Touring by Bike South America, Africa and Europe by Bicycle

Touring by Bike
Day 0. Flying with a bicycle

Flying with a bike…or that’s what I thought I’m doing.

The trip to Lima
The first touring bike in South America started…without the bike. Well, after months of searching the internet, a week of preparation and of course last moment packing, I didn´t sleep the night before I spent time packing the bike. The taxi arrived in time and at little past 4 I was in the airport. Of course, the taxi charged also for the bike (100 SEK) and it took the guy 15 minutes to find out how to put this on the invoice…his device had the option but he didn’t know how to use it.
Once in Arlanda, I just stopped to take the sole of the cycling shoes off and I realized I’m just in front of the Air France/KLM ticket office, where I had to go in order to pay for the bike transportation.

In Arlanda, 5 am

In Arlanda airport, 5 am. Waiting to pay for the bike, 200 EUR

Departure from Arlanda Airport, Sweden

Departure from Arlanda Airport, Sweden

Things went fine here and here I am, at a big queue, with a carriage full with my 137x80x21 bike box and the 5 bike panniers (3 on the back, the top one and around the wheels and the 2 front ones). I zip the three back panniers together and one of the front panniers goes as the second luggage (the other front pannier is my hand luggage). My queue splits at two offices one served by an ugly lady, one by a pretty lady. Of course, one of the offices closes right when I am to put my luggage on the band. Guess which one ? I go to the other one and the lady at the baggage drop office gives me a sticker for the bike box and then wants to charge me for the third luggage (the front pannier). No matter how much I explain to her that I did pay for the third luggage, the bike, she insists saying the same thing two-three times. Oooh, I prefer the ugly-lady-baggage-drop office would have stayed opened two more minutes. Anyway, I bind the front pannier to the threesome (the three back panniers zipped together) and of course, now is fine, is only one luggage, that weights 19.4 kg. I can only hope the foursome will arrive like that in Lima, I’ve read to many stories of lost baggage (including lost bicycles).
Anyway, time flies fast and soon I’m in the airplane.
The flight to Paris goes fine, I have a moment when I see the sunrise over Europe, but I’m too damn tired to try to take any picture. My priority for the moment is just to sleep.
Of course , since I was not trying to estimate and think too much when I chose the place in the plane (I just wanted a place next to the corridor, so I can easier stretch my legs and go for a walk), I have a sit next to some guys that don’t speak at all (I think they don’t speak English and the guy right next to me really needs a lot of space.
Flew for 18 hours (with the stop in Paris) just to discover that my bike didn’t arrive with me in Lima. After reading some blogs I knew this might happen, but of course I was still naive enough to hope that it’ll not happen to me. The guy at the airport made me fill a lost baggage claim, but didn’t want to call AirFrance office in Paris to ask about my bike.Met a very nice Peruvian lady in the airplane, Maria Theresa, who helped me with looking for the bike and finding a taxi, as well as with some advices about cycling. — in Lima, Peru. She works in Turin, Italy, and she´s married with an Italian. Lima looks a lot like Bucharest + exotic plants. Well, a lot of people (here in fact is not so similar with Bucharest, with almost 9 million inhabitants Lima is the fourth largest city in the Americas), houses with all architectural styles, crappy roads, crazy traffic. All cars are honking the horns at all time.
Man of the day: Mike, with
Lady of the day: Maria Theresa
Spanish world of the day: loco (that’s how Lima is, as a city – everybody horning the ring, traffic, noise, people)
Drink of the day: Inka Cola (I didn’t drink it today, just eat a slice of pizza with Inka cola on it)
Km today: 0
Km in total: 0

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