Wednesday, 8 August 2012

15. Wash day tips and random jottings.

We were quite proud of the fact that, despite the weather, we did manage to have clean shirts, tee shirts, socks and UNDERPANTS every day. However this wasn't easy and took a lot of pre planning and judicious washing and drying.

I had the foresight [ he writes modestly] to take a washing line and pegs, and we found novel ways of rigging up the line using the bikes and trees.

Notice the skilful way in which we used the line to brace the bike and use it to create a washing line to the tree.

Airing clothes on a bench- it's amazing how having something like a bench to aid unpacking and packing can raise the spirits.

The main disadvantage was that we often didn't get to a campsite until way after seven so even if it was a sunny evening [ unlikely], there just wasn't enough time to get clothes dry.

Because we were always against the clock we had to devise different methods of getting drying our washing.

We found that in good conditions hanging the underpants from the handlebars as we bowled along was a highly effective method of drying them out. Perhaps it wasn't the coolest look in the world and one that I have yet to see Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins use, but it was effective and, as long as the pants were packed away at the first sign of rain, it did ensure clean, dry underpants for the next day.

Socks, shorts and towels were often tied to the panniers and turned every few miles or so to ensure that they aired and dried in the sun?! and wind.

 Socks tied on ready to wave gently in the wind.
Iif there is a next time I shall take only dark coloured underpants- they are less obvious.

Obviously a good drying day- two pairs of socks and a pair of shorts.

Of course, finding a campsite with a washing machine and a tumble dryer did help but these were few and far between.

In Fred's entry I alluded to the German diet and how a constant menu of meat followed by more meat leads to desire for salads and fruit. Luckily we did find cafes and restuarants who did decent greek salads and suchlike but ordering a salad did not always guarantee a lot of greenery.

This is a photograph of a salad [ yes, you read that right], that I had at an Austrian campsite. I had eaten the two lettuce leaves and the half tomato that covered this plate of sliced sausage. This photo was taken after I had eaten half the sausage that was on the plate and I just couldn't face any more.

If the cold war still had Europe in its paranoid grip then the three of us would have developed the question and answer to sort out friend from foe- Fred has already given you the code by which Crazy Dreamers can identify each other.

' Good morning comrade, tell me what are bridges?'

' Why comrade, everyone knows that bridges are our friends!'

Sheltering with two other cyclist.

The bikes in their customary position.

As the trip developed we all got into our own little rituals and routines. We noticed that other cyclists also had their set routines when they arrived in the evening and packed away in the mornings.

Over a period of time we each set up our tents in a certain way and then packed away and put things into panniers in a set order.  We gradually  developed a way of doing things that made life easier and then these became a habit so that we could set up and pack away without thinking.

Sleeping bag on the right, panniers on the left, headtorch and phone in my sun hat next to my head. Couldn't get a standard lamp in to make it cosier.

No comments: