Sunday, August 2, 2015

Back home again

We had good flights home, though Turkish airlines charged us 30 Euros per bike extra. I made a fuss about that, since I had made sure that I booked these flights including the bikes. To no avail and in order to prevent ourselves from missing the plane we had to pull the credit card :-)
At Schiphol airport we were welcomed by a charming little company who also helped us putting the bikes together again.

We had hardly settled in our home again when Jude and Astrid reported at our front door. Here they were, having cycled all the way from Melbourne to us and almost to London, their final destination. Our story in short: we stayed with them in Melbourne as Warmshowers guests in January 2013, then we met again with Christmas 2013 in a bamboo resort in Thailand and now, July 2015, they were in our home. Amazing ladies and fantastic to have them with us. For those who did not understand until now: cycling enriches your life!
The whole company having a drink a the great market place in Breda.
Leaving again for the final stage.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trabzon, final destination

Yesterday we reached Trabzon via the coastal route from Batumi, Georgia. The only reason why we returned into Turkey after Georgia is that we have an air ticket to Amsterdam from here. Maybe this had been different with a better planning in advance :-) .
Trabzon is a city of app. 250.000 and very crowded in the centre area. We have a nice room with our own balcony overlooking the port and with a view on the planes landing and taking off from the local (our) airport.
Today is the last day of ramazan. Although we were informed otherwise ramazan is very well notable in this city. Many facilities closed, difficult to find a coffee or sandwich before 20.00 hrs. But tomorrow this will be over, fortunately, pffff. Also to our surprise there are many women completely covered in black (burqa, niqab). We were told that the coastal area would be more modern, but this does apparently not apply to the complete population.

For those who are interested in the stats of this trip:
In two months we did 2800 kms through Greece, entire Turkey, into Georgia and back into Turkey. Both Turkey and Georgia are very mountainous countries, so altogether we climbed more than 23000 meters. This made it sometimes a tough tour, but also a very rewarding one. Especially the eastern-Anatolian high plains with their abundance of flowers and the mountain passes between 2000 and 2550 altitude were beautiful and made a deep impression on us. Not to mention our awfully nice encounters with the Turks themselves.
We feel very satisfied with this trip, again we feel priviliged to have had such wonderful experiences.

View from our room

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Batumi, completely different

Tbilisi was the farthest east we went during this trip. A nice terminus for us. As we have some more days and our flight back to NL is from Trabzon we travelled back to the Black Sea coast by bus yesterday. A 7-hour trip it was, but the Metro-buses are big and comfortable and there is even a bit catering on board. Our bikes were in the cargo-hold beneath, I only had to take the front wheels out.

We were so surprised when we rode into Batumi town yesterday afternoon. We are used to scruffy streets, paintless ramshackle houses, dirt and dust, but nothing at all of that. The old town is spotless. Clean, everything beautifully restored, romantic streets, a historic centre that can compete with any western-European one. Batumi has been a seaside resort for more then a century and the boulevard area is magnificent. Then there is some beautiful architecture and some, rather silly, skyscrapers. This town is a complete contrast with all the other towns in Georgia we visited. It is the capital of an independent republic within Georgia, we later heard. We saw the parliament building. Maybe this fact, and the revenues of its long history as a seaside resort, result in this totally surprising shining place.

Friday, July 10, 2015

In Tbilisi

In 4 stages we made it to Tbilisi, Georgia's capital. Our impression of the country is one of rather much poverty. Compared to Turkey it is obvious that the Turks have done much better in recent times: roads are better there, cars newer, houses better. It's easy to imagine that the geographic location of Georgia, it's rather isolated site, it's small size, it's communist past and still the continuous threat of Russia in the north are factors that cause the current situation. Don't forget that Russia is still occupying part of Georgia, a comparison with what is happening now in Ukraine is easily made.
In the mean time we have learned to get along with the Georgians very well. We are now staying in a small agreeable hotel in a quarter of small streets, with a bit of a scruffy market and lots of little shops. A huge room, ensuite actually. Staff is friendly and service fine. Yesterday they did their very best to help me get our bus trip to Batumi organized and when all of that was finished we were presented a one liter pitcher of home made wine.(Every Georgian makes his own wine it seems).
In some parts of this city you feel like in a European city. In “Old town” there are some little streets with only restaurants, terraces and bars. Very touristic, but nice. Prices are twice the prices we had to pay elsewhere in the country. Some main streets even have 'grandeur'. But as soon as you look into a side street you will see unpaved roads, disrepair, dirt, dust, ramshackle houses. The majority of cars is very old, obviously used cars from all parts of the world are imported, a striking number of them has the steering wheel on the right hand side. There are a huge number of those very small shops, on the pavement you will stumble over people selling all kind of small things and there is a great number of beggars. Most repulsive is the mothers who are sitting on the pavement and who have trained their little toddlers to beg agressively, clinging to passers-by and even hitting them if they don't get something. Seeing that I feel like hitting the mother in the face and holding them responsible for ruining their children this way.
But this all belongs to cities like this one. For countries like Georgia there is still a long way to go economically, politically and culturally and my hope is that it will be given the opportunity to do so. You learn a lot from travelling. Here and now I realize again how lucky we are to be citizens of a West-European country. Wish at home more people would be aware of that.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


