Posted by Jenni
Yesterday morning, I woke at dawn at Devil’s Dyke to go flying. It wasn’t great, but a symbolic goodbye to the South Downs which have been such a significant part of my life over the past few years.
Fourteen hours and 200 miles later (having got lost only twice), I picked Bex up in Reims at sunset and off we set – the real start to our big adventure! Too excited to sleep more than a couple of hours each, we drove through the night, powered by Em’s amazing white chocolate and blueberry brownies and a much appreciated food package from Catherine.
After entertaining the guards at French/Swiss border with what is probably unnatural over-excitement for 3am (is it really a good idea to tell the border guards you haven’t really decided where you’re going or what you’re doing?) we carried on to see the dawn (albeit somewhat hidden by the rain clouds) at Interlaken, the home of adventure sports. Here, finally tired enough to sleep – too tired even for our planned dip in the lake – we rested for a few short hours.
As the rain stopped and the clouds started to lift, we headed off again on the final stretch towards Lugano. Pausing for breakfast when we reached the fresh snow line then onwards, upwards, over the Grimselpass (breathtaking — Groove Armada) and Furkapass (vertigo, what vertigo? — Orbital) and finally Passo San Gottardo (gentle little sister of the others – Supergrass).
And now here we are, sunset in Lugano, nearly 900 miles away from Devil’s Dyke, by another beautiful lake. I think I deserve a glass of wine and a damn good sleep before the fun and games before we start our course tomorrow. And so, goodnight!