After a year working in Oman, which was fantastic, it is time to move on and to embark on another adventure. We are riding home (to Spain). From the UAE. Or rather, we start by cheating already and taking a ferry to Iran, so I guess technically we start from there.
On this blog, which has been my tiny unread corner of the internet for some time, I may or may not post irregular updates about our progress.
Meet the cyclists
Useful contributions: A healthy dose of OCD – the only one with actual cycling experience – can fix a puncture most of the time – functions really well on biscuits and chocolate.
Carries with her: Tools that she doesn’t know how to use (yet) – stowaway childhood stuffed toy that wasn’t supposed to come along – a 500gr notebook which Antonio doesn’t approve of – fountain pens – too many clothes.
Often heard saying: “I need icecream” (Or coffee. Or chocolate).
Biggest challenge: No coffee.
Useful contributions: A healthy dose of food snobbery – statistical mastermind – the only one that keeps his cool when Rose’s navigational skills turn out to be not actually that great – actually likes social interaction.
Carries with him: Two stoves – a bottle of special olive oil – no beard trimmer – not enough underwear – not a single pair of working glasses – a lightweight notebook with temperature charts.
Often heard saying: “My beard keeps me warm”
Biggest challenge: convincing authorities that he is not a terrorist.
Meet the bikes
Rose is riding a Santos Travelmaster 2.6, dating from 2005 or 2006. Aluminium frame, 26 inch wheels. Little clue about the rest.
Antonio is riding a Koga Miyata World Traveller dating from 2000 or 2001. Aluminium frame, 28 inch wheels. Little clue about the rest, except that the bike has been used for grocery shopping despite being built as a touring bike and probably can’t wait to explore the rest of the world.
Both bikes are hand-built frames from the Netherlands (where else?) and arrived in Dubai by airplane (thanks Scotty for giving them a lift!).
No matter how much advance planning is involved, this is always subject to change. The biggest change to our route was in the Balkans: We’d follow the minor roads through Bosnia and Northern Croatia instead of the Croatian coast as we originally planned, to avoid the summer holiday crowds. This plan went down the drain too; Antonio hurt his back and we ended up taking the bus and train instead. Such is life.
Below is a zoomable map of the route we actually took, colorcoded so you can see how much we cheated and what terrible cyclists we are. Blue is for cycling. Red is for public transportation. Black is for ferries.