On our way out of the valley from Borjomi to Gori we stopped for a nescafé. It was still early and three men were sitting on the same terrace having breakfast. One of them came up to us and asked about our journey and the bikes. He appeared to be a Brit who worked on the finalization of a pipeline from the oil fields in Azerbeidzjan, through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterenean. “A huge strategic project”, he said, which is true obviously.
Then I asked him about the Iranian oil-trucks that we saw hoisting themselves up over these high mountain passes from Turkey into Georgia, did he know more about them? As a matter of fact I thought it was a means of avoiding the Iran oil boycot, and that the Turkish and Georgian governments co-operated in that. But according to the Brit it is worse than that. His answer came quick and without hesitatian: “Isis-oil. Everybody knows, nobody does anything about it.” According to him the trucks come from the areas in Iraque that are under Isis occupation, and they take the oil through Syria and Turkey into Georgia. But, was my remark, the Turks and..... “Well, the Turks don't like the Kurds, so...”
It silenced me for a while. This man works in the oil world, he is bound to have more information than most. Would this be true, and it is not unreal to think it is?
Then here we are, witnessing how ugly and dirty geo-politics can be.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

New country

The day before yesterday we left Turkey after more than a month. In the last village in Turkey, a really backward hamlet it was, I stopped at the top a small hill to wait for Eveline, and a man, my own age, came up to me and asked, at least that was my impression, where we were from. Then a hand and foot conversation started, with Eveline and another man joining. The man could mention various cities in the Netherlands and as far as we understood he had worked in NL and returned back to Turkey maybe 30 years ago. Such conversations we have often had. And looking these people in their faces and seeing how genuinly sincere and interested they look at us, we only can express our appreciation of the warmth and openess of the Turkisch people. I regret having taken hardly any photos during these occasions, the expression of the faces are only printed in my mind.

How different were my first impressions in Georgia. The customs officer not looking at us and not saying a word before his “Welcome to Georgia” after he had taken all the time to silenty scrutinize and stamp our passports. Policemen and other people hanging around staring at us, silently and with blank expression in their faces. Then, 500 meters past the border, a petrol station with a coffee-bar. Again the staff completely ignoring us, stiff and flat faces. But after my pro-active action (loudly asking if they had coffee) we got it, with a smile, and when we left we didn't have to pay. Difficult to put these things together. Later, when we greet people, they will greet back, but only on our initiative  so different from Turkey. We know we are not a daily phenomenon on this road, but very often we were “not seen”.

Our hotel in Akhaltsikhe on the contrary was very nice and warm and it seems that now, a bit farther from the border and lower in the valley, people seem to be more communicative.

So we might getting to like the Georgians as well, but like them as much as we do the Turks remains to be seen. Maybe the Georgians are more restrained in new contacts, whereas many Turks immediately react on your presence with merhabas and hos geldiniz (hellos and welcomes). Remains of Soviet times??

