We spent most of the morning tearing camp apart and re-assembling it into 'travel' mode. I was expecting our wheels to arrive the following day and I wanted to be packed and ready to go when they did. It took a surprisingly long time to clean and organize everything. After ten days of camping (our longest stretch anywhere so far) we'd used almost every single thing we owned at least once.
Around noon I went to the camp store to talk to the warden. His friend owns a bike shop and I wanted to see if he'd be interested in purchasing our front wheels. Velocity is sending us two complete wheelsets even though our front rims seem to be ok. It turned out he didn't want them but I didn't have much time to be disappointed; two huge cardboard boxes with "Velocity" printed on the sides had arrived in the mail for us earlier in the morning!
I hadn't expected to see our wheels until tomorrow and I was already preparing myself for the let down when it took even longer. I felt simultaneously like a little kid on Christmas morning and Santa himself carrying one of the giant boxes back to camp to surprise Tara. Sitting in the middle of a pile of our things to be organized, Tara's eyes lit up with excitement as I marched in with our ticket to Italy.
I quickly grabbed my pocket knife and began tearing into our long awaited package while Tara ran to the office and hauled the other box back down to camp. The rest of the afternoon was a flurry of bicycle maintenance: swapping cassettes, re-mounting tires, setting up brakes and cutting hubs out of rims. Thankfully everything went off without a hitch; it was actually a lot of fun (except setting up the brakes, I hate setting up brakes).
Just as the sun slipped behind the mountains, we finished reassembling the bikes, packing the panniers, and tidying up our mess of a campsite. We were ready to go! Tara made some delicious peppery soup and we talked excitedly about getting back on the road. Our time and moods here have had a very interesting arc. After the first few days we started to get cabin fever but by the time today rolled around we were settled in, already starting to take internet access and electricity for granted all over again. Now it is evening and it feels like we're back at home, figeting, excitedly trying to fall asleep before our flight to Glasgow. Tomorrow we'll finally get to coast down the Alps into Italy!