This travel lark is rather hard work. Getting into London at 5am after a 13hour BA flight (on which I inherited a broken headphone socket & a super-hard seat squab) was the start of a wearying day. Heathrow added a little amusement with a gift “Celebrating a very special new arrival” but we weren’t fooled; it was for Will & Kate’s new arrival, not ours.
Next up was the rental car pickup & a few hours later we were done! Done with Europcar, that’s for sure! Long queues & sales tactics were not fun. Maybe we just got the sales agent from hell? Repeated upgrade attempts, lots of scare tactics for the heavy-handed “wear & tear” demands, confusion about phone contacts during our travel (turns out that Europcar want to keep tabs on our mileage – but we booked for “unlimited”?). Eventually we got to drive away in our “Golf or equivalent” Kia Cee’d Eco – with bike bags split between the boot & back seat (in Australia I’d checked that the Bromptons would fit in the boot of a Golf; fingers crossed with the unpacking for this one?)
Early arrival hotel check-in was completed & then a freshen-up before heading off to acquire 3G Sims for iPads & iPhones. Having researched carriers & Sim availability, it was interesting that we needed to find an O2 shop to get what we needed (rather than expect product knowledge at multi-carrier outlets?).
Day one then moved to wind-down mode, with a great pizza & Aussie red wine at the hotel – & then into a lovely comfy bed!
Day two saw the unpacking of Ralph & Robinson from their Vincita bags & accompanying clothing/padding? Ralph’s only issue was the mudguard stays needed a slight tweak to get tyre clearance again. Robinson with a rack had no mudguard issues (not even the front) but – oh no, a “bent ear”!? (ie rear frame roller wheel support) I’d pushed the seat post well down below the level of the Eazy-wheels but… (next time, remove the roller wheels?)
The Bromptons fit into the Kia’s boot (still can’t think of a name for the car?) was just ok; the rear wheel arches intruded & made things rather tight but we were “ok to go!”