We write to you from our seats aboard the Fantastic ferry as we brave the Tyrrhenian Sea on a 20 hour ride from Palermo to Genova. After four months (and 5000 km) on the road, we are travelling north for a vacation from our vacation. We are heading to Switzerland where we will participate in a 10 day Vipassina Meditation course outside of Bern, be backpackers for a week, and then meet with Caitlin’s family for a ski trip in Zermatt! It will be different to not be biking by day and tenting by night, but we are looking forward to a change of pace (and being able to see snowy Switzerland without bikes and tent)! Continue reading
We finally made it to the southernmost part of Italy: Sicily, which is the Mediterranean’s largest island. We were pretty excited to exit the ferry from the mainland as at times it felt like we would never reach Sicily. Many things slowed our progress south… wonderful things such as fantastic hospitality and scenery which demanded lingering, but also some not-so-nice things such as a nasty bout of food poisoning. Continue reading
Two days ago, as we cycled a stunning coastal “highway” (aka bike path) under sun so hot we could bike shirtless, our odometer ticked past 4000 kilometres. Passing this benchmark has caused us to reflect on all of our pedalling over the last three and a half months. We thought it might be nice to use these ideas to update you as to how we are doing after 4000. Continue reading
The last two weeks have been nothing short of magical. In no particular order: we climbed an active volcano, strolled through 2000 year old city frozen (or buried) in time, looked down onto thousands of fireworks, shared meals with Italian families, been visited and gifted by a witch, met an artistic hermit who has spent 40 years living in a canyon, slept in the same canyon, seen lemons the size of a football, listened to a bell choir orchestrated by cows, dragged our bikes up mountains, spent New Years Day on a beach, cycled through clouds, visited a village of 400 no larger than a kitchen, explored caves, photographed the best photographer in the world, herded goats from our bicycles, endured two broken chains three flats and a troublesome derailleur, drank four euro cappuccinos, had fireworks thrown at our tent, and slept by the sea. Continue reading
We write to you from our tent, which is set up on the sandy shores of Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea (although obviously not updating online from here). We are settling down for the longest winter’s nap of the year. We have been counting down to the winter solstice for many weeks now, and are looking forward to more daylight hours! This solstice is special, as there is going to be a lunar eclipse. We have our eyes peeled on the sky, and although it’s currently cloudy we hope we’ll be able to see this astrological event. Continue reading
We write to you from a hotel in a mountain village in rural central Italy.
We are enjoying being indoors, as it is -5 degrees outside, and thus we deemed the tent inappropriate. The temperature has dropped significantly due to an advancing cold front and a change in elevation. Our current elevation (almost 1000m) is even greater than we expected because all the villages in this area are built on top of the (rather large!) hills. This was done for defensive purposes but caught us off guard since we are used to cities being in valleys. The rides have been chilly, but since we are almost constantly going uphill as we head towards Naples we are keeping warm enough! We can proudly say we cycled through our first snowfall today, and did so with smiles on our faces while singing Christmas carols. Continue reading