The Alps! I missed you buddies.
After almost one cloudless week, the big orange ball has disappeared. In stead, wet stuff comes falling down from the skies. Not much, but I liked the orange ball better. Ironically, while I should finally be able to see the snow covered summits of the Alps, grey rainclouds are blocking the view.
Currently I’m in the beautifull town of Zürich, sitting on the stairs of the Opera, dry and comfy. Navigating here was inconvenient since missing an exit means entering another valley, which means cycling back. Mostly uphill. Besides snapping my iPhone charge cable (during an evasive manouver in which I ‘saved’ a dogs life by not running over him) not much has happened:
wake up > cycle > have breakfast > cycle > lunch > cycle > dinner > look for a sleeping spot > sleep.
About camping in the wild; I’m getting better at it. Finding the perfect spot feels like a combination of art and luck. Also, It’s interesting to experience the mood-transition concerning ‘sounds at night’. During the first night, each so
und startled me. Now: “Yes, animals do live in woods and yes the do make sounds at night. Come on, It’s Europe, what are they going to do? Cuddle me to death?” It’s also great to find out that those horror/monster-sounds are just deer, looking for, uhm, love. I should however be aware of these bastards:
Although cycling the world can be seen as the ultimate form of freedom, the sense of liberation gets constantly disrupted by the fact I brought so many gadgets. Gadgets in dire need of electricity. I’m charging my equipment using a SON hub dynamy and The Plug III by Supernova. Great stuff, but a typical day looks as follows:
“Ok, my phone is a 100% great, time to charge my IPad… Damn a long and steep climb, my IPad doesn’t charge below 17km/h, better plug in my camera. Hmm, It’s getting steeper, better unplug the camera. Hurray, the top! Oh no, I forgot to put my phone on airplane mode AND is was still being used for navigation (which drains batteries by the way), betting plug my phone back in. Hey, why did the music stop playing? Oh, that’s why”
Also, It’s 2015, I’m able to update a website using a device which looks like a cutting board, edit photos, navigate my way to china, etc. etc. Finding free/unlimited Wifi however? That’s much harder than I thought. Most free Wifi hotspots are limited to only one hour whith sluggisch upload speeds. Uploading photos already takes up to 15 minutes, updating the website 10 minutes, checking the route, 10 minutes… Not much time left for seeing cats playing keyboard I must say. Hopefully, in a couple of years, this Wifi-issue will be a non-issue.
Yesterday, an old, and if I say old I mean old-old, French lady came up to me:
Lady: “Young man, you look tired, here, take a banana”
Me: “Thank you, that’s very kind of you”
Lady: “Where is the trip heading?”
Me: “To, well, uhm… China”
Lady: “Well, you better take two bananas”
That’s the story of how I got two bananas.
I keep amazing myself by the fact that a bit of food, water and some rest can get you to cycling. Hours and hours in a row. Although It might be a mind thing as well. Masochism you might call it.
“Ok, I’ll have lunch at the next bench”
“Hey a bench”
“No, too much shadow”
“Hey, another one”
“No, too noisy next to the highway”
“Hey, they weather is changing, I hear thunder… Oh, It’s my stomach.
Three hours later I’m having lunch at an IKEA parking. Same thing goes for tying your shoe laces, getting food and going to the bathroom. Postponing conveniences in order to suffer a bit longer. People are strange creatures.
One more thing.
Ways to blow your daily budget:
Step 1: visit Switzerland
Step 2.1: spend money in Switzerland
Step 2.2: break your IPhone cable in Switzerland
While you read this I’m on my way to the enormous country of Liechtenstein.
Keep you posted.