Day 33 Homeward Bound – Sunset is an Angel Weeping

Today’s my lucky day – I’m heading home. Can’t wait to see Xay, Iain, Megan and Kate. We’ll get another picture soon like this one from earlier this year.

An update on the Flip Flop Fund as the trip officially ends. We have raised $8,650. You are all so amazing. That’s a lot of shoes for a lot of kids in a lot of villages in Laos.

I have the same bike box to go home with. It’s travelled in the back of a different truck in every country, been wet from rain, dried out and still is in pretty good shape. All sealed up and with that and the duffel I have lived out of for the last month packed, I am ready to go. There will be some laundry machine testing when I get home to see whether the clothes and cycling kit I used for the last month can be cleaned. It’s going to take a lot more than Tide. Maybe some new riding kit, or OxyClean will end up on the Christmas wish list.

Ready for the airport taxi. 800 Baht for the 30 minute drive to BKK

Airline travel with bikes can be a bit of a lottery. The charges vary by airline, whether they actually charge or not varies, whether they make you remove the bike from the box and tear it down varies. I feel a bit like I won the lottery today. Thai airways decided not to charge me their listed US$ 150 bike transport fee. And they had an X-ray machine that I could have driven a golf cart through so it was easy. Stay tuned as I will make the final judgement after seeing the bike box in Toronto. Given the weather updates from home, the bike may not come out of the box until April though!

See you later Blue Giant

A lot of people have special names for their bikes. After this adventure, my previously referred to “Blue Giant” really deserves a better and more thoughtful name. I’ll give it some thought on the flights home. I am considering a few at the moment including – Imodium, Malarone, Desitin or maybe Mekong.

Bangkok to Beijing on Thái Airways was very smooth. A little bumpy on the way into Beijing. The Beijing airport is surprisingly boring – unless you are looking for the highest of highest end duty free shops. The only beer I could find was a warm bottle of Bud in a copy cat American pub branded cafeteria called O’Learys.

BKK-PEK flight

With so much time in transit going home and still on a bit of a high from this incredible experience I decided to go back through all the pictures from the trip. I had a playlist of music favourites ready for the journey home. That and some Netflix downloads. Anybody who has listened to Bruce Cockburn knows how prolific and poignant his lyrics can be. While I was reliving my journey through pictures, his song Pacing the Cage came on. At that point the lyrics from that song sounded clearer than ever and with me reflecting on the trip, the lyrics had deeper meaning. I’ve heard this song so many time before but they have never had the impact they have today. The lines “Sometimes the best map cannot guide you. You cannot see what’s around the bend.”, and “ Sooner or later you wind up pacing the cage.” resonated. So here’s to deferring the inevitable pacing the cage. This trip went a long way in doing that for me.

Thanks for reading my stories. Over and out.

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