Monthly Archives: April 2015

Week 3

Rain, tears and smiles….

The weeks seem to be flying by, this has been an interesting week

We have worked really hard to stay on schedule but although we are doing the miles we are not making the distance we need to, to reach Rhodes in time for the wedding and the week with our families.

This has been really frustrating and at times it has felt like this trip is about the end destination rather than the journey and this was never our intention.

So after some deliberation we have reconsidered our plans for the next section of our adventure and we are exploring hiring a car next week to go through Italy. We hope to cycle to Genoa and then hire the car down to Bali which is on the south west coast. We have cycled from Genoa to Rome previously so we don’t feel like we are missing much and with the car we can take time out to see Florence and Pisa.

This decision has made the last couple of days more enjoyable as the pressure has been taken off and we are now cycling for fun rather than to meet a target.

We are both looking forward to cycling in new countries and experiencing more of the world.  France and Spain have been good countries for us to find our feet but they’re not that dissimilar to the UK so although we have nearly cycled 1000 miles we do not feel we have really tasted what the world has to offer.

We have taken lots of pictures but unfortunately they will not load on to this site (I think they need to be saved in a different format) so I will post a selection on Facebook

Full length diaries can be found in the diary section

2nd Week – summary below full diary will be updated when we resolve IT issues

A week of ups and downs in more ways than one… We miscalculated how long it was going to take us to get to Greece, so having failed to get a train we hired a car to drive from Pamplona to Girona.  it was a long (10 hour) drive, which we think would have taken us 10 days cycling! On arriving in Girona we recalculated the route and realised we would still need to cycle 56 miles a day until we arrived in Rhodes. I struggled with this at first but rationalized it by reminding myself of our other cycling trips 56 miles would be a short day.  Our spirits are lighter knowing there is a plan b (car, train, boat or plane) after all this is supposed to be fun and it is the only section of the adventure with a clock ticking.

Hiring the car has meant we have spent more than our expected  budget but we are clawing this back as we are not using our daily allowance (although this is becoming more and more challenging the french coast is much more expensive than northern spain)

We have approximately 3000 kilometres to cycle and we are achieving our daily mileage and recalculating on a regular basis to ensure we stay on schedule. This is not a simple task as the Garmin does not always plan a direct route and Gary spends half his day arguing with it and resetting it – to the point he even dreams about navigation.

We have driven and cycled across the Pyrenees which are just as majestic as we remember them to be when we cycled to Barcelona a few years ago. We are now in France and have just passed Montpellier, the coast is beautiful and the cycling is carefree and fun if not a little challenging on the narrower roads.

We are still having IT problems but are able to receive messages on word press, email, and facebook via our kindles so please keep your messages/updates coming it is great to hear news from home.

Still living the dream and loving it

Summary of week 1

First Week (summary below the full diary can be found in the diaries section)

Before we left several people asked ‘how much training have you done for this trip,’ we smiled sweetly in response and said not enough. After day 6 I was sure we had done enough had we have done anymore we probably would not have embarked on this crazy adventure. The first few days were hard both physically and mentally.

Now at day 9 we are settling in to a routine, enjoying the cycling (especially when the sun shines) and trying to avoid the snow capped mountains.

We have spent 4 nights in paid camp sites (only one was really worth it and that was because we were desperate for a wash and our clothes and tent needed cleaning) and 3 nights wild camping (wild camping is much easier than I that it would be although I think Gary is a little on guard and struggling a little bit with sleeping – my protector).

We are slightly behind the mileage Gary had planned for us but this is in part due to the ferry docking late and partly because we had to climb two big mountains on our bike, we have covered approx 329 miles since leaving home and we are currently in a little sunny town called Estella.

Financially we are on schedule spending approx £42 per day and that includes taking into account unexpected dentist fees (chipped tooth) sim cards and cables for the Garmin.

We have cycled through some beautiful towns, in contrast to the UK all the houses are individual and of interest. Since arriving in Spain we have been surrounded by mountains, it is very picturesque. The people are very kind but speak very little (no) English, on refection I wish I had spent some time learning at least the basics (Gary has a basic understanding which is helpful).

As the days get warmer we are developing the compulsory cycle tan lines, which will no doubt give great amusement to those sharing a villa with us in Rhodes.

Hope all is well in the UK, please share comments on here or send us update messages via Facebook. Although our access to wifi is not great it is good for the soul to keep in touch with news from home.

Diaries

I have typed up the first four days of our adventure and posted them in our diaries page

Gary and I are going to attempt to write each update together but do not intend boring you with a day by day account of what we are doing.

if you are interested in any aspect of our adventure and you would like more information please send us a comment and we will provide more info.

happy reading

A leaving poem from my team

I was very touched and amused by this poem so I thought I would share it with you

 

Ginette Corr, Ginette Corr

The Marilyn Monroe of the second Floor

I’m comparing of course, her hour glass figure

and not her brain…which is much bigger.

 

She’s clever, respected and works with poise.

All learnt whilst working with sex toys!

But she left the thrill of Ann Summers and the law

for contract management what a bore!

 

Her feminine sway, from meeting to meeting

the grace and the glamour which take some beating

but strip away the charm and class and you’ll find an iron woman,

who’d kick your ass

At any pursuit you’d care to name

you can’t match this amazon for sweat, toil and pain.

Whether paddling insanely in star showered nights.

if a challenge is great, she’ll give it a try,

no river too deep, no mountain too high

no bone too broken, no bruise or blister can ever hold down this intrepid sister

This special person, is bound to go far,

But Turkey and Thailand?…without a car??

 

So fly to the ends of the earth

giving all monkeys a very wide berth

and keep bananas close to your rear

to ease saddle soreness and hold back the tears….

 

…and don’t give a thought to us poor office drones

with faulty computers and niggling phones

AND air conditioning, cold or too warm

AND budgets AND spreadsheets AND monitoring forms.

 

For you it’s the joy of a chemical loo and GPS leading you into the blue

accompanied gently by a clarinet tune (this may no longer be very true)

so….

we wish you good spaces in the far away places

watch the world speed past with the wind in your faces

and come back with tales to make hair stand on end

wearing robes or turbans to start a new trend

 

This place will never be the same

We’ll never forget ee…ummm…sorry – what was her name?

we know you didn’t want any fuss

but still, we want you remembering us

with no space for big presents or even knickers

we’ve got you instead a small bike sticker!

 

we’ll miss you Ginette, that’s very true,

Adieu..

Goodbye…

auf wiedersehen…

and all the very best to you our good friend

Breakfast at the Ring of Bells – have you booked yours??

If you are joining us on the 4th April and you would like a breakfast please can you call Dave so that he can ensure he has plenty of grub and staff.

Tel:  01275 790009

It is going to be dry and the wind is scheduled to drop so why not bring your bikes along and join us on our adventure. Several people are riding as far as the Strawberry Line, some are going to Wells, our first stop is Yeovil where we have managed to blag a bed for the night, courtesy of Stuart’s parents : )

The Ring of Bells, 4 Saint Mary’s Grove, Nailsea, North Somerset, BS48 4NQ.