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Three Santos Travelmasters in Oost-Anatolia

You may know that we travel on bikes that were specially designed for travelling over the world. It's a young Dutch brand, Santos, the type is Travelmaster (26 “ alu). Equipped with Rohloff speedhub and belt drive, Magura rim brakes etc. In the Netherlands it's one of the favourite brands among bike-travellers. Until now we never saw a foreigner on a Santos bike. Until now, because last week it happened. In the far east of Anatolia, 50 k from the Georgian border in the far away mountain village of Hanak there is one. This is the story: in Hanak there's one of the few Warmshowers-hosts in this part of the world. We were in touch with him; Cüneyd Isik, a young policeman. He could not host us as he was having a nightshift. But to our surprise a cyclist came riding up to us when we were approaching Hanak after 90 k and a mountain pas of 2215 altitude.
It was Cüneyd on his bike and to our big surprise he was riding on a shining Santos Travelmaster, exactly like ours. Our mouths fell open, what is this? He appeared to be a big fan of the brand and is one of the few Turkish Santos owners. It caused a special bond between us. He accompanied us to the ögretmenevi (teachers' house) where we would stay the night, we had a nice chat, took a picture and off he went to do his duty.
Unique photo, a crowd of 3 Santos Travelmasters in East-Anatolia

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What would I do?

We did 200 kms of East-Anatolian plateau, alt between 1500 and 2100 meters, and more is to come. Open landscape, empty, bare, no trees, lots of spring flowers, some agriculture, now hot, windy, icy cold in the long winters. The feeling that overcomes me is loneliness. Now and then there is a settlement, a hamlet of houses made of stone with grass covered roofs, dirt, rubbish and dried dung stacks all around, a man on a tractor, some children shouting at us and running towards us, a horse, a cow, a lonely shepherd with a flock of sheep.

I try to imagine how life is for these people and I feel sorry for them. For me such a life seems so boring. The same routine for generations, the same limited number of people around you all the time, the isolation, the ignorance, the absence of new stimuli.

What would I do if I was in such a condition. I think I would try to leave. Where to? Europe of course! Apperently there were people before with the same conclusion. Here I feel empathy with them.

 The exiting life of a cowherd

Friday, June 26, 2015

Having a meal in ramazan time

This day we were tourists in Erzurum. Shops are open, but tea houses, restaurants or anything like that are closed. We visited the sights and were so lucky to discover that in a new shopping mall they do not practise ramazan. Lucky us, we treat ourselves to some really good coffee and a sandwich in a real Lavazza-bar.

We had spotted a good restaurant close to our hotel. Yesterday we went there at about 20.00 hrs, but they were full. Today we were there 40 minutes before sunset, (today at 19.57) already half full. Many staff shouting and running around, arranging tables and receiving the continious stream of guests. We were given seats, then other seats, then again, eh no, stay etc. Very lively and hilarious place. In the end we were with four young man at a table for six. Towards eight o'clock all the food was on all the tables and the people were really eager to start. We saw men endlessly putting salt on their salads, bread, rice, squeezing the lemon an extra time etc, a nervous and comic crowd.
Then all of a sudden, the sound of the iman, silence: Eating! 20 minutes later the restaurant is nearly empty again and we are among the last guests, gladly accepting a second free tea. Our bill for soup, two meat dishes, a salad, a plate wtih melon parts, two ayran (buttermilk), bread, water and a lot of fun: 35 Turkish lira (€11,78).

 After dinner there is ramazan party time in the centre.

Mocha at Lavazza bar.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Eight days have passed since we left our Warmshowers-hosts Kayahan and Gülten. Since then we rode 500 kms and climbed 5300 meters over two passes, 2160 and 2057 altitude.
We are very satisfied with the decision to take this route, it's wonderful. The stages are mostly pretty tough, but not too tough and allowing us to enjoy everything.
First of all it's the scenery. Long and wide valleys, and the higher you come the more colourful they get. There is agriculture on to very high levels, but where the land is not tilled there often is an abundance of flowers in bright colours, yellow, purple, pink, blue, white. Sometimes the mountains themselves show a caleidoscopic mix of surrealistic colours and the clouds in the sky often look like they have been painted by an old Dutch master. The roads are wide, 4-lane and the tarmac perfect. Traffic is low, not a car per minute. Hornblowing, cheering, yelling and waving from drivers and truckers (many of them from Iran). Free tea at petrol stations, drivers paying for us, giving us sachets of nescafé, dropping a handful of cherries or abricots on our table. A man – out of the blue – puts a plate filled with butter and honey and a basket of bread on our table and makes clear that it's from his own bees, there on that mountainside, he points at the other side of the valley.
The ögretmenevis (teachers' houses) appear to be OK and we learn that in most places there are hotels as well (though sometimes we'd better not comment on the quality).

