And just like that, the European leg of Adi & Fabian’s cycling adventure is over. They crossed 12 counties, cycled 12 000 (!!!) kilometres and got a brilliant cycling tan. Eight months of different roads, landscapes and cultures. Still, it was Europe. The real adventure starts now, in Africa, the wildest continent in the world, where basically everything can happen.
In this post I want to go through the best and worst moments of the European Tour and try to grasp what is the next year of cycling going to be all about.
Since we last spoke, you crossed France and Spain. As usual, I would like to ask you about your most remarkable days in these two countries.
We crossed Andorra as well 😉
In France and Spain, we liked the hospitality and the simplicity of the daily life and therefore enjoyed staying with locals a lot. In France, one of our favorite days was visiting the Dune of Pilat, which was just amazing. While visiting the Dunes we met a German couple travelling by car and ended up spending a nice evening together.
As we love mountains, we went hiking in Andorra and we had a blast. The mountain landscapes are just remarkable. Landscapes in Spain were hilly as well and we liked the strenuous climbs. Many times, we had problems to communicate with people and wished to speak some Spanish. I guess we have to get used to this for the next few months anyway.
How was it to cycle through the Pyrenees? Can you share with us your favourite landscapes and moments? And the hardest parts of it. I think you do now qualify to do the Vuelta a España!
It was nice to actually cycle a real mountain pass for a change. We had lots of climbing in previous countries, but it was always up and down and never long ascents. When you climb a mountain pass, to cycle uphill is hard and demands mental strength as well.
However, the downhill is the best part and we really enjoy doing nothing and cycling down with high velocity. The mountains surrounding the roads in the Pyrenees are beautiful and we recommend it to any cyclists. On the other hand, we did not like cycling through the busy roads and towns of Andorra.
During these last 8 months what were the hardest moments to overcome. Is there any decision you regret making? Any lesson which resulted from it?
The hardest moments were the days were we had constant rain and it did not even stop when pitching the tent. Sometimes, we only felt comfortable again, when we got in the sleeping bag inside the dry tent with some good food. There are many small decisions we would make differently and we learnt a lot along the way, but major regrets we don’t have so far.
It’s official: You won’t be in Europe for at least one year. What do you think you’ll miss the most and least about our continent?
Familiar languages, friends and family, good roads and of course chocolate for sure. Daily work stress and concerns about saving enough money for retirement, annoying tourists and fast food we won’t miss that much I guess.
Now, crossing into Africa, and after talking to people who are also cycling there, what are your biggest concerns?
The biggest concerns are regarding visas of Nigeria, Angola and other countries. Additionally, we are not used to some of the climates. Especially, the rainy season around the Equator is going to be challenging for sure. There are diseases we have to be aware of and even take medications for a long time (Malaria). In addition, it will be hard to be surrounded by the poverty and environmental pollution in some areas.
And about my concerns: are you going to be doing wild camping in Africa?! With WILD animals?
Yes, as long as we feel safe and nobody is warning us, we are going to do it.
How much of your budget have you dedicated to bribes in Africa?
Nothing, we have time to wait and hopefully patience 😉
Of course, it is possible that we cannot get around it, but we will try to limit the amounts of bribes.
In two months, where are you expecting to be?
To finish, I’d like you to give us some quick answers. A bit of a throwback to the last 8 months. You can have different answers 😉
One landscape: Scotland (F&A)
One city: Copenhagen (F), Edinburgh (A)
One road: Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park (F), Road between Pozo Alcon and Guadix (A)
One host: Toulouse (A), Nantes (F)
One camping dish: Lasagna with fajita bread instead of pasta slices (F), Pasta with Cheese and Salami pieces (A)
One proper restaurant dish: Seafood in La Rochelle (F, A)
One TV show: We watch movies from time to time: The 12th man (A), Ace Ventura (F)
One thing you are proud of: I still have the reindeer antler from Norway with me (F), To not carry anything useless form Norway to Spain (A)
One thing you still have on your bucket list: North of Scotland (F), Cycle the Norwegian coast (A)
Last moment thought and Bonus Question: where are you going to spend Christmas and New Year’s?
We do not know yet, but chances are quite high that it will be somewhere in the Sahara.
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