Sadly, sadly, dear friends, followers and supporters, the feared flare of neck and nerves happened in Holland, and I’m afraid to have to report that today Tuesday I am back home in Cirencester, having been retrieved from the Harwich ferry this morning by my lovely Sue.
As you can see from the pictures, I did make it onto and off the boat and into Holland with, of course, its cliched windmills.
But by just a few miles beyond Hook of Holland on Easter Day, on just day five of the journey, it became clear that I’m not at the moment well enough to undertake a long ride so long-prepared and looked-forward-to.
Curiously, the actual cycling – a hugely enjoyable 240 miles by the time I called a halt – wasn’t a problem. But not cycling was, and one can only pedal for six or seven hours a day…
Quite what set things off I can’t be totally sure. But after a year of knee and prostate operations, shin injury and attendant carpet-bombing with anaesthetics and antibiotics – topped off, of course, with more travel inoculations in one go than I ever had as a BBC correspondent – I just have to note that my poor old nervous system, already compromised by that pinched nerve in Dublin in 2010, quietly tipped over the edge.
Still, all is not lost. As a dear friend in The Hague with whom I crashed for 36 hours (thank you so much) has just texted, let’s view this as a postponement and not a cancellation.
For the moment, therefore, and with the warmest of thanks to all you have followed and donated to this adventure, this blog will go apologetically quiet for a while as I withdraw to rest and lick my wounds.
And once the last horrendous dental antibiotic (course completed only two days ago) has worn off, let’s hope the nerves will settle again, and I can next month resume the journey at least to Moscow, before I meet Sue in Hanoi in August for our then shared two months backpacking onwards round the world sans bike.
I’ll keep you posted.