Now we have arrived in Erzurum, a city of 500.000 inhabitants and the most conservative and religious city in Turkey. Altitude 1900, surrounded by snowcapped mountains. We were not surprised to see an ice-hockey stadium and two ski-jump towers near the city. Winters here last long, are very cold and the snow lies three meters thick. Things you don't realize before you arrive at such a place. As what ramazan means, like the men in the tea-houses just sitting and playing with their beads, no chai on their tables. And for us our evening meal together with all the other people, starting exactly at the moment that the imans start howling from the minarets.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Problem solved

There are not many of them in Turkey. As in all countries where cycling isn't part of normal life. In western Europe you find many, in Australia, the States and several countries more, but not around the Mediterranean. Warmshowers hosts I mean. But we found one. In Erbaa, a small town east of Amasya.
Amasya is a beautiful and very old city in an akwardly narrow valley. We stopped there to give our legs some rest and because it is such a beautiful place: the graves of the Pontic kings dug out high in the rock wall, Ottoman mansions, fine mosks, parks, river bank and some musea. We stayed in a restored caravan serai, formerly used as gathering point of the convois of traders from all regions who met in this junction point. Now it's a posh hotel, we felt that a bit of luxury would not do us much harm. Mind, prices still a good deal below a normal hotel night in our regions.
We witnessed shows of folk dance groups from the neighbouring countries and found them quite exotic. Very martial Ossetion boys, tiny Kirgizian girls, Azeris, Bosnians etc.
We also had to spend time on planning the next part of our route: where to ride to? We were absolutely not sure what our possibilities further east were, as we could not find a route where we could find accommodations at regular distances. On the internet that is, asking a person is impossible since hardly anyone speaks any other language than Turkish. When I opened the Warmshowers-site, just in case I thought, we were so surprised that in a day's ride distance there was one, and after an email we knew we were welcome. So the next day we rode 80 k downhill to stop at the house of Kayahan Sayin and his wife Gülten. Both teachers and modern and non-religious people. In this country the latter means something, it will be impossible to make a career in education for instance. But they are happy people, Kayahan is even – just as I was myself – active as a European project manager. Turkey does not belong to the EU, but as a so-called associated member they can apply for projects.
As Ramazan (yes, here with z) started just that day Kayahan's first advice was to get on a bus and ride to Georgia in order to escape closed towns and villages in this conservative part of the country. But we are cyclists...! So then he mentioned the “teachers' houses”, ögretmenevi. And that was the solution: in every district centre there must be secondary schools, so there must be teachers and as a consequence there must be teachers' houses. Places where teachers who live too far away from their school to daily commute can stay during the week. And these houses also take other guests. They are cheap, clean, and as we have already experienced now, as good as a simple hotel and sometimes even better. Then these houses can easily be spotted via Google, just type in the name of a town that you want to pass combined with the word ögretmenevi; they are all there. It didn't take too long to find out that we could plan our route to the Georgian border completely. Problem solved!
We celebrated this with our hosts with some good beers, most likely our last ones Kayahan said with a grin.
We stayed one night with these kind hosts and now, three days later, we are in an ögretmenevi at an altitude of 1600 meters. Tomorrow we will cross a mountain pass of 2160 altitude and arrive in Erzincan, a bigger town at an altitude of 1200. Will be a fresh day!
Our hotel in Amasya

Gülten and Kayahan

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Inland route

The Black Sea coast is beautiful. But extremely undulating, you keep pushing at your utmost to go up 50 or 100 meters, you fly down to see-level and up you go again. Maddening and utterly tiring. We had the same experience in New South Wales, Australia, and we then decided that we didn't want this again.
So two busses and a very short bike ride took us to Safranbolu. This is a historic Ottoman city that, according to most Turks, you cannot miss. Nice place, very touristic, where we stayed for a relaxing two nights in a Konak hotel, one of those Ottoman houses.
From there we rode east for a week through more or less a long valley parallel to the coast, the sea on the other side of the mountain ridge. Here the climbs are longer, but gentler. Tiring also, but doable. Roads are good, mostly 4 lane but very quiet. The scenery is generally nice, often beautiful and sometimes even more than that. F.i. between Tasköprü and Duragan the valley is romantic, full of rice paddies and storks on their nests on high poles. It slightly reminded me of Austria, though the mountains are higher there, rice paddies absent and the minarets have onion-tops.
Tomorrow, Monday June 15th, we'll reach Amasya, a bigger town and another historic place. We'll take some rest again there and will have to spend some time on our planning, as information on accommodations is not easily available along the route. This appears to be one of our biggest hangups during this trip.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Election day

