Tour prep progress

My route planning summed up by Alice and the Cheshire Cat

My route planning summed up by Alice and the Cheshire Cat

With around 40 days to go before I embark on my next adventure, I really need to get a wriggle on with completing the outstanding tasks on my to do list. It’s not like I’m not getting through them, but work keeps getting in the way – how very inconvenient of it. Although saying that we’re getting to the end of a 2 year project which is pretty satisfying; it’s very rewarding seeing something you’ve invested so much time and effort in go live successfully.

So far I’ve booked my flight to Norway, sorted out putting my house on the rental market, and ticked off quite a few items on my shopping list with regards to kit needed for 6 months on the road. The shopping bit has been a lot of fun, even if I do need to address my credit card bill sooner rather than later. I’ve got a few new gadgets to play with, as well as a new buff arriving in the post shortly; my old one was definitely getting a bit on the worn side, however it’s served me well, a fantastic piece of versatile apparel.

I’m also in the process of getting inoculated versus a wide range of horrible ailments such as Typhoid, Rabies, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A & B , Diphtheria and MMR. This involves several visits to the travel clinic over the course of a few weeks,  which is leaving me with quite a few holes in my arms. Thankfully none of these injections appear to need to take place in the vicinity of my butt, or any other uncomfortable locations, as yet anyway; maybe the nurse is saving the ‘best’ till last.

As the above quote from Alice in Wonderland would suggest my route planning hasn’t progressed much as yet. I know where I’m starting from, and the key locations along the way, such as Nordkapp in Norway, Tarifa in Spain…and Istanbul…and several other countries and cities, however the exact route probably won’t be confirmed until I start properly. I prefer to make final route decisions as I go, so I’m not constrained by having to be somewhere by such and such a time. One of the wonderful things about cycle touring is you have everything you need, including your mode of transport, on your bike, especially if you’re happy to camp, so you’re pretty self sufficient and massively flexible, as long as you have the time spare.

Now I’ve got the big work project out of the way I can start to get properly excited about leaving. I’m really looking forward to hitting the road, seeing new places, and meeting new people. News stories seem to focus on everything that’s wrong with the world, and how scary a place it is, which I maintain really isn’t the case. Whilst it can be daunting setting off for new climes, and you do have to be careful wherever you are due to a small minority of people, the majority are kind, generous, friendly and welcoming, and interested in what you’re doing, even if they do think you’re a little crazy at times. I was reminded of this when watching the short film from Tom Allen and Leon McCarron on their trip to Iran, where they journeyed from the source of the Karun, Iran’s longest river, to the sea. You can watch a taster from this via the link below, and sign up for the newsletter to see the full 15 minutes:

http://karunfilm.com

Well worth a watch. They’ve also just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce two feature length films on their expeditions to Iran, following the Karun, and Patagonia, following the Santa Cruz. Check it out here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1107425124/a-tale-of-two-rivers-journeys-on-the-karun-and-san?

I know they’ll appreciate any and all support for what’s a fantastic project, they just need the funds to finish it. One of the reasons I’m supporting it, aside from the fact I love finding out about people’s adventures, is because films like this help counter what’s in the mainstream media about other countries and cultures and the threats they pose. People are always going to be slightly afraid of something that’s different, that I’m afraid is kinda genetic, however the more  positive stories we can spread on other cultures the better, to help stop that fear or ignorance turning into unfounded hatred and aggression.

One of the aims of my blog will continue to be to relate tales of human generosity, and to tell the stories from other cultures I experience. I hope this will also go some way to demonstrating people are basically the same the world over, with only a minority spoiling it for all. On the blog front I still haven’t settled on a new name, so I might end up just continuing to use this one, we’ll see, it’ll be one less thing to sort out!

I’m writing this at half past two in the morning because my  body clock is currently on night shift mode, and I can’t sleep, however I need to catch a train in 6 hours time so I suppose I ought to at least try and get some shut-eye. Bonuit world.

6 thoughts on “Tour prep progress

  1. Heather b

    Really looking forward to reading about your adventures – Bike beyond Britain, perhaps? Have a great time!

    Reply
  2. Bike around Britain Post author

    Thanks Heather, and Bike beyond Britain a good suggestion. I could just add ‘and beyond’ in brackets to this blog I suppose. Looks like you had a good time in Avoriaz (assuming the right Heather B), I went there years ago and good to see pictures on Robin’s FB account.

    Reply
  3. somemaid

    I think your approach to route planning sounds excellent. (its also similar to my approach for story planning) Knowing the big markers is half the battle in my opinion. I can’t wait to read more about your trip. One question though. What is a buff?

    Reply
    1. Bike around Britain Post author

      Good question: It’s a pretty simple thing really, a tube of stretchy fabric that can be twisted into lots of different shapes, so you can make for example a scarf, a bandana, mask, or wrist band with it, very handy for keeping the sun off, your head warm, or your face partially covered if you want to look like a bandit!

      Interesting point on the writing front. I’m thinking of writing a story, probably in the fantasy or Sci fi genre, paralleling my journey through Europe and beyond; so when I start cycling from Norway down into Europe, Eric/Erica might start their own quest by horseback/dragon/broomstick/virtual reality; character genders and names as well as modes of transport to be confirmed!

      Reply
      1. somemaid

        Thats exactly what I needed this winter when my ears started to freeze on the way home from work.
        Hope the writing goes well, I look forward to reading your work.

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