An ending

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So, I find myself in Dieppe, sipping some of the real stuff to celebrate the completion of a Grand Tour of Europe. I feel as if I’ve cheated the Grim Reaper, packing ten years of living into 12 months. Doubtless he’ll take it into account when I eventually come under his jurisdiction.
It has been an incredible experience. The best of times, the worst of times, and just about every shade in between. The thousands of kilometers, the hundreds of places, the sights the sounds, the smells. Most memorable of all, the people. The brief encounters, the travelling companions and my friends made in Malta. The everyday folk who served me, working long hours for little money, and those who extended hospitality and kindness to a passing traveller. This is indeed their story. We humans, though fatally flawed can exhibit all the things that truly matter, and it has without doubt restored my faith.
I mustn’t forget the bike. A finely crafted assembly of steel tubing, wheels and sundry parts, little changed in essence since it was first invented. It has borne me the length of Europe and halfway back again. No mean feat considering my body mass and luggage. Any animal would have baulked at the treatment. I raise a glass to it.
Behind me over the water lies another land, perhaps the strangest of all: perfidious Albion. It draws me back and another story begins, most likely positive. If events prove to the contrary, the chain needs some oil, the tyres some air, and Spain is calling. Perhaps once started, this is a habit difficult to break.
Thank you for riding with me, you have been wonderful companions and your kind words have humbled me.

Reuben

Dieppe, May 2015.

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16 thoughts on “An ending”

  1. I really don’t know what to say – it seems like we went with you all the way, and now it’s over. Thankyou for letting us share the adventure, we’ll miss the blog – it’s improved my European geography no end! Welcome back to a slightly different UK than the one you left. Much love xxxx

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  2. Reuben, like the comment above, it’s hard to know what to say, except how brilliant your trip has been, and your commentary on it, written and visual. Both Brian and I have loved every post. Do hope you will make your annual visit to us when you are back. Look forward to it! xx

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  3. We have loved your blog, the brilliant photos, the characters you have met and the places you have seen. Your evocative descriptions have enabled us to experience your journey with you, even if second hand. We raise a glass to you and, of course, your trusty bike.
    Sally and Kim

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  4. Well done Reuben ! What a very fine achievement and a truly splendid blog which really should be published ! Congratulations and we look forward to seeing you again and hearing more about your great adventure. Welcome home xxx

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  5. We will drink to your success well done many people talk of journeys they are planning only the brave like you get on their Bikes and do it.We will miss your blog hope to see you very soon Lots love Sylvie Roy and John xxx

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  6. Hey Reuben, huge thanks to you and Surly for sharing the adventure. It’s been a most enjoyable way to spend a few minutes each evening and to then ponder……….
    Look forward to seeing you soon and drinking to your adventure, mark.

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  7. Reuben, what a wonderful blog – Sue and I will miss it terribly. Many congratulations on your achievement. I think you will have to have an annual tour just to satisfy your many readers.

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  8. Congratulations on such a huge achievement. It only seems like yesterday that we chatted to you on the Sliema ferry and now you have reached the end of your most amazing journey. We will miss your blog but here’s to the next, best wishes Jan and Charlie, St Paul’s Bay, Malta

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  9. Hello Reuben I’m late with my comment, but echo all that have already posted. Its been a great read, of a very impressive feat. Cliff

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  10. Amazing achievement well done Ruben I’ve not had chance to read much of a blog but seems to be lovely photos and inspirational writing.I met you on the train at Shoreham by Sea I was riding from Havant to the Meon Valley had a lovely ride idyllic 45 miles but nothing compared to yours! All the best for the future
    Christine Howard

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  11. Hello Reuben,
    Here Cécile, met in Andreas’home at Forcalquier. It’s great to see you raising your glass for the end of your journey ! Today is the first day of my holidays. I’ll begin a walk tour in France on next Monday for three weeks. It was fun to read your blog and remember this pleasant evening with Andreas.
    I suppose that you already think to the next bike tour you’ll make.
    best regards,
    Cécile

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