We Get Requests

It’s been very interesting following your journey, Walter, and your thoughts.  Perhaps you can send a condensed piece for the Gazette, with the highlights of the journey and a couple of photographs. 500 or 600 words would be about right. 

This was the contents of an e-mail sent to me by Roger Alma, editor of the ‘Gazette’ the magazine of the Tricycle Association.

The places I visited over the month were London, Paris, the Black Forrest, Salzburg, Munchen, Ravensburg, Passau, and finally Wien.

I travelled with my folding bike, using it mostly to get around the cities I visited, or on occasion to go outside the city to see some attraction nearby, I only covered 763K over the whole time I was away.

My quarters were in the main Backpackers or Youth Hostel establishments, and have to add that the standard of such establishments is top end, even backpackers, demand it these days, no more given a cleaning job to do before leaving the YH. Although most include breakfast, I also carried my camp stove for I still like to rustle up meals for myself, and of course tea, I do get withdrawal symptoms (headaches) if I miss out on my daily fix.

If you have never been to Europe on a cycling trip, the first thing that grabs you is the extensive cycle free paths there are all over Europe and throughout every city, and none to of this “Share with Care” crap, these are proper cycle free roads, pedestrians have their own (pavements) and motorists their own (roads) supper safe.

At the risk of teaching granny to suck eggs. We of a certain age will remember the days of the big CTC – Café to Café (sorry cycle touring club) ride-outs on Sundays, so will know that bicycles are only efficient when they get up a bit of speed, momentum. We were taught to pedal at a cadence of around 70rpm (around 10mph) and use our gears to maintain that cadence. Therefore, cycle only paths are essential if we are to get people using bikes to commute and out of their cars, put in the infrastructure and people will use it, you see it all over Europe. Sadly the ones making such decisions on our behalf, the last time they were on a bike it had stabilizers.

What did I learn from the trip? If I were doing it over (a big city tour rather than a cycling holiday) I would not take my bike, there are bikes for hire in every city, mostly they are e-bikes at 10 cents a minute, and you can cover a lot of ground for a euro. For the young the e-scooters seem to be their chosen means of transport, they certainly cover the ground on them. Both are picked up and dropped off anywhere.

Cities are big and noisy places and I had to escape out and into the countryside from time to time, again the cycle paths (narrow tarmac roads, mostly running alongside the main roads).

What were the highlights, (apart that is from the friendliness I found all over, especially in YH/backpackers hostels)? Without a doubt the Black Forrest, then I have always been known as a hill climber rather than a sprinter.

The Black Forrest is of course the source of the River Danube, and why I originally decided to go there. Arriving on April Fools Day, as I climbed higher into the mountains I hit the snow line, and arriving in Salzburg a few days later, I again ran into snow may be best to leave later in the season, however, the temperature soon rose rapidly over the month of April, and I believe I only had three days of rain after leaving Salzburg.

What next, well I would wish to go back and revisit some of these places as a one-off trip, Salzburg to travel around the lakes that surround the city.

Passau, just so much to do there, you can cycle for mile after mile along the banks of the Inn (one of the three rivers that come together at this point), all of course on traffic-free cycle paths.

At many of the backpackers you can sign up for a free guided tour of the city, and don’t worry about language, on all tours you will be given earphones to wear that translate for you, anyway, the Germans speak better English than I will ever achieve.DSCN1076.JPG
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As ever stay safe.

Home is the Sailor from the sea and the Hunter from the Hills.

I arrived home just before noon on Sunday 24th of April. I decided in Vienna that it was time to head home, and then disaster struck. I put my card in a hole in the wall and the sun was so bright that I could not make out what I was supposed to do, maybe I waited too long, or pressed the wrong button, but the machine stole my card. I was in deep shit without the proverbial.

I phoned the bank, told them what happened and they issued me a new card – to my home address. I asked a (good) neighbour if she would go into my home, find the card and e-mail me the card number, the expiry date and the three-digit code on the rear, take it to the hole in the wall (or supermarket) and either buy something or withdraw money from my account on my new card, (to activate the card). I then used the information to go online and buy a ticket home, my heroin.

The bank started sending me security notices wishing to send codes to my phone that I should return to them for security, problem was my bank did not have my new phone number, it was all getting a bit dodgy – so I am pleased that I had already made up my mind to come home.  

