Month: February 2019
How many times do you have to queue up to get a Visa to travel across America?
So, as you should be aware, we have decided on the first leg of our journey we will be visiting America!
For the length of time we are visiting, we require a 10-year tourist visa, sounds like overkill but we go for it.
2 hours of filling out forms on the iPad and a thousand and one questions later, along with the £260 mandatory fee we have been provided with a date to go to the embassy in London.
A Southampton to London train during Peak time for the two of us comes to a whopping £120 smackers. Scrap that!
Instead, we found a cheap hotel to go straight from work the evening before. Travel lodge booked, 2 single train tickets all in £90 much better, and we can enjoy ourselves while we are there. When will they fix our trains in this country?
The day of reckoning comes, its a Tuesday morning after a sleepless night. Hopes and Dreams depending on paperwork printed off and clutched passports like our lives depending on it.
Queue 1, pre-security outside. Preliminary checks on Passports and Paperwork. Told to sit still outside ready for queue 2.
Half an hour later we are ushered into airport-style security desks, throwing all of our stuff into dull grey plastic containers and through the metal detectors.
For most people this is not a problem, that is unless you have left a knife attached to your keys. Mrs security guard was apparently not impressed. Is this it, are our dreams over?
Thankfully not, mercy is upheld, and the blade is placed into the bins outside.
Queue 3. Once again outside, but between two buildings for yet further security checks where passports and paperwork are once again scrutinised.
We are given a number and directed to the 1st floor of this imposing building. This time we are provided with a ticket and led to take the lift to the 1st floor.
Eventually, we come to a room where there are hundreds of us waiting our turn we take a seat and wait for our number to appear on the display points. The Atmosphere is dull, we can only imagine its what the DMV is like. After what feels like an eternity, but was probably only ten minutes, we are called to window number seven.
Quick internal pep talks and many Deep breaths, we say to ourselves that we can do this. Introducing a lovely chap from Texas who admired our plans, although casually suggesting we should actually just hire a convertible as it would be much easier, we found out he loves to cycle as well.
Fingerprints collected and time to queue up once again for the next window, we get called to window number 14. This lady goes through many questions on what we are doing, and clearly believes we are mad. But takes our fingerprints one more time finally stating that she has approved our visas and they will be sent to us!
Happy days! When we leave the embassy, we retrieve Mike’s knife out of the bin to the amusement of a police officer with a huge gun. We need a drink!
Hello! We are Mike and Nikkey Jewell, Welcome to our adventure!
We are leaving the rat race to embark on an Epic World Cycling Tour.
Planning to start in the United States of America, Boston, Massachusetts to be exact. Working our way up to Chicago to follow the old Route 66. After which we will Jet Set across the world to Perth, Australia hoping to make it to Sydney via the Nullarbor plane consisting of 1200 km of nothing. We will include just a slight detour to Tasmania. While also combatting New Zealand right after.
As if we couldn’t get enough, we have started adding in our plans on the vast continent of Asia! We must be clinically insane.
Our Journey home starts in Istanbul through Europe while attempting to capture as many sights as we possibly can.
You are probably wondering why we want to take on this journey of epic proportions, the truth is it has been on our minds for the last 3 years, now the kids are old enough to kick them out, its time to have an adventure.
5 years ago we picked our cycles back up after a long time of them unfit, overweight and completely out of shape while watching Wiggins and Froome win the Tour de France and Olympics, we both thought that looks easy. So the purchase of two mountain bikes was the way to start. Just one mile down the road and we had to get off and walk. Bike goes back in the garage, till the following week to try again.
We push further each week, a target of 500 miles in year one, plus many charity rides we were reaching up to 50 miles a week.
We have completed the London to Brighton ”challenge” now 6 times!
Our first real tour was a short break in northern France testing our new bikes and camping gear. Loads to learn, for instance, we took far to much stuff! Discovering this before we even reached the boat out of the UK.
We survived. But driven for more. Southampton to Boudreaux 800 miles all down the west coast of France, camping all the way, how hard could we challenge ourselves?
You would think of thought by now we would be over it, but while reading a popular Cycling UK magazine, we discovered an Advertisement for Sri Lanka, a fully supported 3 week tour and we could not resist, this would be our First time flying with bikes a lesson in its self.
We fell in love with Sri Lanka so much we nearly purchased a home right away, a drawback though is we discovered that group riding is not for us.
Ultimately, we have to do this ourselves, at our own pace, stop, eat, sleep when and where we want to.
Mike comes up with the next crazy idea, Lands End – John O’Groats. 1000 Miles, 3 weeks. Cornwall First. We loved this trip so much one day we will do it again.
Next year, back in Scotland complete washout, rain, rain and more rain.
Time to go bigger, so here we are today writing this piece introducing you to our blog planning videos, tracking and more.
With only three months away until we set sail. With a to-do list larger than life, will we succeed? Follow us to find out.