Well the first 28 miles of the Thames have been smashed out and I have to say it was much tougher than expected. Walking with a loaded pack and my heavy winter hiking boots (the most appropriate footwear I had for this) took it’s toll over a couple of days but it was great to be pushing myself on something other than a bike. Back at home (we’re splitting this walk into chunks to be a bit more practical with our jobs) my legs are still recovering a few days later.
I’ve gone a bit quiet on this blog for the last month. I’ve been slowly working on a reflective blog on the bike trip (from London-Shanghai) but it’s taking quite awhile to get my thoughts down in a way that I am happy with. To tide this blog over I thought a little summary of my month back would be helpful for anyone wanting to take a long journey and are worried about the inevitable return. On top of that I’ve got a couple of plans in the works.
Well I made it! 10,647 miles, 364 days, 20 countries and countless punctures. It’s a weird feeling, a mix of the satisfaction of achieving a huge goal as well as the relief of not having to strive for that goal anymore.
I’m in Chinas former capital Nanjing with the final stint to the Bund in Shanghai being all that is left in front of me. It’s not been the most interesting week of cycling but Nanjing has more than made up for it with it’s rich history. A national holiday next week has thrown a bunch more problems at me, regarding accommodation in Shanghai mostly being fully booked, but as always I’ve got a plan…
Another week and, weirdly, another terracotta army. I’ve smashed through the 10,000 mile marker and have just a short 400 miles left until Shanghai. I had one more day of rain after my last post and then the sun burst back through the clouds.
Right, back to the cycling! My little jaunt off to Hong Kong was successful as my passport has now been graced with a brand new Chinese visa, good for another month in the country.
A few years ago a story did the rounds of the British newspapers detailing a Hong Kong dim sum canteen boasting the nickname “The cheapest michelin-starred restaurant on earth”. The famed Michelin guide isn’t known for giving out awards casually and waiting times of several hours to get at the treats within seemed to confirm this place wasn’t all hype. I made a mental note that if I ever went to Hong Kong I’d track the place down.
Further apologies to the cycling fans! I’ve been smashing through various writing projects during my time off in Hong Kong (putting out 10,000 words a day into various tasks) and catching up on blogs is one of them. Back in January 2014 I headed into the former British protectorate of Somaliland. On the overland route to the country from Ethiopia I stopped in several places along the way, one of the most fascinating being Harar, well known for it’s urban Hyena’s…
Another deviation from the cycling posts for those of you following along with that. I’ve currently got some down time in Hong Kong, whilst my passport is in the Chinese embassy hopefully getting a new visa stamped in it, and figured I’d catch up on some of the posts that have been sitting in my “To Do” folder on my laptop. We now jump back to my winter trip in January 2014 to the breakaway state Somaliland, a centre of stability in the otherwise crumbling nation of Somalia.
Tough old stint down from Tibetan plateau to Xian to make it in time for my visa run to Hong Kong. A short update as I won’t stick to my usual format of a linear run through of the last 8 days as it has been a boring enough to ride, let alone to read, but in summary there have been two 100 mile days, lots of rain, mud, infected wounds and so many car horns tooting that I have begin to lose my grip on sanity…