I left Rocca Di Papa this morning, where I'd been staying for the past couple of weeks, ready to set off on another bike tour, this time from Rotterdam back to Rome. I got a lift to Rome's Champino airport with my bike and panniers. I took a Ryanair flight to Eindhoven in the Netherlands. It took an hour and a half to check in the bike and bags, but I had plenty of time having arrived at the airport two hours early. Once aboard the plane I was given a window seat alongside the engine and could see the luggage being loaded onto the plane. The baggage trolley arrived next to the plane and my bike was on the top. The baggage handler loaded the suitcases but then drove off leaving my bike on the trolly, I thought it had been forgotten, but five minutes later he returned with more suitcases. Eventually after all the cases were onboard my bike was loaded, hopeful that it wouldn't get damaged during the flight or while being unloaded in Holland. It was a good flight and I arrived in Eindhoven on time at 13:20. I built up the bike in the airport ready to set off, I was just about to leave when I spotted a man called Frank Van Rijn. Frank is a famous Dutch cyclist who has ridden well over 500,000 kilometres on his bike and has written many books about his adventures. I first met Frank when I was in The Gambia in 2007. A really interesting man and such a small world that we should meet up just like that and both about to start out on cycle tours, Frank was on his way to Spain. Perhaps its an omen that my tour will be a good one.
I left the airport and rode to the central station about 10 kms away where I bought a ticket to Arnhem, unfortunately there were some track workings and I had to take a large detour as the normal route was being run by shuttle buses and I couldn't get my bike onboard. It was quite late by the time I arrived in Arnhem and I booked into a hotel for the night. The hotel would give me the opportunity to sort out my stuff properly before setting off to meet up with the friends I would be cycling with along the Rhein section of my tour.
It seems I've been travelling for most of my life.
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