Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Moving on...

Bike and body felt top after the rest day, the weather was cooler too, all of which made the day more pleasurable. I swapped my shirt for my thermal baselayer, turns out to be much more comfortable when I'm pissing sweat. The roads were reasonably flat, even still I decided to stop in Saverne rather than pushing on to Strasbourg. On the way into I decend through some great switchbacks that are lots of fun. The campsite was right at the top of the town and required quite a climb before I could rest my bones. I don't mind that - being quite a fan of the "gotta earn it" mentality. As I climb out of the town I notice some very angry clouds fast approaching. I ask them to hold off for another 10 minutes until I reach the site, and to my suprise they do. I shelter in a bus stop for half an hour then don the raincoat and approach the owner to sort my pitch.

My first rainy tent setup went well - I managed to keep the wet out! The rain abates and I get on with dinner. During which Dexter(slight translation) wonders over to say hello. He's in his middle years and from Holland, and speak excellent English. He saw me in Verdun two days ago and is impressed with my speed - that makes one of us! He has a recumbent trike and is putting it through it's paces for a European tour next year. I have a play on it, it's great fun, a very different feel to my own touring steed. He has toured the Middle East extensively so we talk for some time about Iran. Most people I talk to say "Iran...really?" Dexter was much more enthusiastic, telling me about places that I simply have to go and see, and stories of immense hospitality. He tell me about a poem from holland (that I will post if I find it), the moral of the poem is - if you have only one day left to life, go and do so in Esfahan. With renued enthusiasm for Iran and the trip I sleep well.

Distance 68km

I say farewell to Dexter and I'm on the road by 9:30. I struggle to find the canal route out of town so I'm on the roads for 20k's or so. I dont protest too much as I know this guarantee's my cake break, a habit I'm becoming quite attached to! I sacrifce an hour or so thrying to find the canal path, but the flatness that it brings is worth it and I storm along. I chat with a french girl while I take a water break just outside the city. She's very friendly and gives me directiuons to the Youth Hostel, which turns out to be just off the cycle path. At 35 Euros I opt for the campsite - tightarse that I am. I get the tent sorted and grab lunch then head into town to explore.

Turns out Saturday is market day - the place is carnage! Many of the streets are closed to traffic and filled with stalls selling all manner of goods. I wander round for some time but a market is no place for me and my penny pinching ways. I head for the Tourist info Office, get my bearings and then explore with purpose, stopping at an internet cafe to do some updating. I head to a bar for beer that is very like Hoegaarden. The square I'm in is filled with bars and restaurants, I figure I'm far enough away from the tourist trap of the Cathedral to not get ripped off and so I have my first hot meal in days! I write my journel with warm food and cold beer - delish!

Distance 70km

I have a sightseeing day as Strasbourg has plenty to see. The architecture is brilliant, and I spend the day getting lost down tiny alley ways searching out the good places to eat etc. I spend ages in the interent cafe until my head feels like its wants to explode then go coffee and cake hunting. I detect I slight apprenhension about going to Germany, I think I'm just starting to get comfortable in France. But then, the purpose of this trip is not to be comfortable and confidant in my surroundings, infact it's pretty much the opposite. I find a cheap pizza place and head back to camp for an early night. Germany beckons me forth....

Distance 11km (sightseeing)


  1. I am getting the impression that by end of this, there are several things I might want to do that I could never have imagined wanting to do - visit Iran being one of them???? Next installment please ....

  2. Hi James it's Danielle :) Hope you are well xxx I am liking your blog it sounds like you are having a great time sooo jealous. Take care.

    Hi James its Matt now : Looks like your having too much fun dude ! Makes me wanna get the bike out and join you !! If i had the cash a flight and a few days on the 2 wheeled horse would be brilliant we will have to do some English adventures when you get back !!

    Iran sounds terrible i still think you will get bummed by a group of hairy arabic speaking men who DONT give reach arounds !!!

    Dude am loving the term "Wild Poo" Im going to have to try this on my next route round the peak district :) !! Sounds good that your not the only guy out there doing this !

    Keep the blogs coming m8 am promoting them to all my facebook friends so keep it up !!

    Have a cake for me at your next stop !!! :D !!

  3. Iran is great :) They have a saying "Esfanhan is half the world" - OK, that's overstating it, but you should make it a target, though I reckon it's a little too far off your route. The people are THE most friendly anywhere (and they are NOT Arabs, Matt, apart from a few on the south coast!). The driving is some of the worst in the world - at least in the cities - so be careful, and I don't fancy the climb over the border from Turkey...

    It's very cheap mind, and you'll find plenty of people who speak English there.

    Take it easy (not sure that's exactly what you'll be doing),


  4. Just spent a good 25 minutes reading your blog mate. Ive gotta say it leaves you wanting more and yes, quilted toilet paper is a MUST!

    Keep cruisin.


  5. Again a great installment Dude.

    Cant Wait to come out and crash your party, been riding the last two days so I can keep up!

    Happy riding.


  6. Dexter 'speak' good English, did you ask him 'How shteel is made?'

  7. Dude im loving this, who ever knew u could write! mayb it should be a new profession upon ur return. I agree with thomas for once in my life that quilted is a must.

    Im sure you will find that the germans are a lot less hospitable than the french. Looking forward to the next installment. Good work buddy, keep it up x

  8. Loving to read about the journey so far... and just 2 weeks in you have almost been attacked by a neo-nazi, wow! Laura & I have been to 'Baden Baden' which you are very close to. Take Care, keep lovin those jam sandwiches!!


  9. Lol love the way someone tried to be politically correct and tell me they weren't Arabs when clearly i said that they spoke Arabic which is a language not a place ! If we are been completely geographically correct "Iran sounds terrible i still think you will get bummed by a group of hairy PERSIAN speaking men who DONT give reach arounds !!! "

    Its such a nice place that they still today practice some of the most barbaric methods of execution. No wonder the people are nice they shit scared of stepping out of line !! :)