I have been on the road since 15:30 on Friday in order to get here today. I was able to sleep a good deal on the overnight buses, but now that I am home had a shower, clean clothes, and lots and lots of tea drinking, I feel it is catching up on me now. Even on the last leg, from Edinburgh to St Andrews the bus broke down, just after leaving the Hillend P&R and they had to send a second coach for us.

I had a brilliant holiday, feeling good, I had not realised just how much two years of lockdown had drained me, I am now a fitter, thinner, faster mean machine, with topped up batteries.

North, south, east or west, home they say is best, however, if you never leave the comforts of your home, how can you ever say that?

Like all my sojourning, I have learned so much about myself and the young people of Europe. They were so warm and welcoming, and their well-being was palpable.

The cities have changed so dramatically too, I have not visited Europe for a few years now, and the city centres have now become to a greater degree pedestrian precincts and cycling has become the chosen means of transport within the city centres. It is logical to me that most traffic travelling through our towns and cities, really does not wish to be there in the first place, the European planner seems to have grasped this idea and run with it, building bypass roads and flyovers direct onto the motorways, giving people back their towns and cities.

When leaving France the customs officers had little interest in my passport, yards further on in ‘Drawbridge Briton’ they took much more interest, scrutinizing the passport photograph against yours truly.

I have never believed in borders, or why we hang pieces of colour cloth from flagstaff, other than decoration.

Arrogant man, he squats upon the land

Pretending that he owns it

But when he himself has passed

Leaving only grey ash

Nature shall reclaim it.

The young people of Europe I believe are starting to break down those borders and in many ways are ahead of the European parliament on this, their well-being is palpable.

My father was a Darwinian, he truly believed we must adapt to our environment, and not try to adapt the environment to our will.

Only a few years ago we had the Glasgow Cop (out) already it has turned into ‘Greenwash’ and the money men back in charge, oh it is easy to spin coronavirus, the war in……. to hide the truth. I despair at the news that Germany will drill for oil and gas in areas of scientific interest, helping to wean themselves off the Russian gas supplies as their excuse. They use the war in Ukraine for their move away from global warming promised, but how much truth is there in that lie. However, the young people of Europe are fighting back, they may not be headline news anymore, but protesting against global warming in towns and cities is still there, ‘in your face, they have not gone away. The young of Europe is the future and will not be cowed by more failed American foreign policies.

It is hard for me to understand why Bush and Blair could invade countries across North Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake, refugee camps the size of small cities, an influx of migrants and refugees into Europe that will change the shape of these countries and is already doing so, these refugees and migrants are the future of Europe, like it or not, and to my mind a good thing.

Yet when Russia (no matter what side you are on with that one) invades Ukraine the world is turned upside down. No one ever suggested that Bush or Blair should be sanctioned, stopped from paying their debts, bank accounts of friends and families frozen, the money stolen along with any possessions they may have, what right is there when good for the goose is no longer good for the gander.

But change is happening across Europe the young are not content to see their economies destroyed by politicians that care only to protect the interests of organizations such as NATO at the expense of their futures. There is a battle going on at present for the soul of Europe, and the outcome is unpredictable, but I travel hopefully that the common sense of the young will prevail.  

When in Paris I was standing next to a large poster of the two main contenders for the presidency of France, Macron and Le Pen. I asked people who passed who would win. There was a split right down the middle between the young (under 50s) and the older generation, but for me, the truthful answer came from an elderly man, who answered my question by saying

“None of them”

Imagine there’s no heaven
it’s easy if you try
No hell below us
above us, only sky

Imagine all the people
Livin’ for today
(Ah, ah, ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
and no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
a brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

We need to join the young of Europe if we wish to enjoy the well-being of the people I met there.

In ‘The Hunt for Red October’ the captain of Red October when asked if trouble will come from this, (the abduction of the submarine) the Capt. answers  

“Perhaps, but a little revolution now and again is no bad thing – don’t you think?”

“Stop the world Scotland wasn’t to get on”

Or in the words emblazoned on the T-shirt of the girl in front of me at an AUOB march in Dunfermline.

“If you do not move, you will not feel your chains”

Stay safe.

All dreams must end.

Another beautiful day here in Vienna, and the city certainly has been a healing balm for me after all the frantic travelling Jo&Joe have given me the time for unwinding and reflecting.

