Across Continents

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Reflections on the road

It’s starting to get interesting. France, Germany and Austria. Very much like touring in the UK, with a few linguistic challenges thrown in. But that’s beginning to change with Eastern Europe. Nothing dramatic, just a more austere feel slowly creeping in. Even along the Danube, you pass through some heavy industrial areas, abandoned factories, a Cold War feel. They probably never made tractors here, but they might have done. However, I could show you similar scenes of neglect back in the UK.

I’ve travelled here over several months, gradually adapting to the changing environment. Perhaps I would find it much, much tougher now if I’d just been parachuted in. Possibly. My world now has a lot more uncertainty, never quite sure how the day will end, where I will sleep. Some serious language challenges. But I never fret about it. I just accept this is how it is. Once you’ve done that life suddenly has a pleasing simplicity. What was previously very daunting becomes quite fun – it’s a challenge, a game to be played on the road. Can have it’s moments of course. But so far I’ve never lost.

And there’s far, far more to this than the cycling. Writing the blog, maintaining the bike, postcards to family and friends, endless shopping for food, laundry, planning the detail of the route ahead, places you might stay. Logistics to be considered, longer term plans to be assessed. Asia next year. Kit to be checked, refined, an eye on the ’Stans in the spring. And even meagre budgets need to be managed. Very carefully. All part of the challenge. It’s a vocation.

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2 responses to “Reflections on the road”

  1. Margaret says:

    Hi Ken
    What a great attitude ! You inspired me on a rainy Fitzhead Sunday.Autumn is well and truly here in all its English glory. Hope you find the weather kind to you as winter approaches and you head onwards.
    We love walking in the winter best of all so cycling, with all your hi tech gear must as exhilarating !

    Happy peddling!

  2. pete sellers says:

    Glad to see you are plodding on and I guess that accomadation is begining to rival a T42, althought he food will be better. Twenty punds a day – blimely you are lucky. You should be living of turnips and riding through the night or finding a park bench or a shoe box. It must begettign cold now as even I am begining to get nagged to put the heating on (clearly falling on deaf ears). We got lost in Budapest as well trying to find a campsite in an old railway cutting. The trolleybusess were the biggets hassle. Anyway crack on lancastrian!

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