Dear supporters and friends and everyone else
We are happy to announce that we finally forwarded all the money, you all kindly forwarded towards our charity for Nadjeshda and Manas in Kyrgystan.
We are proud having collected more than 1000€!!!!
Thank you all for donating so gratefully.
**************A BIG CHEER FOR EVERYONE************
By the way, I really have no idea how many people read this blog but stay posted it might come a continuation…
You never know but strong calves like to stay strong and fit.
Goodnight from Hannover
As we promised the big tour report. !!!
Read it, enjoy it, think about it…
We would love to hear how you liked it
Show your appreciation by donating towards the projects in Kyrgystan! :)
The big reunion of the team on the sunny Sunday afternoon of the 24th July was celebrated with chocolate pudding. While Salome was preparing the last few things for the coming week, packing again, having a shower, making a laundry, cooling the Belgium beer for the dinner and update the blog a last time before the departure, Julia went upstairs for a nap to be ready for the night ride.
Night and day one: 24th/ 25thJuly, 23.40-20.00h,
We met for the very last dinner in Brixton’s cute Thai Restaurant Kaosarn with
some of the ABH folks and some other friends, enjoyed loads of delicious curry, Belgium beers and even backed bananas. And as it was the last evening and we needed some physical support for a long night we headed for a few drinks to the next pub. Thanks to all for coming, it was a merry evening!!! Exactly at 23:40 we said goodbye to London and friends and set off towards the South coast. Next stop Newhaven ferry port, which is direction Brighton, approximately 90km.
It was an impressive ride through the night. We passed wide fields and wooden
areas above us many, many stars! Mostly totally quiet, as we avoided the big main road and tried to find our way on little streets of Sussex. Fog around us…It was cold and very dark and we felt quite lucky to be together as it really seemed a bit crazy, cycling through the deep dark night in the nowhere… But nothing too crazy! When we came to the point where our map ended, approximately half way of our route, we took a coffee break at a petrol station at around 4am and took some notes from the maps they sold to make sure we got where we wanted to get.
Warmed up a bit and feeling stronger we headed off towards dawn and the sea. On
our way through the English countryside, we passed lovely villages with old churches while the sun was rising. A bit up and down, then nearly there, 10 km ahead us the first puncture. No worries and quickly repaired.
At 7am we reached our goal. Newhaven port, here we are! Tickets were bought soon and at 8.30 it was called cast off!
We waved a last time to say Goodbye to England, then finally caught some sleep. At 13.30 and 4 hours of napping we arrived at Dieppe on the French mainland. Lunch and coffee gave us energy to keep going towards Neufchatel-en-Bray, a small village where we late-night, luckily and by accident found our host Nicolas or rather he found us. Walking his dog, we caught sight of him and after wandering around without finding any tempting place to sleep (we had two options so far: wooden bench or church entrance) he kindly offered us accommodation. Amazing to have a bed and a shower!! And great to meet so helpful folk!!
in the dark nightsomewhere in the nowhere
à Dieppe in France
Not London anymore, promised! Beauvais in France
Day two: 8.30-24.30,
Started at 8am after a little breakfast with Nicolas. We really appreciated his biscuits and his tissues (they really helped us to beat running noses!! both a bit shaky: Salome’s nose was running like a waterfall and my voice suddenly disappeared) Then, we cycled, cycled, cycled… It was always a pleasure to head towards the next market or French bakery for picnic. Due to a very busy route, we decided to cycle that part by late evening and at 12 pm we arrived in Meaux. And again: where to sleep?? We were looking for a place for over an hour, checked out a playground as well as a Mc Donald’s play tower. At some point after we realised we didn’t fit into that bloody tower, it was finish with my patience and I got angry, whereas Salome just got on with it and looked for another place… (something to add: Salome = unbelievable! It was like she swallowed some kind of motor, which made us go on and on and on. No moaning from her just a lot of energy, patience with me and my sore bum and a bubbling happiness around her and her bike! amazing!! I’m a fan of you!) Finally we ended up under some wooden restaurant furniture in the middle of a square. Very narrow, but we both fitted in that space somehow… After settling in we suddenly got aware of the police, who spotted us due to the CCTV-camera which was installed right above our sleeping place. After a little chat they said good night and in case of any suspicious issues they advised us to wave into their camera for asking them to help. It was an unforgettable but good night, bit cold and hard though, as we didn’t have mattresses with us.
the hidden shelter
Day three: 11.30-18.30,
I need biker pants!!! Sore bum cheeks! Navigation towards the next biker shop. Pants on and go!! That day was a fight; and the day of solving problems.
Nothing is for free. An aweful road, drizzling rain, briefly (and literally) a pain in the ass. Firstly we had to find our way around Disney Land through the suburb of Paris. It was pretty tempting to take a day off for seeing Paris, nevertheless we resisted and kept going. It was like an endless ride, on an endless road with too many trucks and prostitutes on the roadside. We were called “malade” (insane) by a very furious service station keeper Lady for causing noise: very tired and desperate in need for food we stopped at the tiny service station where we found a snack vending machine, which was to be said not in working order. Soon enough Julia found the missing plug , quickly we threw some coins in and got a pack of two delicious biscuits each. Unfortunately the machine really caused noise and suddenly started crying like a hit pig, what made the Lady shout! Uuuu. Goooooooooooo!