Today was election day in Turkey.
During the last few weeks the Dutch media suggested that there was much tension in the country during the campaing period. Indeed there was a bomb attack in Dyarbakir in the eastern Kurdish region.
We as travellers in Turkey didn't notice anything of the kind. What we saw were some streets and squares completely covered in party banners, some stands om Taksim square in Istanbul and every now and then a stickered party mini-van with speakers on top making a lot of noise. That's really all. Never we noticed that people were anxious or occupied with the subject. Even today, election day, the first thing we noticed concerning this democratic process was that no alcohol was being sold: prohibited today. So no afternoon beer for us today, ehhh, well, secretely, if we were prepared to have it inside where no passers-by could see us we could :-) .

And in the evening during dinner there were some guests very much interested in the election program on tv in which the first results were shown by two rather agitated presenters. We ourselves initially thought that Erdogan's AK party was doing well (as expected in the polls), they kept having app. 43%. But then again a couple of hours later it was the Dutch tv-journal that made clear to us that after 12 years AK was losing it's absolute majority. They used to have over 50%. So for the first time they will have to share power. From earlier conversations we know that many modern Turks will feel releived.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cai, cai!

We hear it every day. Tea, tea!
Now it's a couple of truck drivers who loudly invite us to join them for a cup of tea brewed in their lorry, the other time it's the father who is building another family house with his sons and sons in law, or it's one of those numerous elderly men who are sitting in their local tea-houses sipping tea, playing cards or just staring in front of them. We have decided to accept these invitations every now and then. It's a welcomed break in the sometimes streneous cycling (hilly country!) and it's always an opportunity to make contact with kind and gentle people and every time we enjoy it. It's what travelling on a bike makes so attractive.
When checking in in today's pansiyon the owner, also shoe seller, did the same. As soon as we had agreed to take the room and accept the price he shouted more than he asked: “Cai?”. Of course we did accept. He then took a kind of walkie-talkie from a shelf and shouted “Cai” in it and repeated it a couple of times. We were not surprised that a minute later a man appeared from across the street who carried a tray with three tea-glasses. We sipped it and the incomprehensible conversation in Turkish added to the fun.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Moving on.

Cycling in a crowded metropole is never a joy. So how to avoid that in the case of 14 million people Istanbul?
By taking a Bosporus-ferry 90 minutes north to a little village called Anadoulu Kavagi, then ride just a short distance to a little town on the Black Sea coast. Nice plan, and it worked. But not completely as expected. The way out of the valley from the village may very well be the steepest we ever encountered. A couple of kilometers pushing and sweating. And once riding and climbing we were sent back for a detour of 13 k as the road we wanted to take was not possible. It's the stoicus in ourselves that makes us cope with these circumstances, an attitude learned during our trips over the years.
The region is very hilly, consequently the roads are very undulating and every day there's an awful lot of climbing to be done. The scenery is beautiful, the people are kind and helpful. Free sightseeing tour in an expensive car, bargains in hotels, a policeman asking our age, blowing horns and waving and shouted “Merhaba (Hello)” from passing cars, an extra boiled egg offered to take with us, drinks paid for by regulars, a free pastry handed over to us by a street vendor, etc.

In the mean time, 3 days after Istanbul, we have reached Agva Merkez, a small beach resort with enough little terraces for us to quietly end the day.
Opposite our room.

Friday, May 29, 2015


It took us three uninteresting cycling days and a two hour ferry to reach the busy metropolis of Istanbul. We settled in a small and nice budget hotel right below the famous blue mosque, in a touristic but quiet part of the city and near the shore.
The part of the city is called Sultanameth and is the historic centre of the former Ottoman empire. Places like the Topkapi palace, the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque are just a five minutes' walk away.
We stun with the breathtaking beauty of these places, as with the millions of little shops in the bazars and streets. How on earth can all these people make a living, selling similar stuff in similar little shops for similar prices. As if every third person in this city owns a shop and every second a restaurant or köfte büfe.
All in all we find Istanbul a buzzling place, combining old tradition and state of the art modernity, with very busy but also very quiet places and, for sure, not unagreeable at all. Kind people and relaxed atmosphere. Three and a half day of walking around and inhaling all these impressions filled us up completeley.