Yesterday I phoned the helpline of the Bank of Scotland to find out how my bank balance was doing, I knew instinctively the news would not be good, for although I had not been keeping tabs, I had a rough idea how much I have been spending over the last weeks, train travel mostly had been a lot higher than expected, they simply refused to take my bus pass. And as expected the new was not good although slightly better than anticipated.

It’s not just one thing, or one moment in time, or something said, it’s just a knowing that comes from within that now is time to head for home.

The journey has been good for me, physically and mentally, a topping up of my batteries. My pockets may not be full of silver but are full to overflowing with memories, of a culture I had not known, and friends (now) that I had not met. Europe is not at all like Scotland, it’s vibrant, it’s loving and welcoming. The people here are young in heart and spirit, and open to change. Their standard of living is much higher than ours, they gather in cafés in the streets and spend hours there gossiping and just unwinding after a day in the office. The shops are full of smart design clothing, the cake shops with mouth-watering delights as I remember them, Europe is one vibrant nation, Scotland to me seems to be suffering from ageism (demographic timebomb), we need to open up our country to young migrants, re-join the EU (in some form) and find a form of government that is willing to push the country forward and not simply try to stay in power for another term.   

The dark cloud, of course, has been the war in Ukraine, but that is mostly being played out in the high offices of government, not on the street, the people of Europe don’t want to know about the war in Ukraine, and I feel would rather they all kissed and made up. If the US (and their puppet the UK) continues their proxy war in Ukraine (which will last for years, a war of attrition) then Europe will suffer and could end the EU as we know it. There is a lot of talk about solidarity amongst the people of Europe over Ukraine; sorry I don’t see it on the ground.  

Well, that’s my summing up of my tour tomorrow I am booked onboard the bus for Paris, where I will spend a day or two. Then maybe Holland and a long boat ride home, or at least as far as Newcastle, best not to simply jump off the end of the holiday cliff.

Oh well, I will be home in time to vote, and see the selfies girl, Oor Nicola, getting a good arse-kicking. That’s something I suppose.

When I lived in Edinburgh I loved going to the theatre, all the big names came in their twilight years, Bing Crosby, the Hampton band, and the fabulous Shirley Bassey, and I will leave Shirley to sing us out, today.

The party’s over

It’s time to call it a day

They’ve burst your

Pretty balloon

And taken the moon away

It’s time to wind up

The masquerade

Just make your mind up

The piper must be paid

Keep safe.

What a difference a day makes

What a difference a day makes, sunshine all the way, but only 5C. I needed to do some washing, so after popping my clothes in the machine I went up onto the roof terrace and snapped away.

The city at around 7 am this morning
Bugs reside here too

One of the boxes I wanted to tick when in Vienna was to attend a live opera in the world-famous opera house and I almost made it – Lucia Di Lammermoor, (blood on the floor) but the tickets sold out long before I even made it to Vienna, I should have ordered online months ago. Sadly the next one and far more fun is the Marriage of Figaro, but that is a month away, so I will just have to live with disappointment.

In the morning another jolly around the city, I know it quite well now so can buzz along the cycle tracks with the best of them. I found an open-air market so strolled along pushing the bike, on one of the stalls I found dates, they were twice what they cost in Munich, then again they had a bit further to travel.

I remember travelling somewhere up the west coast of Scotland on the back of dad’s motorcycle, we stopped at a little filling station for petrol. Dad asked the owner, why it was that the petrol was so much more expensive up here, the owner replied,

“How did you get here?”

“Up the road from Calendar,” dad replied.

“Aye, and so did the petrol,” the owner told him. (That’s you telt)

I saw this statue outside a church, and it turned out to be Hyden, (seems he was a bit of a musician in his day)

and you know what I’m like, I can not pass a church, so I went inside.

I always liken churches to me they are time capsules, a look into the past, and yes, I know that the Christian churches were all about power and just as corrupt as Westminster is today. However, they were great patrons of the arts, most of these statues would have been carved in wood then gilded with gold leaf, a lot of work for artisans and stonemasons, organ makers,

now the governments simply rob the poor to give to the rich, then we do have Social Security I suppose.

It was great to be in and away from the noise of traffic; Vienna is not a quiet city. I loved the solitude of the place. I wonder how long it has been since the organ lifted the spirits, or held an organ recital, not for a long time I’m sure

I attended an organ recital in Dunfermline Abbey, a while ago now, and the stale air and dust that fill the abbey when the organist sat down to play, I’m sure was a danger to health, (Legendaries disease, at the very least). I wonder if organs come under health and safety law?