For the night we ended up in the lounge off the friendly railway staff from Provins, two funny, always giggling guys,who offered us a goodnight coffee. Salome spent the night hard core on the stone floor, whereas I took the table. It may sound strange, but when you are really tired, you sleep well under nearly any circumstances!
the snack pirate
and the treasure box
Day four: 9.30-22.30,
Woken up by the new shift at Provins train station, we packed our stuff and
discussed the route for day four. Final stop: Chaumont where we were expected
by a couch surfing host. 170 km to go… sounds like a very hard day. We decided to try
it and to make it at least to Bar-sur-Aube, which was 135km away from where we
were at that moment. Off we went. We cycled and pedalled and rolled and fought
and just kept going. Sore asses are not fun, slightly also me (Salome) had to feel it. The road: impression of endlessness: straight. Very straight. too straight. The motto for today: don’t think teeth tight together and keep on going. Finally, at around 8 o’clock we reached Bar-sur-Aube. We were done and the threshold of pain was beyond me (Julia). As expected we had to take measures, which was not easy but in the end a wise solution. We decided to split up for the last 40km to Chaumont. Julia’s bum and herself plus the bike went towards the train station, whereas Salome really wanted to take the challenge of another 40km in the evening sun towards Chaumont. After a lovely ride hill up and down, passing many champagne wine yards and the Charles de Gaulle Monument Salome found the much awaited sleeping place in Chaumont. The big surprise: Julia hadn’t arrived yet! Due to a not very frequent train service, I (Julia) had to wait at the station for 2 hours and in the end got picked up by Salome and Fabian (our couch surfing host). Then after a shower and a laundry-session we fell asleep immediately on a big, soft mattress. It was like in heaven!!
legs and bags
Day five: 10.00-20.00
Chaumont to Vesoul. Starting the day with fresh, French “petit-pains au chocolat” which gave us the energy and goodwill for the second last day. Although the bike pants were very appreciated, a walk to the chemistry was necessary! It was really worse now, so that Julia had to buy some extra large plasters. A pretending shopping session to make use of the changing rooms followed, where Salome stuck on plasters on sore and open parts of skin. Mission completed and we were ready for Vesoul. On our way we passed a market at the little village Langers, where we luckily run into the weekly market where loads of local stuff was traded. Of course, we couldn’t resist and bought a yummy picnic. Roast chicken, olives, fresh carrots, apples and pears, pastry and not to forget the traditional baguette. After pedal a while, we spotted a tempting lake and Salome had the hilarious idea to take a refreshment. Nevertheless, it was forbidden to swim and there was no possibility to enter the water. But by wandering along the water and some raspberry bushes suddenly Salome’s tyre lost all its air: second puncture! After fixing the whole we kept going on. Soon the third puncture! Already used to it we quickly changed the tube. Then finally towards Vesoul, pretty relaxed and happy that the day was going to be finished.
And again we were looking for a place to sleep, chatting a bit with the railway station’s gatekeeper didn’t help at all and we had to look out for another place. Wandering around in the centre of Vesoul wasn’t very successful even. We got some suspicious offers such as “hey girls, I’ll take a room for all three of us…” or “Do you need a place to sleep? We’ll you are welcome to share bed with me…”, No thanks! Therefore, we did not want to take advantage from this sort of offers, so we finally ended up on a bench in front of the railway station.
I love bike pants!a puncturea puncture
Woken up by spotting a hand taking a plastic bag, we left under our sleeping bench, we suddenly were wide awake and caught sight of a guy slowly walking away. It didn’t matter for us, as we realised that in the bag was only the old spare tube. A few minutes later the guy came back explaining that he couldn’t make use of that stuff. Well, rather surprising was the fact that a few seconds later another guy brought Salome’s very old, dirty and smelly shoes… Cheers.!!! The two rough sleepers felt really sorry for stealing the ladies stuff and apologised! Good for us, but we couldn’t be bothered to give them the coins, they asked for, nor did we accept the proposal to marry them.
In order to get our daily amount of coffee, which was really needed the longer
we were on tour and the more kilometers we cycled, we headed for a bakery+coffee. Then we rolled towards Belfort. A very hot and sunny day. Exhausting. After late lunch we got a shocking surprise:not as assumed the lastish 30km towards Basel but another bloody 60km… Well, we recovered and kept cycling as usual! The pain in the ass was getting worse and we felt more tired than ever. Hills non stop, down up and down, and up again. Endless, whenever we thought having reached the top it went down and up the same again. This were the Vosges, a pleasure to meet. Altkirch, hill, hill, hill (note for the English: hill=mountain), St. Louis, Bâle!