Tomorrow we'll use a ferry/cruise boat on the Bosporus to take us north out of the city and towards the Black Sea. After disembarkation we'll only have to cycle some 20 k before we'll reach our next destination, the town of Riva on the Black Sea coast. Stage two of this trip will have started then.
Below: View from Galata bridge and Water pipe ladies.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gallipoli battlefields

Gallipoli battlefields

WW I is not much thought of in the Netherlands. No wonder, as a neutral power we didn't participate. Not that it passed unnoticed: we took in over 100.000 Belgian refugees on a population of just over 6 million. (Compare such generosity with todays!). If WW I is mentioned in the Netherlands it always concerns the battles in Belgium and northern France. Understandable, as the massacres there were of an unspeakable nature.
Travelling through Australia two years ago we could not but notice that there views on things are different. ANZAC is a notion that has great meaning for the Australian national identity.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Armed Corps. This was a combined expeditionary force of the two then very new countries that was the first to be sent abroad in order to participate in a conflict elsewhere in the world and therewith proof that these countries, as young as they were, claimed their position in the world community.

Disaster. In April 1915 ANZAC was put into action on Gallipoli, the peninsula that dominates the Dardenelles straits and as such the sea route to Istanbul and the Black Sea. The idea of this British/French initiative was to capture Istanbul and thus put Turkey (ally of Germany and Austria) out of the war and be able to supply the Russian ally with arms and goods. The campaign lasted for 8 months, only to end in a retreat and no achievement what so ever. 500.000 men were involved, 150.000 killed. Mostly Turks,then British, French, Australians, New Zealanders and Indian.
Today we visited the sites of the landings and battlefields and the numerous memorials. Also for the Turks this period of war is still felt of immense importance, as the commander of the Turk forces then was a young officer called Mustafa Kemal, who presented himself here as a great leader and who only a few years later founded the modern new Turkish state. Now he is considered the father of all Turks: Kemal Atatürk.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Darius, Xerxes, Alexander and us....

From Halkidiki we headed eastward. Somewhere on our way we left the region of Macedonia to enter into the region of Thrace. This is a region that strechtes out in three states, Greece in the west, Bulgaria in the north, and Turkey in the east. It has always been the passage way between the Asian east and the European west and thus a region where cultures met and mingled. On our way east we gradually saw the influence of islam become visible, more east means more mosques and more veiled women, also in this part of Greece.

In ancient times Persian kings named Darius and Xerxes passed through here on their way westward, and later Alexander the Great left Makedonia through here on his conquers towards the far east. About 120 BC the Roman consul Egnatia had the route surfaced and turned into a real road, therefore the name: Via Egnatia. And today the two of us use the same road on our venture to the east. So we are certainly not the first travellers to pass through here and use this pavement, we feel in good company (though on different means of transport).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Continued with a very particular toast

Yesterday we arrived with a Transavia flight in Thessaloniki. Miraculously we found the bus station for regional Halkidiki-buses. Though the bus driver protested I managed to get the bicycles on board and as a result we found ourselves back in Ierissos two hours later. Ierissos is the place that we cycled away from in the morning of September 13th 2011, only to be stopped by force just eight kilometers further.

Here we were today, at the very same place. Here Eveline was knocked from her bicycle by an oncoming car that used the left side of the road as it was passing another car. Here she was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the hospital in Polygoros and there it was that they found the tumor. 

If there and then there had been no accident........
Therefore we stopped at the exact spot (I knew where it is because the track log of that day stopped there) and, surprise, Eveline presented a small bottle of champagne from her panniers and two plastic glasses. We toasted on life!

As life continues, so does the trip. Today we ended after 83 kilometers in Ofriniou Beach in a nice guesthouse, enjoyed a cold beer, some white wine to accompany the calimari and fried fresh squid.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Next episode

The last 3 years we have done some nice rides; in Australia, South-east Asia and our beloved own continent Europe.
But, as you may know, once there was one ride that was cruelly interrupted. It was September 2011 in Halkidiki, Greece, where Eveline was taken to hospital after a car had hit her. In that hospital a bad disease was found and our plan to ride round the world was completely over. But after that things have turned out wonderfully well, as you may conclude from the first line of this blog entry.
Now we have decided to pick up that 2011-ride again and do this on the exact spot of the accident. So mid May we will fly to Thessaloniki and get public transport to Ierissos. It's our plan to ride eastwards from there for 2 months. We won't stay away from home longer than that as there are certain things that pull us back too much. Like a lovely little granddaughter, for instance.
We will keep reporting via our blogs.