Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Homecoming

As I sit writing now in a suburb of South London, I wonder if I simply dreamed the last three years of my life. Did I really cycle all the way around the world? Now I’ve returned to ‘normality’ it seems odd to think that my journey really happened. Odder still is to gaze at a map of the world and track my slow, exhausting route round the planet. Yet if I do stop for a moment and begin to recall the journey, perhaps recognizing a place name on the map, my mind is quickly flooded with glut of memories. Vivid recollections are conjured of incredible people, amazing places and great experiences. Memories so rich, they will remain with me forever and instantly bring a smile to my face and a glow of pride.

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Return to Europe

My head was swimming. Having not slept in 24 hours I was unable to think clearly. In my sleep deprived state it took a couple of hours to build my bike in Madrid’s sterile airport. With the price for a cab set at thirty Euro’s I was happy to take my time, However I was dreading the ride into the city center. The thought of rush hour in Spain’s capital made my numb brain anxious. So I was both surprised and pleased to find the city’s streets peaceful and quiet. Not for a lack of people but simply because it was so much calmer and more organised than the hectic roads of South America which I was used to.
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End of the Road

Outside of Colombia people look puzzled if you talk about ‘La Linea’. However if you mention these two words to any Colombian a knowing look forms on their face. If you then explain you plan to cycle this road on a heavily laden bicycle, their eyes begin to bulge. The reason for this is simple; on a 30 mile stretch of road you need to climb more than 3,000 meters. On average that’s a gradient of 10% (for every 10 meters cycled you gain 1 meter in elevation).
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Off Like A Rocket

I set off from Lima like a rocket. Now under a time constraint to get back to Europe for my brother’s wedding I took the flat coastal route rather than climbing over the Andean peaks of Peru. Manuel – a friend of a friend and cycling fanatic – guided me safely out of Lima after stops to visit both his sisters and his mum (all of which included photo sessions)!
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Blown Away by Patagonia

It seems ridiculous to write this but I underestimated how difficult cycling through Patagonia would be but then I was also surprised its charm. A place of stark contradictions; Patagonia is often exceptionally beautiful and brutal at the same time. Perhaps underestimated is the wrong word, I simply didn’t consider how tough this remote wilderness would be and was unprepared for its particular challenges.
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It’s Not About The Bike

Emotions were mixed crossing the line in Sydney. Having imagined this moment a thousand different ways over the course of two years it could never live up to my expectations. It felt great to complete this monumental goal but the earth did not move and I was left feeling strangely numb. Mostly I was sad that this part of the adventure had come to an end. Read the rest of this entry »