So another good day, feeling very relaxed and lethargic (lazy) today then I have been on the go since 6 am this morning.

Had a strange encounter today, someone asked me the time, I take it they noticed I was wearing a watch, I simply showed them my watch, (no communication skill required) and to my surprise, they could not read the time from a watch, they have grown up with digital watches. How quickly the world I knew has disappeared.

Stay safe

A little about Jo&Joe

for a start it could not be more central if it tried, a 100 yards or so from the underground, and tram stop, I have never been in a hostel quite like this one before, it is ultra modern, all service ducts and cable trays have been left exposed, and this standard of minimalist design is not easy to achieve, joints, ducts, trays, excreta have to be perfect, or they will stand out like a sore thumb.

The bunks are plywood,

mine is the messy one

and when I first saw them the lyrics, little boxes by Malvina Reynolds came to mind.

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes all the same

And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

They even have a roller blind inside so you are not disturbed by late (or should that be early) comers putting on lights. And I have never seen a vanity curtain for people to change behind,

And yes, the walls are painted black

saves a queue in the morning for the bathroom to change. The more you look around this palace the more you see that a lot of thought has gone into getting it just right, and why it is the most popular hostel on the circuit.

Night falling over the city
Scarry Man
I love these little cartoons all over the place (I did not read the once in the girl’s toilets)
The reason this one is black, it is in the cinema which is a blackout
These guys must be on the back shift
To the woods, -I can’t my mother won’t let me – how old is your mother – 21 bring your mother too, – too – to the woods.

I did go up to the roof garden, and yes it has stopped raining, but it was really too dark for proper photographs so will post some from there later, preferably when the sun is shining.

The kitchen hostels for the use off, and two big fridges for your food
This really is the high standard demanded of hostelers now, and every place I have stayed so far has tried hard to achieve this level, even in the older buildings where compromises have had to be made between room size and comfort, the biggest change I see in European hostels the areas to relax and work in, most people have phones and computers that require charging and this is also catered for with outlets in each bunk. Like the cycle tracks, put in the infrastructure and people will come – don’t and they will stay away.

The first rule in marketing, you must allow your customers, or potential customers, to design your product.

Wet, Wet, Wet.

Not a lot to say today, simply because it has rained since early doors, and by 2pm I packed in and came back to the warm luxury of my billet, and what a billet Jo&Joe is. My cycling cap is pretty good at keeping everything dry, the handlebars and seat, but the panniers have to take care of themselves. Now the one I originally bought for the bike is okay, but not one hundred per cent waterproof, so everything has to go into plastic shopping bags first. The one I bought in Germany and German-made (the same makes my cycling cape) it’s heavier but 100 per cent waterproof, so like everything else, it’s a compromise.

If it is wet outside the best cure is to get wet inside so I am sitting here enjoying a bottle of Wieselburger Bier, German beers are so good but at 5 euro a bottle (0.5 L) they have to be taken sparingly.

Not much in the way of photographs, it was too darn wet to stop and dig out the camera. But I did get this block of flats with rather large window boxes.

One with this very attractive mural

Dose your bike need a service, DIY

And the barrel top outside a pub,

This shop is called ‘Cars and Trains’ and was closed, but I must return and tell him that Ecurie Ecosse was a Jaguar racing team and as far as I know, never raced Mercedes cars, These people have to be told.

As you can see we are pretty high up here and above is a Garden Terres which was very popular over the weekend – but not today.

And Jo&Joe had some good entertainment but that may have been over the Easter break. Reception, bar

and kitchens,

order and pay at the bar, (no cash only card) and pick it up at the kitchen counter when it is cooked. (I say card only, which seems to be the norm here, I have no idea how I am doing with my card, the machines do not ask if you want a balance, they just ask how much do you want) I did try to get onto my internet account to find out but as ever they have added a new tier of security, they send a code to your phone that you have to enter. Who bought a new phone and did not tell his bank that he has a new number?

One last thing before I go, there is a cartoon on one of the pillars, that tickled my fancy

Always leave them begging for more.

Stay safe

Vienna Told in Pictures

It has been another fine day, a bit cold out first thing, warmer as the day slipped away, into the afternoon. As it is still a public holiday all the shops are shut, apart from the fast-food joints.

