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  • Day41

    In Retrospect

    September 30, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    All riders have now safely arrived back in St Malo after completing a memorable 5 week ride around Germany, France, Switzerland, Jersey, Guernsey and Sark. Now that the riding section is officially over I can report that the prior arrangements, complicated as they were, all went exactly as planned. That is always a relief when so many hotels, restaurants, bike hire companies, ferry crossings, etc are involved.

    We did have several minor crashes, but nothing of any great significance. The only major incident occurred 4 days ago in St Helier. I have refrained from mentioning the details as I wanted to respect the privacy of those who were involved.

    After breakfast on our third day in Jersey, Andrea Doherty complained of feeling unwell and her husband decided to take her to the nearest medical centre. They were concerned about her condition and she was transferred by ambulance to the General Hospital where tests later showed that she had suffered a minor heart attack. This was completely unexpected and was a huge shock to all of the team. Of course it also meant that Andrea and Greg, who had endeared themselves greatly to everyon, could take no further part in our adventure.

    Since medical facilities in Jersey are quite limited she was later transferred by air ambulance to Oxford in the UK for further treatment. The great news we received just a couple of hours ago, is that her arteries are actually in very good condition and she will not require a stent as originally thought. She is expected to now make a full recovery with medication alone.

    Yesterday we had two trips on the huge Condor ferries to travel from Guernsey back to St Malo. This place now feels like a wonderful familiar home away from home, and we were all so happy to be back in the land of the beautiful baguette. We stayed overnight at a lovely hotel, right in the middle of the old town (The Citadel) and during breakfast we were able to follow the AFL Grand Final. It was a fantastic way to complete our trip (especially for Bob Andrews) who has been a Richmond tragic for all of his extremely long life.

    I suggested that, if Richmond won, Bob should complete a streak around the old city wall to celebrate. John immediately added that Bob would win the prize for "Best Dried Arrangement" and the entire group just dissolved into fits of hysterical laughter. What an amazing group we have had on this trip and this typified the light hearted banter that accompanied every meal together.

    Our team is now disbanding and some participants will be beginning the long journey home to Australia. Six of us will be spending a few more days in St Malo to enjoy some well earned R & R.
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