A Tale of Two Countries

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

In short, it was 2020 and the cities to me were countries, Spain and Portugal.

I had done my usual meticulous planning. I had created the route which in itself had been revised to accommodate earlier travel disruptions. The accommodation had been researched and booked, and the tour itinerary written. I’d even had time to create the tour logo and order the stickers.

But to quote another literary great, it was all Much Ado About Nothing.

All or nothing

The rising infection rates in Spain and Portugal, together with UK restrictions and self isolation requirements meant that the tour was no longer tenable.

I had hoped that we could and would go. I had been pragmatic in following the infection rates region by region. The route would have taken us through areas of infection that were lower than our home soil. Additionally we would be riding the remote roads. Effectively providing our own isolation through the conventional self isolation offered by having your head encased in helmet on a motorcycle.

In the grand scheme of things, this was just one more cancellation. Collateral damage of a year best forgotten. A year where we all forged a new normality but longed for a return to the previous.

Perhaps we shouldn’t think of it as a cancellation but a postponement. The route will sit waiting to be revived alongside all my other hopes and dreams in my notepad of the year.

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