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Before I started my trip, I read a fair number of journals on CrazyGuyOnABike trying to work out the best gear. The biggest decision to make was, of course, the bike. It seemed that Americans predominantly read Surly Long Haul Truckers, and a fair number of Brits (including Peter Gostelow, one of my favourite blogs) rode Thorn bikes, either the Raven or the Nomad so that’s where I started researching
Thorn, sold by St Johns Street Cycles (SJS Cycles)
When I first started my trip, I barely had any way of sorting my things. All my clothes got thrown in one pannier and the most sophisticated way I had of organising things was using Ziplocs. My clothes weren’t even in stuff sacks. It was passable, but not great. After a few weeks I picked up stuff sacks, my clothes got organised and my life got better. However my electronics solution was still Ziplocs and it stayed that way until October 2011.
On the 27th of September 2011, TravellingTwo
I’ve been riding the Manta for 3 years so I feel it’s about time that I wrote about it. Sorry Jon for how long it’s taken.
Long-distance tourers store their things in Ortliebs, put Schwalbe Marathons on their wheels and sit on a Brooks B17. That was how the world seemed back in 2010 when I started buying things to go on my tour. Knowing not much, I decided that everyone else probably knew best. I picked up a complete set of Ortliebs for my stuff
The border back into the EU between Poland and Belarus wasn’t crossable by bike, without heading on a 100km detour, but thankfully the train wasn’t too much of a hassle. I took some boring photos on the way over and must have been spotted doing so as the police specifically asked for my camera and made me delete those pictures when I crossed the border.
I was back in the EU, and definitely saw more signs of wealth than had generally been visible in Belarus, but the bus stops were not an example
I had a bunch of notes about Belarus, they also got lost. This is being written 6 months later.
My main memory of the ride was large swathes of empty greenness and very smooth roads with barely any cars, and some glorious bus stops. There’s a main road that connects Vilnius and Minsk, but it seemed like there were barely any towns along it at so I took a detour
Unsurprisingly, there were a fair number of victorious-looking Soviet-style statues whenever I got to each town. I
Now that I carry
I had notes for the next few countries but not only misplaced my notebook in Turkey, but also seem to have lost a bunch of recordings I made. Bugger.
I flew from Iceland to Helsinki, to visit Eastern Europe. I’d been to Estonia previously, but little else in the area. It was vastly cheaper to fly to Helsinki and take the ferry than to fly to Tallinn, hence why visiting Helsinki consisted of little more than going from the airport to the ferry terminal. I decided to live life and take the
Having been at home for a while it was time to hit the road again. I wasn’t sure where, but being the summer then Iceland seemed a fine idea. When I suggested it to Gaz and he was up for it then a plan was made. Little over 72 hours later, we were on a Sunday morning plane to Reykjavik. It was less prep time than I’d normally have and meant that our low chance of finding a host in Reykjavik became close to 0, but that wasn’t a big issue. Iceland is probably the easiest country
I finally managed to leave Algeciras when my parcel arrived, and had the fortune of not having to wait for the second one as Jorge, my host in Algeciras, would be visiting Morocco himself a few days later. We arranged to meet up in Rabat and I was finally away. I’m writing this more than 8 months later, and have barely got any notes, so there’s not going to be much detail. Mainly pasting of the notes that I sporadically took.
I had a Warmshowers organised in Martil, but had to call