It has been another fine day, a bit cold out first thing, warmer as the day slipped away, into the afternoon. As it is still a public holiday all the shops are shut, apart from the fast-food joints.

Now I can’t get that dam Harry Lime theme out of my head, is surrounded by fairground rides, sideshows and yes more fast food joints. After a lazy stroll around the amusement park, boy some of these rides look scary – the traditional chair-o-planes would have been my limit.

Did you ever wonder what they did before selfies?

Next the Danube, a little uninspiring after Passau, onwards and upwards to the Folkstheater aria of the city, with more 19-century architecture than you can shake a stick at, sadly most of it was shrouded in scaffolding.

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

When did you last see one of these machines? the last one I remember was in Woolworth’s in Dunfermline and that wasn’t yesterday? For 20cents this one told me I weighed in at 77 kilograms, that’s in old money that’s about 12 stone, and by the rule of thumb you subtract 7 Lbs for clothing

Grand Design – and under the eve was all decorated

this is the townhouse and as you can see they have the builders in

I asked what all the tents were being erected for and was told a marathon

You will never get off the ground with those wee wings hen.

Looking more and more like a builders calender

The End

 

Tales Long and Short

Rise and shine, the weather’s fine, the sun will burn your bleeding eyes out. I slept well and after a shower went out to stretch my legs, clear blue skies horizon to horizon. However, everything was eerily quiet, no traffic, no shops open, even as the clock neared 9 O’clock, of course, Easter weekend and bank holiday Monday, puts pay to Lidl being open. I did find a baker and bought a French stick, but no milk, drat and double drat no tea.   

I returned with my bunk with my bread, then set off to find the bold Peter Snowden, about 5k as the crow flies, but after a couple of wrong turns, I made it to his door. After establishing who I was Peter himself came down and suggest we go to the little café, just yards away, and have a coffee. We must have blethered for at least four hours and on one cup of coffee.

Fancy after all these years, he told me. Well, I did not come to see you only to see if you ever did finish that boat. Yes, it is finished, apart from a couple of little jobs, (then again there is always a couple of little jobs on any boat) but it is in the water,  and we have sailed in it, but only on the lake and only a few times, I have not seen it in over a year, and a lot longer before that.

I would love to see it, would that be possible? He did not commit, only to saying he would talk to his wife, (not sure he drives now). I was thinking of selling the boat, realistically, I can not see us sailing much now.

You will not get back half the money you put into it, I suggested, and he readily agreed.

Well, you could have a potential customer sitting right here I said. We left it at that.

We talked about his time in the Merchant Navy and the fishing, but mostly going over old ground, reminiscing. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, more so since I had never had a conversation with an English speaker for such a long time.

I asked about the May Day celebrations – they have not had one for the past two years, whether they do this year, I don’t know he told me, anyway it is not like in the past when they had huge marches to the park, lots of food and drink, and fireworks in the evening. The 4th May was big to it was Communist Day, big and colourful.  

I said, I’m surprised they did not turf us out of here, since we had only ordered one coffee apiece, no this is Austria this is what they do. We swapped e-mail addresses and phone number; I hope we can arrange something about the boat.

The photographs are a bit random, the coloured sets were in Passau, and kids like kids everywhere would try to step on one colour and one colour only.

What replaced the horse and cart for deliveries in Wien, well these.

Uniformity is the destruction of art – so make it into art.

All it takes is a couple of cans of spray paint, oh, and a big dollop of talent.

Recycling is big all over Germany and Austria, you will find these in all the hostels and they are used.

Not sure what this building was but it had too many steps for me to find out.

A church is just around the corner from here, note how I used the tree to hide the scaffolding.

Something you also see a lot of, tools to repair your bike.

Easter Weather

Wien at Last

The weather has changed dramatically; then again, it is the Easter bank holiday. At Passau, it was mostly families with youngsters, then again it is a YH and not a backpacker, you need to be a paid-up member of the Youth Hostel Association (or affiliated, I by my SYHA membership, thankfully it was in my wallet) to get a room. All accommodations are now full to overflowing, so I’m pleased now that I booked earlier in the year, even though it was a bit dicey about COVID and the weather.  

