Suisse, here we come
We lay tense in the tent as the four people walked past us, looking at us in 'their' spot. Would they challenge us? Would they wait until we were asleep and then steal our things?
Luckily we had secured our bikes together less than a metre from the tent door, and brought inside all the valuables, as we do every night. We heard rustling in the bushes nearby, but no one came near the tent. It took a while, but eventually we fell into a restless sleep.
It seems 5am is the time for homeless people to leave the beach. They were up and about - talking loudly, changing clothes.. one of them came over to our area and picked up a pair of undies that had been discarded and we'd kicked aside. They were wearing boardshorts now and pulled out a beach umbrella from behind some trees. A woman disappeared with the garbage bag and three men stayed behind - looking like any regular beach goers.
They were so loud - how would we get any more sleep?!
The police turn up. The men are moved along. The police peer into our tent. We pretend we are asleep. They look at our bikes. The walk around the other side of the tent and peer in. And they leave us without saying a word. Thanks to the police we are able to get a couple of hours more sleep.
We go to the post office. We want to send some items ahead to Switzerland to make our bikes lighter for crossing the Alps, and so we can move faster over the next few days. But we realise don't have their address written down. We search for internet. We find 5 places - four are closed and one is having connection problems. Eventually we access our email in a computer shop and go back to the post office. We manage to remove 9kg of gear from our bikes! It's a heavy package to send, but we feel like we're flying without the weight.
And quickly we're grateful, when we spend a couple of hours climbing a 600m mountain pass in the searing sun. At least on the other side the road is flat. And despite a late start to the day we are able to cover the necessary kilometres.
In the evening we look for a place to camp. We find the perfect spot in a field, behind some trees. But we are attacked by mosquitoes - more than we have ever seen before. Literally hundreds of them covered us. We got out of there fast.
Further down the road we see a small clearing amongst some trees, down a small hill by the side of the road. We push our bikes down and quickly we're surrounded by a swarm of mosquitoes again. We tried to swat them, but there were too many. We tried to wheel our bikes out of the field, but we were being massacred. We dropped our bikes and tipped water all over ourselves, trying to get rid of them. But as soon as we ran out of water they were back. There was a steep gravel road nearby and that was our best bet - to lose them in the wind as we flew down the hill. It was one of the most terrifying experiences as I lost all control of the bike on this steep hill. A few times I felt like I was about to crash in the gravel, but somehow the bike stayed upright and I stayed on the bike.
At the bottom of the hill there was a sign for a B&B just around the corner. We decided to go there, as it would be impossible for us to camp. We just hoped the price was reasonable.
We were lucky - 50 Euro including breakfast. After a shower we counted Sam's bites - over 50. And that was in less than five minutes.
7/24/2010 12:11:01 pm
haha i read the title a while ago and i kept thinking "who the hell is susie?"
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Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia