A million drops of sweat, 2 million thoughts and 4000km from Portugal to Germany

I arrived! It's been a week since I reached the Cologne Cathedral, my destination. Since then, I went on a little extension around Cologne and have now clicked over the 4000km (4096.6km to be precise). Like a lightning bolt, I roved through Germany. I was welcomed by relentless rain until I reached my old grandparents home; Freiburg. Even if it has been more than half a lifetime since I was playing horses with my sisters in their rose garden, hunting for Easter eggs and my si

How I stuck to the big plan in Switzerland

I made it! Another border that meant crossing a river to get into Switzerland. My #Komoot had kindly looked up a rather off-the-beaten track way to cross the Rhone river, down into the valley along a narrow forest trail, over fallen trees and a small bridge (I recently weighed my pannier bags and realized that my Rove must weigh a good 35kg with all the bags. Lugging that over a small fallen tree is therefore quite the mini-challenge). It is not as if I am actively avoiding t

How I loved cycling through France like a grown-up with monkey minds and elements and all

If my cycling adventure was taking baby steps in Portugal, running wild like a child climbing mountains in Spain, it became a grown up in France. Pretty, flat, long winded cycle paths. Greeting my bonjours to groups playing the 'petanque' or 'boule', elderly couples gallivanting along this and that veloroute for a late summer getaway on their e-bikes and dads taking their sons fishing along the canals - I think it's called 'laissex-faire' in French. Stopping for coffees and c

Crossing France on Croissants and Cheese - like real Superheroes do

The end of my 6th week of cycling marks me touching the Mediterranean (and another flat tire to keep to the truth) - I have come far, 2372km to be precise, away from my home in Portugal. A lot happened in the last few days - I have seen both coasts now, had a mini holiday near Bordeaux, cycled the flat and long canals of France, ate a lot of cheese, baguette and croissants, experienced a tropical thunderstorm and got attacked by ants. I entered France in Hendaye once again pr

And that's a Tortilla aka Spanish Wrap

As I am sipping a Kalimotxo close to the border to France (red wine with Cola; like the Francesinha in Portugal, my tastebuds may not experience it again. It was not only refreshing, apparently it also brings me a step closer to Basque residency, as Aitor says. The only thing missing is throwing a 300kg rock, because apparently that's what people do to pass their time in this part of the world...), I will wrap up my last days in Spain. For the detail lovers among you, I will

How I tried to be curious over judgmental across Asturias and Cantabria

It's been longer than anticipated since I last posted. This was mostly due to my socializing while social distancing over the last few days. I feel like I crossed all the mountains of northern Spain, even though in reality I barely scratched its hilly surface. After I reached Asturias from the rugged and remote Galicia, I found the most wonderful spot near Playa Tauran on top of a cliff overlooking sunset and sunrise. Mixed with a lot of wind and torrential rainfalls, I felt

Another lap around the sun in Galicia

I am 750km into my trip and it is the morning after I turned 40 - one is not supposed to talk about age, but who cares, I am not one for conventions. (I do count and re-count and try to find the mistake though, but there is no way around. I am 40). I still feel almost the same as the day before yesterday, no surprise, just sorer, and that's why I am resting today (by the way, you can see approximate days' journeys on the maps below). Galicia is beautiful. I crossed the border

Wrapping up a 450km through Portugal with Kindness and Appreciation

I am in Caminha now, just across the bay from the Spanish border. I have cycled 450km since the start of my journey in 10 days with 2 days rest. The weather has been almost autumny in the last 3 days - a mixed bag of gusts of wind, sun and rain, which always feels like there is a sense of change in the air to me. The ride from Aveiro to Porto was wonderful; starting with a short ferry ride, I pedaled along a long laguna and through majestic pine forests and wetlands. I stoppe

Obidos to Aveiro - contemplating Freedom during 191km

On a journey like this one, there are many life lessons you can teach yourself, if you listen to your thoughts and let them go wild. That's why I am glad that I have my companion Komoot leading the way and sending me down quiet country roads when possible (on our Monsterhikes in Australia my mate Rowan occupied that job). Today, I cycled across a huge motorway bridge (on the footpath, but still nerve racking) and along a very busy road. I had to be very focused (mainly so I w

The Journey is the Destination

Anyone who made a guess where they would be 5 years from now back in 2015 must have been wrong! My plans for this year (and my life come to think of it) probably changed more than ever before. I was on my way to Portugal for a week-long holiday to visit my friend Robin in his valley. I unexpectedly lost the job I was going to move to Spain for after my holidays, a job I had invested lots of sweat and blood in, which was a huge blow to my confidence. I thought a good alternati