I chose the bus from Passau, simply because it was direct, with the local train I would have had to change at least once possibly twice depending on the train. The bus should have been cheaper too but the driver insisted I pay a further 9 euros for the bike. Now I have had that bike on board half a dozen Flexbus, and no one has, until today, asked me for more money. Of course, you just have to pay up no alternative; they have you over a barrel. Still, the trip was, smooth and fast, straight along the motorway – or should that not be Autobahn.

By the time I was booked in and had a shower it was into early evening, so nothing to write home to mummy about, but this is a big city and there is a lot to see so a busy day tomorrow.

When I was out the clouds parted and I could see it was a full moon tonight, with high spring tides.  

I will go off and try to find my friend Herr Snowden, we sailed out of Grimsby together almost every weekend the club would have a race out for the full turn of the tide (12 hours) and on long weekends they would organize a trip up to Bridlington or down to Norfolk. We put in a lot of sea time at the Grimsby Sailing Club (only sailing yachts could join), any way to cut a long story short Peter, married his long time girlfriend and the moved back to her home town Wien.

Peter bought a classic sailing yacht and had it shipped out to Austria, and like all old boats that you buy wearing your rose-tinted glasses, he had not only bitten off as much as he could chew, he had gone and swallowed the whole cow. Once you get into these things you just keep digging. He would write me from time to time asking if I could find various parts for his boat and I would send them off to him, sometimes the cost of postage was more than the second-hand part.

We did keep in touch – the odd Christmas card would always be answered with another – even if belated. Last year I did not receive a reply to my card, I am hoping it is because he has moved home, possibly closer to where he sails his boat. A great ending to this story would be that I find him again, he has finished the refit (reconstruction) of the boat and we can once more sail together. As always we travel hopefully.

I wonder what their reaction will be after all these years,

“Oh, no look what’s going to our door, send the bairn to answer the door, tell him “Mum and dad are not in”.

“A you sure?”

“Mum – dad, share your no in”

Stay safe.

Germany into Austria

Awoke with a shroud of mist covered the city and river, strange-looking down from above, like being in an aeroplane looking down on clouds below, this will be my last full day in Passau, tomorrow I head off to Vienna.

Only a couple of hours up the road near the town of Engelhartszell is where the Donau leaves Germany and flows through Austria, I thought it would be good to cross that border on my bike, sort of symbolic.

I set out before the traffic became busy in the city and out onto the cycle path that mirrors route 130 all the way.

It was grand to be cycling in the cool of the morning much more to my liking. However by 10 am I had to stop and remove my trousers and pulled my fancy pants back on, they are so thin you could pap peas through them, making them ideal for cycling in. I also carried my anorak in my backpack strapped to the rear carrier, just in case the forecast was a bit iffy.   

The river passes through a narrow wooded gorge between Bayerischer Wald and Sauwald. At Schlogen, the river’s path is blocked by a hard granite ridge, forcing it to make a series of tight loops.

And the cycle path crisscrosses the road a few times, not a problem there was more cyclist than motorist out today.

At one point there was a road closed sign (even for cyclists) and the diversion (5k) was up and over the mountain,

and where I found St George, slaying the dragon.

The road back down was a scream – I was doing over 60kph at one point, really starting to gain confidence on a bike once more. The rests are just signs and anything that took my fancy.

Almost there

Home as the sun passes over the yardarm so time for tea, and chicken noodle soup, (from a packet, just add water and some heat) along with lovely crusty bread to dip.

A long trek today, but I had my secret weapon with me, they don’t half get you going when you are starting to flag

I loved the Goon Show on the old steam radio, it was spoiled for me when television came along, and I just loved the characters I had created in my head. In one sketch, Bridge over the River Y, Echols, had been volunteered to escape by the escape committee. Just as he was about to depart he was given last-minute instructions from the doctor.

Doctor: “If things get really tough, then take this little black pill – that will get you going”

Sound effect: Gulp!

Echols:  “What was it doc.”

Doc.: “Concentrated liquors”

I have not mentioned my well-being for some time but I am feeling so good, that I can hardly believe the change in me. I think I was like this before coronavirus came along, then two years of virtual inactivity took its toll; I am regaining a lot of my old self.

I was thinking of all the ways I could make a bob or two and stay here for a while, maybe a year or so, or at least until winter set in. Maybe I could be a Scottish speaking (in a kilt) tour guide around the cities. I was watching the guides here and they hand out earphones to those that do not speak the native language that translates for them,

“I could do that, gees a job”

Stay safe.