Across Continents

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First fifty days

Fifty days and close on 2,000 miles cycled. Over half way across Europe. There have been some challenging times – adjusting to life on the road for four years has not been easy, and now it is getting ever colder and the daylight much shorter. Each day there’s the uncertainty of not knowing exactly where you will end up, how things will unfold. There’s been the usual aches and pains, and a fine line between refreshing breeze and an unrelenting headwind that makes progress a real struggle. But this is Western Europe. I’m trained and equipped for far more hostile environments, but still quietly pleased there’s been no major dramas.

And this is an expedition, a vocation for four years, not a holiday. In the background there’s the endless cycle of kit maintenance, developing and refining routines to sustain everything, myself included, over the forthcoming years and the impending winter. Information about the road ahead to be gleaned, logistics to be organised, a plethora of endless administrative tasks that often catch out the unwary, all with the potential to bring things to a grinding halt.

In a few days I’ll be in Bratislava, Slovakia. From there the plunge south into Eastern Europe proper – Hungary, Serbia and across into Bulgaria. Much more than just a change of direction, these are less well developed nations than I’ve been used to. Add in the impending winter, and the forthcoming five week run to the Turkish border is going to be a serious endeavour, a test of mental resolve, physical endurance and the robustness of the kit. Good preparation, I tell myself, for the ’Stans and Tibet next year. Well, you do need to have a good sense of humour for these things!

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One response to “First fifty days”

  1. Alex says:

    hello! how are you? Did you find the youth-hostel in Vienna? Sorry for not saying goodby to you in the morning! I hope you enjoyed your stay in Tulln! good luck and good weather for the next days/months/years… nice greetings alex (from the youth hostel in Tulln)

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