We just found out our wheels have been sitting in New Jersey for the last twelve days. Nice work US Postal Service. We've now been on Kerkannah for more than two weeks. The first week was very enjoyable; we did lots of sightseeing, and I had a sizable backlog of programming that needed to be done (and was). Tara spent our down time working on her novel, cooking projects, and our journal. The second week has worn us down quite a bit.
Until today, there was no tracking information of any kind on the USPS website. Since Velocity shipped our wheels, we've been in limbo waiting for some cue, some anything that might indicate how much longer our wait would be. Our moods have been hit and miss for the last few days. We want to get back on the road.
Now that we know our wheels have not even reached Tunisia, we're ready to make a decision.
Options We Are Considering
Continue waiting on Kerkennah for our wheels to arrive.
PROS: Our wheels could arrrive in a day or two. This saga would be over and we wouldn't have to return to the island.
CONS: Our wheels might not arrive for a week or more. Each day we regret more and more not leaving. Each day we feel more like we need to "stay the course" to ensure all of our waiting hasn't been in vain. This is more or less the situation we've been in for the last week because we had no information on the whereabouts of our wheels. It sucks.
Leave Kerkannah by bike for a loop through Douz and Matmata. Return to Kerkennah to pick up our wheels.
PROS: We are back on the road riding our bikes. This is ultimately what we both want to be doing.
CONS: Tara's rear wheel, in my estimation, has gotten a little worse after riding unloaded on the island. If we do this, we could wind up with an unridable wheel during our loop. This would probably make me go insane. The loop would also take roughly three weeks. All of this waiting has really soured our attitude towards spending more time in Tunisia.
Leave on foot carrying what we need in our backpacks. Do the same loop from #2.
PROS: We don't have to worry about wheel failures and we complete our loop of the southern half of Tunisia much more expediently.
CONS: We have to find somewhere safe to store our bikes. Our backpacks are very small, we wouldn't bring our camping gear which means in addition to transport costs, we would be staying in hotels.
None of these options seems particularly appealing. I am now fighting with nagging thoughts that we should have carried on with any wheel we could find. Velocity could have sent our new wheels to La Marsa for us to pick up when we leave Tunisia. We probably would have made it just fine with a throwaway for a few weeks. I know there is no sense in laboring over what could have been done but I'm finding these thoughts hard to ignore.
Even though we are more or less 'killing time' with our tour of Tunisia (waiting out at least part of winter), I want to be seeing the country on our bicycles. All of this said, right now we want nothing more than to be at home with family enjoying the holidays, thousands of miles away from this mess.