Air New Zealand

Ready to Go!

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. One month with Rick Steve's luggage. The elephant bag will fold back up and be stowed away once my Trek bike ride is done.
My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. One month with Rick Steve's luggage. The elephant bag will fold back up and be stowed away once my Trek bike ride is done.

It is 7:45 a.m. and I am all ready to go. I do not actually need to leave for my last meeting with the tunneling engineers until 8:30 a.m. I leave for the airport at 11:00 a.m.

I feel like I did on my first big trip at 16 when I spent the summer with Teen Missions. Excited, a little sick to my stomach, and easily emotional. (Keep all Hallmark ads away from me!)

I spent a lot of time on the phone with Air New Zealand last night trying to address the extra baggage charges, since I am no longer taking my bike I no longer need the extra bag. Fran let down the Air NZ side with very poor service (no call backs as promised, and poor communication skills). They have a nonrefundable policy on the extra bag charge; however, when I called to inquire before booking my ticket I recall the agent telling me that I could always change my mind when I got to the gate. Ultimately the usual excellent service prevailed and I was refunded for the bag one way. Guess that means I can haul home A LOT of souvenirs!

I will mainly be blogging from http://americanjulie.com for the next month. See you over on that blog. Encourage your comments.

Countdown to Adventure

With some sleep I was able to recover my enthusiasm for my Le Tour Adventure. I am getting ready to launch.  My stake is to enjoy a once in a lifetime adventue and meet amazing people.Tour de France 2014 route Several people have asked where I will be going. Below is my itinerary. Please provide suggestions for what I might want to see or do along the way.  I will not be taking my folding bike, so I will be moving by foot, train and cab/bus. I note the kilometers the Tour de France pros will be riding for each stage.

July 1 - Day One - Flying to London on Air New Zealand

July 2 - Day Two - Arriving in London and taking train to Cambridge; staying at Christ College and walking around town.

July 3 - Day Three - Train to Leeds; meeting up with Trek Travel group at Hotel by 3 p.m. (Now on "Trek Time")

July 4 - Day Four - Riding with Trek Travel; social events

July 5 - Day Five - Riding with Trek; viewing finish of Stage One, 190.5 km, Leeds to Harrogate

July 6 - Day Six - Riding with Trek; viewing race Stage Two, 201 km, York to Sheffield; travel to London

July 7 - Day Seven - Viewing the Stage Three finish in London; 155 km; Last night with Trek Travel

July 8 - Day Eight - Eurostar train to Lille, France for finish of Stage Four; 163.5 km

July 9 - Day Nine - Stage Five; 155.5 km; start in Ypres?? or finish in Arenberg Porte de Haunait??; lodging in Saint-Nicolas

July 10 - Day Ten - Stage Six; Arras to Reims; 194 km; Finish in Reims

July 11 - Day Eleven - Stage Seven; 234.5 km; Finish in Nancy

July 12 - Day Twelve - Stage Eight; 161 km; Start in Tomblaine?? Finish in Gerardmer?? meeting the WatLoves (Harriet Watson, Brian Lovell and girls) in Mulhouse!

July 13 - Day Thirteen - Stage Nine; 170 km; view finish in Mulhouse

July 14 - Day Fourteen - Stage Ten; 161.5 km; view start in Mulhouse; travel to Lyon

July 15 - Day Fifteen - Rest Day for Cyclists and me; meet up with Thomson Tours in Lyon for Alps spectator tour (from here to Paris I'm on "Thomson Time"); travel to Albertville

July 16 - Day Sixteen - Stage Eleven; 187.5 km; View finish in Oyonnax

July 17 - Day Seventeen - Stage Twelve; 185.5 km; Option to visit Chamonix or find Irish pub in Albertville to watch tour on tv and rest

July 18 - Day Eighteen - Stage Thirteen; 197.5 km; Viewing race from the "Col" (on the mountain)

July 19 - Day Nineteen - Stage Fourteen; 177 km; View the finish from the start in Grenoble

July 20 - Day Twenty - Stage Fifteen; 222 km; Travel to Lyon with Thomson Tours and on to St Lary-Soulan (watch on television)

July 21 - Day Twenty-one - Rest Day; Relax and write in St Lary-Soulan and meet Thomson Tours Pyrenees & Paris spectator tour participants

July 22 - Day Twenty-two - Stage Sixteen; 237 km; View finish in Bagneres de Luchon

July 23 - Day Twenty-three - Stage Seventeen; 124.5 km; view from St Lary-Soulan or take cable car to finish

July 24 - Day Twenty-four - Stage Eighteen; 145.5 km; View on mountain at Hautacam

July 25 - Day Twenty-five - Stage Nineteen; 208.5 km; View start in Maubourguet

July 26 - Day Twenty-six - Stage Twenty; 54 km; Watch time trial on television; travel to Paris

July 27 - Day Twenty-seven - Stage Twenty-one; 137.5 km; Watch finish on Champs-Elysees in Paris; dinner cruise on River Seine

July 28 - Day Twenty-eight - Rest day in Paris

July 29 - Day Twenty-nine - Travel to London on Eurostar; stay at Ampersand Hotel

July 30 - Day Thirty - Quick trip to Imperial War Museum to see new WW1 exhibit (if time permits) and then to Heathrow to fly home

I have ordered a new Rick Steve's roller bag/backpack and I am borrowing Tevis' backpack. I will try out both while shopping in Davis and decide which one to take. I bought two excellent Michelin maps in Washington DC. I will take up UK Sarah's offer to go over the logistics with me. (She speaks French!)

Looking forward to your pointers!

 

 

July 14 - Day Fourteen - Stage Ten; 161.5 km; Start in Mulhouse