The Forest to the Sea

Epilogues

Several aspects of the Black to Black saga have wrapped up in the past few weeks. We return to the blog one last time to put the finishing touches on what has happened since returning from Romania.

Amazingly, donations to the fundraiser have continued to be contributed from a handful of our great friends. We have now surpassed the 150% mark of our goal (157% to be exact) and sit at $4,715. The total is far beyond anything that any of us ever anticipated, so we sit in awe at the generosity of so many astounding people. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s IPF Summit 2011 starts in just a couple weeks. Contributions from Black to Black have helped make this important meeting of scientists, doctors and patients from across the globe possible!  It is a great sign that the research community is focusing on finding a cure for the devastating disease. The PFF even paid special thanks to us in the most recent edition of their BREATHE Bulleting newsletter which will be distributed at the conference! Check it out on page 9 here.

Remember the mention of Anton losing his wallet before we had even left Germany? Well, two weeks ago a letter arrived at his new apartment in Ottawa. A letter from the Canadian Consulate in Munich. It stated that his wallet had been transferred there from the City of Erding (which we never even cycled through) and included all the cards and money that had been in it when he lost it! Just last week it arrived in Ottawa. Many thanks to the people and their good Samaratin nature that ensured his wallet returned safely to him.

Finally, Tarantino has returned home to England. Not without some mishaps though. Tom’s own words describe it best:

“I arrived at the Bratislava train station 2 hours later than planned, 2 hours exactly before my flight and still a 30 minute trip away from the airport. I decided to head for the taxi rank but on the way down a bus pulled up. It was number 210, the number the train dude had told me was the airport bus. I motioned to the driver, did some airplane arms and said “Flughafen? Airport?” He said, “Yes yes, get on you crazy foreigner.” So I dragged the bubbly tandem on (incidently, at no point between my flat and the airport did anybody offer to help me, not even to help get on or off trains and buses) and off we went. Except we weren’t going to the airport, we were going to the BUS STATION! I did the arm thing again when we stopped and the guy went “Ahhhhh, Lestisko!”. I guess that means airport. Nice to know for next time. I legged it through the station, two and a half meters of metal on my shoulders. By this point I was starting to get quite weak. I found the airport bus stop only to find the bus had left a minute ago so it had to be a taxi. The lovely helpful Slovakian bloke crushed it in his boot, overcharged me by about 10 euros and got me there with, barely, time to spare.

Of course when the jerk at oversized baggage went “Not possible” because it didn’t fit through the thingy, even though it only needed to be moved a millimeter to the side, I was beyond the point of caring about being nice. The bike was flying. I tried to reach over and adjust it so it fit through, but she got really angry and slapped at my hands, shouting “You not understanding me, it is not possible.” I just kept repeating that it was until she sighed, nudged it a bit and pressed the button to send it on its way. Honestly, she must have been either very bored or pure evil to bother pissing me off at that stage.

The rest was easy, triumphantly emerging with the Tarantino at Liverpool airport to find Woody’s dad waiting to take her home. It’s now three days on and my arms are still killing me. I’ve got strained muscles all the way down from my shoulders to my wrists. She might have given us some great memories, but she’s a massive pain in the ass.”

Black to Black provided many a good memory. We’re all happy to be moving into winter now though without our metal steeds giving us the occasional low among the many highs.

So long,

Anton, Tom and Woody

Last View of the Danube

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