friendly and helpful. Roberto and Manuel at Villa Paradiso, in Baracoa have given us so many local tips, including information on the trickier roads to negotiate!
Another thing I have learnt is that Wi-Fi in Cuba can be hard to find so I may be a little quieter for the next few weeks.
Time to step into the unknown of a great adventure…see you on the other side!