Unfortunately had to spend the day prior un-assembling my newly purchased Bianchi! Yuck! All bike parts were then “entombed” in a disposable bike box (all part of the master bike touring plan ) along with bike panniers and miscellaneous bike repair parts. Distance bike touring unfortunately involves tedious packing as one must carry all necessary tools to fix the bike should a break down occur while riding in the middle of nowhere! Luckily I now have been trained to effectively fix most major bike malfunctions, including snapping cables and broken spokes ( flat tires are a walk in the park compared to trying to fix a broken chain!)
Floridana to Miami International and then an 8 hour flight to Dusseldorf, Germany on Air Berlin. You have to love listening to German and trying to read German for 8 hours! Oh but wait listening to German was the last bike trip through Europe! On that trip Jeff and I simply gave up on learning the German language ( way too many letters!) Unfortunately we are going to need to revisit the German language on this trip as we make our way through Austria. Maybe this time I will give leaning the language another shot!
Dusseldorf was unfortunately not our final destination and we then embarked on another 1.5 hour flight to Madrid.
After a total travel time of 12 hours and 30 minutes , we officially landed in Madrid. Neither one of us slept on the plane so we were very tired! When we arrived in Madrid it was 9 am so our day was just beginning!
Wrestled the bikes out of baggage claim and then through customs. We were able to take a shuttle to our hotel which was awesome as we were not forced to put the bikes together in the airport! Once at the hotel, we immediately started assembling the bikes and all of our gear. This process took over 4 hours. Unfortunately my bike box arrived in Madrid with a giant hole in it and I lost my sleeping bag through the hole! So, after hours of packing we realized that we needed to take the mass transit into Madrid and search for a new bag as well as a new power cord for my computer which apparently also did not make the journey ( it was literally cut in half somehow in my backpack!)
Spent over 7 hours navigating the transit systems of Madrid and getting lost on the streets of Madrid looking for sleeping bag and computer cable and food! We need to sleep! Have been awake now for 36 hours. The biking begins tomorrow. We have no idea where we are going. It is up to Jeff to figure out the first days route in the morning. Looking forward to using my Spanish and eating chocolate croissants!