Log

Submitted by jono on 13 Sep 2019.

Wow! I just checked progress and see that there is only about 1000km to go until the loop is closed. That really seems like nothing. Finland - which at first glance seemed quite enormous - already has a large chunk to the south.

Submitted by jono on 28 Aug 2019.

A ferry hop to Muha, a causeway to Saaremaa... The main island is bigger than I had realised - four times the area of Menorca and one-third the population of my reference isle. Long empty forest roads give time to think. A road sign alerts to the possibility of elk. The islanders are welcoming of visitors: cycle routes are marked, points of interest indicated These are flat islands. 20m constitutes a mighty cliff. The sea is shallow and warm at this time of year, but come winter may freeze and link the islands - roughly 900 of them - by ice.

Submitted by jono on 21 Aug 2019.

A bit of routine maintenance was planned whilst passing through Latvia's capital city. It seemed a good place to replace the tyres which had become worn treadless and were perhaps becoming liable to cuts / splits. It would be a real nuisance to write off a tyre far from a major town, and once into Finland am not expecting to find many of those...

Submitted by jono on 03 Aug 2019.

Poland pictures. Some postcards with enough scribbled to count as an update too. Not mentioned is how small the continent feels. It seems only a very short while ago that I was on the Aegean coast and now I am looking ahead for a route to the Baltic (a route that bypasses the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad).

Submitted by jono on 29 Jul 2019.

Those following on Facebook you will see that I am posting some video updates. I find these quite an ordeal. If I look closely, and usually I do, the clips I record seems so lightweight and unfocussed. Occasionally, I share a clip. There was a medicine I took as a kid and the scent of its flavouring made me wretch long before it had even neared my mouth. The thought, act and memory of posting video updates brings a degree of discomfort not quite so extreme, but in that direction.

Submitted by jono on 16 Jul 2019.

Serbia goes flat in the north, and big agriculture extends for miles in all directions. Easy cycling, though less inspiring than the mountains, and typically a headwind comes in the afternoons. Regular little towns and occasional fruit trees offer resupply opportunities. The bigger towns are interesting and enjoyable, and far enough apart that it makes sense to linger a while. At Kikinda, for example, the football club are kind enough to let me use their showers, and it is fun to pass by bike shop, bakery, and town square cafes.

Submitted by jono on 07 Jul 2019.

EuroVelo weaves about either side of the what was the Iron Curtain. There is great variety. The route mostly keeps away from major through routes but after the big hydro dam that is a border crossing point into Romania there is a 10k horror section with heavy trucks inches away... Mostly though, its very well done and ideal for an 'adventure bike', with a nice mix of surfaces and very little traffic. Scenery is frequently stunning. The Danube section is popular with anglers. The Romanian side is a disgrace of junk left by angler campers.

Submitted by jono on 30 Jun 2019.

These butterflies are from the hill in Bulgaria where I hid from the border police.

The morning surrounded by nature opened my heart. It brought back memories of hot summer days, grasshopper catching, and the deep sheen of burnet moths. I realised how grateful I am for a childhood rich in empty time playing in nature. The parental effort for this education: my mum nearby, reading a book in the sun.

Submitted by jono on 23 Jun 2019.

Early days of the cycle back through Europe are unfolding with a meandering route. So far I have meandered south-west for about 400km. The Greek Aegean coast is not a direct route to Norway, but friends are here, and it allows a few days whilst a blast of summer heat cooks the land.

I am staying with Thomas, Stavroula and family from Stonero at Lake Volvi: enjoying fine company, home cooking, and some very fun foil windsurfing.

Submitted by jono on 14 Jun 2019.

Lots to tell (Norwegians, please be sure to read to the end):

Expedition board

The board stays proudly displayed in Surf Shop Burgas. I had been thinking of sending it back to the UK, but the National Maritime Museum turned down my offer, and I was never 100% easy with the carbon footprint involved with sending it back to sit in a shed somewhere anyway. Better all round this way and there is even a chance it will sail again.