Canterbury to Budapest.

 

(via Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Bratislava) .

 

Our journey so far has taken us across the continent of Europe in an easterly direction, through eight countries as well as passing through each capital city. We simply could not have asked for a better introduction to this adventure. Having had a delicious taste of each and every culture on the way through Europe, we can only be excited for the rest of the journey ahead.

 

We would be lying if we said that at no point in the run up to this journey were we apprehensive, because travelling to new and unknown places (especially by bike) can be intimidating, no matter who you are. However from day one, these apprehensions and worries were shattered, and we haven't looked back.

 

We may only be 1 month into this 10 month saga, but I for one have already had the experience of a lifetime. There have been highs and lows, and without a doubt this will continue. However what will also continue, I'm sure, is the way in which the highs have outweighed the lows in an enormous fashion.

 

The most rewarding and surprising aspect of the trip so far for me has been the outward generosity of strangers along the way. We have been met with nothing but kindness throughout the trip so far, whether it's a warm smile from the side of the road or the offer of a shower or a meal and a bed for the night. The human race really is pretty amazing.

 

Our European leg is nearly over, next we head through the Middle East and into Asia. The adventure continues!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

John

 

Ps. We'd love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Keep up to date on where we are and what we're up to and maybe come and join us for a ride? Inspired by what we're up to, or want to find out a bit more? Stick the kettle on, make a brew and pen an email, you can catch us at thetandemmen@gmail.com. U

The joy of Warmshowers

Now sitting in Germany, just crossing the 4th border yesterday morning, we can't express our gratitude for our newly found community of Warmshowers.

I'm almost certain that you haven't heard of this quirky and comforting corner of the Internet, we sure hadn't before we left. But doing its own thing and staying happy go lucky, Warmshowers offers cycle tourers like us a bed for the night and a shower, maybe even food. And the best bit, but also the slightly daunting part when we first started, is that this is all provided by other cyclists, wanting nothing more than your stories and enjoyment of your company for the evening. 

On a journey where we expect to sleep in our tent for two thirds of its duration, we've been able to find a bed for 7 nights out of 12. A real bonus after a long day in the saddle, often with rain on our backs (Europe really isn't much better than the UK!). 

Host #1 Geert rides with us across the Belguim-Netherlands border. 

Host #1 Geert rides with us across the Belguim-Netherlands border. 

Our gratitude goes to Lisa, Albert, Michel, Sandrine, Baloo, Geert, Maarten, Boris and Kai-Anne, all whom have welcomed us into their homes and given us an insight into hospitality across France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Now onwards with Hannover on the horizon tonight and Berlin by Wednesday. 

 

Here's to Warmshowers.org! 

 

George

 

Ps. We'd love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Keep up to date on where we are and what we're up to and maybe come and join us for a ride? Inspired by what we're up to, or want to find out a bit more? Stick the kettle on, make a brew and pen an email, you can catch us at thetandemmen@gmail.com.

Route Change!

Those of you eagle eyed followers will have noticed we have strayed away from our route on the website. This was a last minute decision to see our dear friends Albert and Lisa in Paris at the start of the trip rather than at the end and thus avoiding too many westerly miles. We are resting today and will set off toward Belgium tomorrow. Hope you are all well! 

 

All the best,

George

Le Grand Départe

What a quite unusual morning yesterday was, the mass ensemble of friends and family wishing us goodbye at the Cathedral gate was staggering, and to top it off, we managed to leave exactly at 10am, lateness is something I specialise in. Thank you to all those who came to say goodbye. I know we didn't get to see everyone, but that wasn't for a lack of trying. 

Setting off. Credit: Pavel Marendzuik

Setting off. Credit: Pavel Marendzuik

 

The ride to Dover was a breeze, knocking 10 minutes off our previous best. The motivation of our escort certainly helped! 

 

Now we sit in a river side restaurant in Amiens, stout gingham clad French gentleman make comments and chuckle to them selves as I tuck into my second course, this cycling lark doesn't half make you hungry. We've been recuperating from an exhausting day, both physically and mentally, we are behind on our target but we were being ambitious. Mind, we haven't done much riding fully laden.

 

Oh, did I mention we slept in a bus stop last night, I've certainly stayed in worse hotels. Clean, sheltered and the sleeping bags were like duck down on our tired bodies. 

 

Night #1 of many. 

Night #1 of many. 

 

Anyway, better let you get on with your evening, 51 miles today was bad for a rest day. We may be in Paris a bit late, but not to worry, we have all the time in the world. 

 

George

 

Ps. We'd love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Keep up to date on where we are and what we're up to and maybe come and join us for a ride? Inspired by what we're up to, or want to find out a bit more? Stick the kettle on, make a brew and pen an email, you can catch us at thetandemmen@gmail.com.