Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Off to Europe again!

I guess I don't really need an excuse for a cycle trip - but I managed to find one this time!   My Scottish friend Julie has 3 weddings (across 3 consecutive weekends) in Scotland in April - so I suggested perhaps she would like to go for a bike ride in Europe afterwards....

Less than 3 weeks until we start!  Julie doesn't have a bike - yet.   She's picking it up from a bike shop in Scotland; saving lugging a bike on a longhaul flight (the logistics of taking from New Zealand a bicycle AND 2 bridesmaids dresses with matching shoes is a bit much).  As usual, training has consisted of drinking cups of tea, perusing bike shops (and buying impulsively), online shopping (thanks Ground Effect), gardening, and the occasional mountain bike ride.  I'll be really stretching my minimalism packing for this trip - I'm allowed 20kg check-in and 7kg carry-on.  My bike alone weighs 16kg...  that leaves me with 11kg for everything else.

The plan at this stage is to meet at Heathrow on April 19th and fly into Bilbao, Northern Spain.  We will set off west along the Camino de Santiago pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostello; hit the coast then head back east along the coast to France.  That should take about a month.  From there I am hopeful the temperatures will have increased enough to cycle through some of the Alps (Pyrenees).  We will continue East in search of mountain passes (Julie doesn't really realise what she's in for); finishing perhaps at the Swiss border in Geneva.