It is nearly 2 years since our ride from Athens to Nice. Our legs and our bottoms have forgotten how far it was but we can still remember the great people we met, the wonderful scenery and the sense of accomplishment. So we are going to try another one. But this is a little different.
- It is quite a bit longer than we have tried so far.
- We don’t have a fixed end date
- We are not doing it on our own.
When we acquired Stephan in 1990, I could not find any airline willing to sell me a ticket from Bucharest to London, (because I did not quite have an official passport for him at te time). However, Air France did not care, they happily sold me a business class ticket to Paris. Elaine met me there with the car – the plane was only 4 hours late!! and we then drove to Le Havre where we crossed by ferry to Portsmouth (and eventually completed the adoption formalities).
So we decided it would be fun to repeat the trip by bike. After all it is only about 3,000km and when we get thrown out of Europe it may not be so easy to do. Having decided where to go, we realised a) that at least half of the route followed the path of the Danube and b) there is allegedly a well used cycle route which covers the whole length of the river. The bad news is that the guide books all suggest going from West to East because it is (slightly)downhill and mostly because everyone goes that way so you don’t have to avoid so many people. We figured that we were going sufficiently early in the year that traffic would not be a serious problem and any uphill along the Danube would be matched by an equal amount of downhill on the way back to sea level.
We were talking about our plans at a dinner party when (after only one gin and tonic) two friends, John and Sharman Ferguson asked if they could come along with us. It will be different having someone else to bicker with but it will at the very least be interesting.
So we are booked onto a BA flight from Heathrow to Bucharest on 29 April 2017. From what I can see on Google the average hotel in Bucharest is around €50 per night but by diligent searching I have managed to find a 2 bedroom penthouse suite for €230 for our first night. Things can only go downhill (or up the river from there).
We are in Florida at present topping up our tans and have started training – around 10 miles a day along the boardwalk by the beach and I am sure John and Sharman are working equally hard to get into shape back in the UK.
Probably a couple of updates before the end of April but of course daily reports once we get underway.