7. January 2016
18th of October I started my journey with great anticipation and nervousness. Would I cope with the great adventure and challenges that come with it? It feels like a long time ago when I first built up my tent and asked myself what had gotten into me to start such a trip. Suddenly I’m in the middle of it. Setting up camp changed from an “in-what-pannier-is-that-again?” to a daily routine. The time feels right to write a short review.
Top 3 valuable Items
There are few things more comfortable than waking up in a warm sleeping bag in cold conditions. Even when moist, it keeps me warm. Extremely comfortable, small and light to pack.
MSR Whisperlite stove
This little guy burns about everything flammable. The heat is well adjustable. From slowly cooking a Minestrone to a quick morning coffee, this guy has deserved his place in the top 3!
To be fair, every e-reader would do. I just happen to own a kindle… In December, the days are getting really short. After dinner is ready and the tent is built up, it’s usually dark. Wrapped in my sleeping bag, I enjoy a good read till I fall asleep. Currently, my favorite evening entertainment is “The Wise Man’s Fear”.
Top 3 exciting things
Welcoming people are one of the highlights on my trip. Beeing invited to a random tea/coffee break keeps my spirit high It is inspiring to see all these generous and good people all over the countries. My Couchsurfing and Warmshowers experience are just great. It is my favorite way to get to know the culture and people. Faith in humanity restored.
The big benefit of cycling is, that you can stop wherever and whenever you want. Instead of rushing through the places you see and feel a lot of the landscape. The smell, wind, sun, temperature, humidity. It might sound strange if you have never experienced it. It’s almost like beeing a part of it.
What about second breakfast? Eating is probably the most time-consuming thing after cycling. And it’s good! A little snack here. Oh, chocolate! Do I have another apple? If I cook now, do I have enough ingredients for dinner? Istanbul was a cyclist’s heaven. Food at every corner. Here and there a little Turkish delight. Life can be so wonderful.
Top 3 annoying things
Dogs are not a cyclists friends. I knew that before the trip started. Nevertheless, I did not expect them to be so aggressive. Luckily, they all past with no physical harm done.
Trucks & Buses
Most truck and bus drivers just don’t care about cyclists. Passing dangerously close at high speed is not something I get used to. Every now and then a truck passes “swearingly” close. Meaning, I can’t do anything about it than swear. The wind would first push me away from the truck. Then, the low pressure just behind the front of the truck pulls me towards it. After a while, I developed certain maneuver that reduces the push-pull a little bit.
Cold hands & feet
I have to buy new gloves. The ones I have, are probably made of some sort of sponge material. Even tough they’re Gortex, they suck every raindrop right in. After 2 Months, the material is already worn out. It really is a pain to cycle with cold hands!
Top 3 questions/statements
Do your legs ever get tired? – No. Of course not.
You’re quite an adventurer. You must really hate technology. – Yes.
Do you want money? – No.
Into the mountains
I didn’t really know what to expect from Montenegro. Honestly, I was a bit scared. People talked about stone throwing kids and biting dogs. In guides they tell about its mountains, the old capital Cetinje and the Lovćen nat ...
Croatia Part. 2
After spending some time at the coast, my route leads me to the Krka national park. I leave my bike at the top and spend the day hiking through the park. Bridges across the various rivers give access to every corner of the specta ...