It's all happening around here at the moment - the list of tasks has seemed endless, but it finally feels like we're getting somewhere.
We have bought two Rab S12 sleeping bags, and two self-inflating mattresses. My dad has kindly offered to lend us a two-man tent, which we'll be picking up at the weekend. We have travel insurance, ferry tickets and a hotel booking for our first night away.
The packing has begun. Sleeping bags and tents are going to take up most of the pannier space so everything else must be kept to a minimum. All those little hotel shampoos and soaps are coming in handy!
The plan for the next few days is as follows:
Friday: In an ambitious start to the trip, tomorrow morning, we will set out nice and early towards my parents' house, which is about 110 miles away in Dorset. (Normally we'll be doing about 50 miles a day, but this will be a nice way for Dgym to get his trike legs). We expect to arrive sweaty, grimy and exhausted about ten hours later, and will be taking Saturday off (when I say "off" I mean practising putting up the tent, and repacking my panniers to accommodate it)
Saturday night: We will be testing out the camping kit, hopefully not freezing to death in the process.
Sunday: A nice easy 30-mile ride to Dorchester to see my grandparents, and stay the night there.
Monday: We will ride to Poole to catch the evening ferry over to Cherbourg. Since we've got most of the day to travel 30-ish miles, we'll take the scenic route via picturesque Purbeck and catch the Sandbanks ferry, hopefully trying out some chilli icecream along the way.
Tuesday: Since the ferry arrives at 9:30pm we decided to book a hotel nice and close to the ferry port. I am currently quite pleased with myself as I emailed the hotel in French to let them know of our late arrival, and they responded as if they actually understood! Just as well, as wild gesturing is a little difficult over email.
We're all stocked up on snacky cakes for tomorrow, and stuffed ourselves full of pasta tonight. I picked up a pack of metallic streamers from Sainsbury's, which Dgym is now cutting up and attaching to his little flag. It will beautiful, and photographs will be posted. After a bit more packing tonight, and a dose of porridge tomorrow morning, we'll be ready to leave.
On a mostly quite irrelevant aside, we went to Wagamama last night and tried some of their new desserts (after having main meals, of course!) - the mango/curry combo was OK but a little special, but the chilli pavlova was delicious. Chilli goes well with sweet things, which is why we're looking forward to trying the Purbeck ice cream.