Monday, 30 July 2012

Day 1:

I left Kolvarp just after 8 this morning. Without my luggage!  My mum came to the rescue, driving around solving my phone-charging problem: we can't get the dynamo charger to work, so she's bought 2 little solar-powered chargers (from Clas Olson), so now i'm sorted. Then she drove down to Karlskrona and was waiting with coffee and food when i finally arrived.

It was longer than i thought - ended up cycling 174km. But it was a good ride! I used the GPS map thing on the phone which directed me along all sorts of little roads i would never have found otherwise.

Now we're sitting in the tent, to keep away from the midges (i'm using my mum's laptop). As you can see from the photos we're camping right next to the ferry! So tomorrow morning will be an easy ride.



Sunday, 29 July 2012

6 weeks of cycling

 After going on about it for months and months, it's finally time (almost) to set off on my bike trip: Kolvarp, Sweden to Istanbul, Turkey.
I've gotten lots of help in getting ready - eg my brother and his girlfriend dried vegetables, tofu & beans for me, my mum has been baking, and everyone has put up with me talking about it the whole time.

I've got 6 weeks, starting tomorrow morning.
I leave from a little village called Kolvarp, then take the ferry from Karlskrona to Gdynia in Poland. Then i'll make my way to Kielce, to visit the Design Centrum Kielce for some ceramics. Then into Slovakia, to see if i can find any bears. Then towards Ljubliana in Slovenia, where my friend has promised to put me in touch with an epic accordion player. After that i'll head down the Croatian coast, and then either into Albania and Macedonia, or else go across Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, through Bulgaria and finally into Turkey to Istanbul! Me and my bike fly from there to London on 13th September.
My bike is all ready to go.
It's a good old used steel frame, which Graham from the Vintage Bike Cave built for me, and it's lovely to ride. I was having trouble with neck & shoulder pain, but changed to a taller, shorter stem and that seems to have solved the problem.
I'll be camping in a little one-person tent, and cooking on a little one-person Trangia stove.
I've loaded my phone full of maps, and it has GPS, so i should be able to keep on track. Having some issues with the Nokia DC-14 dynamo-charger kit that i bought (it says it's compatible with all Nokia phones that have a 2mm connection, but with my phone you have to pedal above 30mph for it to start charging, which i won't be doing, unfortunately!), but there might be a solution...
Hopefully i'll be able to post something here along the way, otherwise when i get back to London in September.