Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fusch (Grossglockner)

What a great day! It was entirely centred around the Grosshlockner Alpine road, which I spent the majority of the day struggling to get up and the remains as the Sun was getting low zooming down the other side.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


When I was doing the planning for this holiday I sketched the route on maps that I had. I looked for roads that took me over passes, the higher the better. Today's stretch looked to be an intermediate day, at the end of the grand Italian Alps I didn't look too closely at clues that would have suggested that it would be a bit more difficult than that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The great Dolomite climbs were now over. The last one didn't break the forest cover and the ones coming up, at least within Italy were all lower. Though as I was to find later in the day, this didn't make them easy.

As I dropped down I began wishing that I'd finished rather than started the tour with the climbs of the previous two days. With a famous cyclosportif taking them all every July I think I have an excuse to come back.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Passo di Tre Croci

The weather was perfect this morning. The thunder and rain of last night had come and gone leaving hardly a cloud behind. What was an inability to continue last night in the morning was endowed the virtue of precience. I would have felt an idiot to be sitting at the bottom of the pass missing the view.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Passo Pordoi

I cycled over all the passes of the Sella ring; Passo di Sella, Passo di Gardena, Passo di Campolongo and Passo Pordoi. I am so beat! I cracked half way through the last climb and needed to take 30 minutes out to digest some glucose and convince myself not to give up and drop down to Arraba. I'm glad that I did.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Alpi di Siusi

Finally all the preparation is getting close to be worthwhile. The contents of small piles of equipment and clothes that I'd making, creating shortlists, began to stabilise. Was such and such a thing really necessary? Two or three changes of cycling clothing? Bib shorts or normal ones?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A walk through Luxembourg

Ascension is a public holiday in the Netherlands. Being on a Thursday I got the Friday off as a bridge day. Four days off, it was too good to miss. With a forecast of wonderful weather what more could we want? We decided to go walking so took a train on Wednesday afternoon to Luxembourg.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Halong Bay

We purchased a 2-day tour to visit the World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, a couple of hours drive to the East of Hanoi.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The train rolled into Hanoi central station at before 5am. As it approached the station the guard went through the carriages banging on the cabin doors.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Night Train to Hanoi

We were originally going to stay 2 nights in Sapa and spend a day hiking. When we got up the weather looked as if it was going to be miserable so we decided to leave earlier.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


It had rained quite heavily during the night. The main street of Pa So was nothing but fine red dust when we arrived and we'd expected to find it to have turned into a sea of mud.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Muong Lay

We didn't sleep too well. The dogs that were roaming the streets of the town the previous night were making a pain of themselves by having barking duels.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Muong Cha

The guesthouse didn't serve breakfast so we went to the town market, just across the road.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dien Bien Phu

Today represented a bit of a moment of truth. Freddie's back was feeling as bad as ever since the pain began.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Muang Khua

We got up with a sense that we wanted to go on but were worried about where this would lead us.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Muang Ngoi Neua

After a night of trying to ignore snoring to wake the dead and on a mattress of monastic hardness we got up to a lovely morning with a nice view from the bungalow balcony. The guesthouse may have been basic but it occupied a nice spot.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nong Khiaw

We stayed in a ricketty old bungalow above by the bridge across the Nam Ou with a nice view over the river. The beds were rock hard and it was best not to look too closely at the sheets but it was cheap, 50,000 kip.
N 20'34.213 E 102'37.024
80km - 4 hrs 34 mins - 17.5km/hrs avg

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Between Luang Prabang and Pakmong

We got up early in the morning in order to see the giving of alms to the monks that happened just after dawn. Every morning all the monks and novices at all of Luang Prabang's 32 temples walk in lines along the main street and people put offerings of food into alms bowls that the monks and novices hold.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Luang Prabang

The Sun sort of came up this morning but was never particularly visible. At 10am when we left it was a red orb squinting through the thick haze. Visibility was no more than a couple of hundred metres.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pak Beng

We'd been told by the guesthouse owner that his "nephew" would be picking us up at around 9am. The romantic in me believed this. Once he dropped us off at the pier we realised it was pure business, a production line and we were just raw materials. Bargaining for the price for the bike was without the humour that we had come to expect when discussing the price of things. No doubt like many others we were glad to see the back of him.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Houay Xai

We left our expensive digs and shortly arrived in Chiang Saen. The town was quite interesting with remains of brick walls and some ruined temples scattered around. We were keen to arrive at the Mekong port of Chiang Kong.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chiang Saen

In the morning we were picked up by a driver and taken to another guesthouse where we were expecting to pick up another couple who were also taking a boat downstream but were going up to a local Karin village before.


In the morning we watched the adventure tourist crowd arrive for breakfast, with their cowboy hats on all ready for what their driver and guide would gently place in front of them for their pleasure.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

North of Chiang Dao

Unfortunately the guesthouse didn't serve breakfast and we couldn't see anything around that might so we headed to our first destination of the day, the Chiang Dao cave.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chiang Dao

On the 3rd morning we headed North out of Chiang Mai. After the third time that the chain came off I suspected that something was wrong.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai in the afternoon, not really knowing what to expect.