Galloway Gravel: part 2

Back in Cornwall as of last night and I’ve completed my compulsory tasks for the day, essentially to eat breakfast, drink coffee, and go ride a bike for a few hours, so as promised here is the part two to the part one of a few days ago; also a… more »

Back on Barra

I’m back on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides for a bit, visiting friends and renewing my acquaintance with this rather wonderful corner of the world. Some folk may remember I spent a summer out here working as a sea kayak guide for local operator Clearwater Paddling (http://www.clearwaterpaddling.com)…. more »

Post-Himalayan Apathy…

It’s always ‘challenging’ returning home after a decent adventure but this time seems to have been, or rather ‘is’, particularly difficult. All I can think about it is the mountains – nothing new there – accompanied by a crippling apathy with respect to what passes for normal life. I’m tired too…… more »

Spiti etc

Other than the 60km asphalt cruise down the valley to Kullu the riding for now is essentially over, I’ll be back in the UK next week. Sadly. I am already missing the peace and solitude of the high mountains despite the luxuries on offer here. As I write I’m in… more »

The Hindustan-Tibet Highway

‘Highway’ is probably being quite generous, for much of it’s length it is little more than a rough dirt track blasted out of the steep mountainsides and ravaged by landslides and rockfalls. It’s brilliant. A number of times rockfalls dropped within 200m of me… it pays to keep moving and… more »

Transitions…

I’m really happy, got my Inner Line Permit. It had been on my mind a little because I kept hearing and reading all sorts of conflicting information regarding the application. As a solo traveller I would not have been able to get the permit from the government offices in Shimla… more »

Jalori La

Before I left home, and knowing there would be some significant stretches of asphalt, I did have a few brief doubts about whether the Surly ECR was the best tool for this journey… The Jalori La dispelled any remaining doubt about that, from the north side its final 15km or… more »

On the road again (again)

It’s taken me 12 years to return to this part of the world on my bike mainly because of the journey to get here, it’s not a long flight, about 9hrs, but it’s followed by a 14-15hr drive (overnight bus or taxi) from Delhi on some terrible roads to reach… more »

Five Photos, #5

Here we are, last one… no reason in particular for choosing this one.. I could have picked any number of street, travel or otherwise flavoured pics… but this evening I’m of a mind for mountains and I like this pic and have happy memories of that trip… Mountains are ace… more »

Archanes etc

I could quite happily have spent a week on the Lasithi Plateau… however with a flight on Wednesday it seemed like quite a good idea to arrive back in Heraklion (or rather the western beach suburb of Amoudara) on Tuesday afternoon leaving time for packing bikes, enjoying a post-ride beer… more »

Lasithi

After 9 days of riding without a break a rest day was in order…I’m lucky in that the temperatures have to be to closer to 40 degrees before I’m affected too much but even so the relentless climbing was beginning to take a toll. I would have liked one last… more »

To the east…

It’s warm… as I rolled up my tarp at 8am this morning on the little patch of sand on which we spent the night my thermometer was already showing 30 degs C… and by 2pm this afternoon it was above 34 degs in the shade… about 10 degs warmer than… more »

Closing the loop…

Arrival back into Marrakech was something of an anti-climax after the truly fantastic riding of the last 8 days or so, since my last update in fact… I arrived back into the madness of the Djemaa el Fna, chugged a couple of glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice from one… more »

via Tizi n’Tazazert…

It was a very definite sense of deja-vu. Not the first time I’d found myself sat by a fire beneath a wonderful starscape on a cold night on top of a mountain sharing a meal with a friendly Berber. That previous time, a few years ago, it was on top… more »

Agdz

The instinct is always to keep pushing on when travelling by bicycle, but aside from the need to rest from time to time it is always good for me to occasionally stop for a bit longer. I stopped here in Agdz for an extra day, in part because yesterday, with… more »

A head full of couscous

I’m not one of those lucky folk that is just ace with languages and that can switch effortlessly from language to language, rather I have to work hard to make a language stick and need to use it frequently to be even remotely  comfortable with it, although stuff does come… more »

When maps go wrong…

I’m resting up for a day in a dusty town on the edge of the desert called Aoulouz after a somewhat challenging day… my legs are toast and the temperatures here are in the mid to high 30’s still, despite winter being just around the corner… but more of that… more »

Eskişehir… the end of my road

It is only 140km from Afyon to Eskişehir but it is very much a journey that needs to be taken slowly over 2 days and savoured.. and it is worth a decent post here… it was a wonderful ride. There are plenty of reasons and opportunities to dawdle from enjoying the… more »

apples to Afyon

The weather was perfect leaving Eğirdir… not a breath of wind, clear sky and chilly enough to need a jacket. The wind did pick up a little later from the north, so a headwind, but no more than a force 3 and thus didn’t detract at all from what turned… more »

Eğirdir etc

If a backpacker says that a place is not worth visiting because there ‘is nothing to do there’ it can generally be assumed that the opposite is true. Such is the case with Eğirdir (pronounced ‘E-irdir’)… I have really enjoyed my couple of days here. Yesterday was my first proper… more »

Extremes…

Hard to believe it is just a few days ago that  I was sweating.. I mistyped as swearing but on reflection that too… at something like 35 degs C… and now putting up with temperatures more than 40 degs colder.. but more on that in a mo… Despite the cold… more »

not really a rainforest kind of a guy

“What next?“.. it is a question I am hearing with increasing frequency from friends and ex-colleagues.. Of course I know full well that what they really mean is “when are you going to stop messing about and get a proper job?” words that have followed me ever since one very… more »

more island stuff…

“You anything to do with the sea kayaking?” the grumpy looking chap said… it clearly had not escaped his notice that I was faffing about with sea kayaks on a trailer here in Castlebay. “Yup” was my one word reply… failing to warm to him and his equally grumpy looking… more »

a salad of meat and beer…

It is strange how not being able to do something increases ones desire to do that very thing… in this case cycling, the motivation is back after a couple of days hiking and a couple of days chilling… but there is little point in rushing south from here. I have… more »

to El Chalten…

I lost my lucky hat….  I lost it in the gale of wind crossing Lago O’Higgins on the boat. But it’s OK, being well prepared as always I have a back-up hat, a woolly one from home in Cornwall. Given its origins I may well find it to be attractive… more »

Chaiten y la Carretera Austral

< a couple of caveats before I get on with the narrative.. it’s quite a long one so I hope you’re sitting comfortably.. and one or two of the photos might not appeal to the squeamish or those of a vegetarian disposition… > Post-apocalyptic Chaiten, 2 1/2 years ago a… more »

mountains…

As my singularly apathetic state continues I find myself unable to apply myself to those things conventionally thought of as important.. i.e my future, work etc etc.. rather mind and body have no interest in anything other than riding my bike, paddling my kayak, spending time in the surf and… more »