I have, like a lot of people, one of those little tablet computers. I have a Bluetooth keyboard case with it so I can type things properly instead of using those infuriating most-of-the-screen on-screen unpredictable prediction keyboards.
I have both a journaling and a notes application on it and using a combination of these I can make a basic record of my day and keep a notes file with any interesting thoughts, phrases or pictures that might possibly otherwise disappear into the totally unreliable and random filing system that is my brain (My brain does occasionally surprise me with a random memory or fact totally unrelated to whatever is going on in my life while stubbornly refusing to give up anything at all that I’ve actually asked it for.)
Traditionalists and technology deniers will of course prefer the analogue options of a notebook, a pen or pencil and a few elastic bands or paper clips to attach other random bits of paper to the notebook with, but for myself the technology way is better. Very tidy, compact and no important snippets of paper to lose or get lost in the busy whirlwind of a travelling adventure for a start.
What you absolutely must not do then, is lose the bloody tablet computer.
So therein lies the excuse for why there wasn’t any sort of ongoing story, either on here or the specific blog site I set up for it, for sharing with you the many hilarious adventures we had or showing the stunning photographs of the things we saw on our three week grand cycling tour of Europe and the Rhine river.
We were just under a week into our trip, I had written but not yet posted the first two days worth. The journal and notes were written to do the rest with as we went but stupidly I left the computer behind one morning in a hotel we were staying at. I only discovered this the next night when we were about 80 or 90km up the road and I reached tiredly into my bag to write some more updates. It wasn’t there of course and I quickly descended into something approaching a useless trembling and bumbling panic state.
Thankfully, after a phone call, the hotelier acknowledged the finding of the computer and after an exchange of emails we had arranged for it to be posted back to my home but of course there was to be no more writing of a blog as we went. I did initially try to use the apps on my phone but it’s literally a pain for middle-aged fingers – or just perhaps any age beyond teenage fingers – to do any writing on such a tiny device, let alone having good enough eyesight to see what your keyboard might have written for you in its place.
What I think I might do then, instead of retrospectively describing each day in about a thousand splendidly entertaining and humorous words (you’ll have to trust me, the first two completed posts would have been explosive, dramatic and side-splitting and quite possibly might have ended up with movie rights negotiations) is do some potted highlight articles now and then.
Thankfully our friend Rachel, (also known as RachelNav from our previous adventure in France) is one of those splendidly organised, capable and traditional notebook and pencil using types of people. Having now spent time transferring the facts from that not-lost notebook she has just sent me a spreadsheet. (A spreadsheet! I had to download an office application just to open it. I hadn’t seen one of those since I used to work for a living but unlike those this one appears to have a lot less numbers and be understandable.)
It details what route we rode each day, how many miles for, where we lunched and where we stayed that night so hopefully, in combination with some dates on the pictures, I’ll be able to cobble together some sort of entertaining and sketchy narratives that are based on minimal facts (insert own ‘Just like a Sean Spicer press conference,’ joke here). In summary, we travelled 2500 miles in the car and cycled close on 500 miles.
For now I’ll leave you with a picture of the scene we woke up to at the start of our trip after a hair-raising drive to cross the Oberalp Pass in Switzerland. Later on that day we managed to cycle, but that’s another story.