Day 26-1. The train back home.
We awoke early again, and breakfasted in the usual way. Taking advantage of the shower we got ourselves ready and decided to split the getting out of the train operation between us. I wandered up to the bike carriage with the keys whilst Damae put all our bags near to the doors at the end of our carriage. When the train arrived Damae got all our bags out and I took out the bikes and walked them over to her. Unlike last year the night train was running to schedule so we had ample time to hang the panniers on the bikes and get them and us across to the right platform. The slowness of the lifts was not an issue as we had time to spare. Checking the train information board we walked to the end of the platform where our bikes would go in and stood there waiting for the train to arrive.
We'd decided not to bother going to our seats and dumped everything and ourselves in the bike carriage. This worked a lot better than tramping all the way down the train to our seats and we were comfortable enough sitting on the carpetted floor. At the other end of the carriage three back packers were sleeping on the floor leaving just enough room for people to get past. Although we made a reasonable amount of noise getting in they didn't seem to stir at all. We were quite relieved that we had caught the one direct train to Utrecht each day and sat quietly enjoying the peace and quiet.
We were also sharing the space with a very large box which turned out to be the property of a German traveling to Utrecht. He didn't tell us what was in the box which kept us guessing. As we approached Utrecht the sleepers awoke, and the carriage slowly started filling up with cyclists. One couple had a tight connection so on arrival they got out first and dashed off to their platform. For us this had been a pleasureable trip much better than the return the year before. We were at home before half past nine having picked up some breakfast from Rio de Bio on the way home. Well that was that we said as we started eating breakfast and unpacking.
The following morning we got up in the dark, and I made my way to work to find an email sitting in my inbox to say that my contract would not be renewed. Oh well, it was just work, but sadly the client had neglected to tell my employer, and neither did the 'preferred supplier' know anything about it which was a bit rude. Especially as everyone else at work knew about it. I carried on with my day wondering why on earth I had bothered to come back 'home'.