Board to bike
Lots to tell (Norwegians, please be sure to read to the end):
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.
I love my bike! (I love you too board, but things change...) The Windsurf Round Europe bike is a Genesis Croix de Fer. It's a steel-framed gravel / adventure / do anything machine, and we've bonded exceptionally well. Big thank you to Genesis Bikes and Madison.co.uk
My junk - barrel and Aquapac - 100% waterproof protection bag - go in a single wheel trailer. Having all the weight in the trailer definitely screwed up the bike handling, but things were better this afternoon when I shifted some heavy stuff (mostly water) onto the front forks. At the moment I am thinking that paniers would work more perfectly with a bicycle of such pedigree, but hope to get the trailer working well enough as this allows the barrel to come too...
I don't have a really fixed route but the rough plan is EuroVelo 11 and EuroVelo 13. These aren't always very direct but are intended for cycling, apparently (though today's cross country section leaves me with some doubts). It isn't about rushing to finish...
A few miles inland and it is a different world. Villages few and far between. Some very unchanged ways of life: goat herders, sheep herders... Very evident poverty. The countryside just beautiful. Heat. Streams and rivers with water enough to strip off and bathe.
Well, the first few days have been tough enough for me to realise that this is no roll around the park. It isn't just the distance, it is the carrying all your gear, finding places to sleep, reaching places to refill water or food, being eaten alive by mosquitoes...
A remarkable journey: Teresie Schafranek Solum Hommersand
My slight struggle these days has underlined the enormous feat already accomplished by Teresie Hommersand, who is solo cycling from Cape to Kapp (south of Africa to north of Europe). Teresie has now reached Greece (and is linked up with the wonderful Hans Zephyr, who looked after me too). So, she has already cycled the continent of Africa. Teresie is targetting climate awareness and reduced carbon footprint. Her route to NordKapp will take her past many of you DEAR CONTACTS from DENMARK, SWEDEN and NORWAY. I struggle to imagine the toughness of the journey already undertaken. Please offer her some support for the final stages. Norwegians! She's one of yours!
And finally, some pictures...