Posts Tagged With: Quick update

Day 80: Celebratory dinner in Lisbon

We stayed at Hotel Mundial, it was very nice hotel – bit of an upgrade for the riders on the last night. There was a doorman, bathrobes and a very nice looking bed that I was looking forward to getting into, but first it was time for some serious celebrating!

As mentioned yesterday, we had some wine at the park then was time to get changed, sort out our stuff and box bikes etc. At 7:15pm we all met in the lobby and caught taxis to the restaurant. I have lost the bit of paper I had written the name on but it was very nice.

Walli, who left us in Venice, had very generously contacted Christiano and organized to pay for the wine for dinner. A number of bottles of nice red wine were drunk, along with a toast to Walli. Walli had also sent a poem to be read out, which you can read below.

We had a great night, it was good to chat to the tour guides in a setting that there was no organizing they had to do for the next day. I had thought about going to a Fado club afterwards, but when it came to it I was too tired so will have to miss it this time round, and make do with going to the Fado museum tomorrow.

It will seem really strange not to see the other tour riders after having spent 11 weeks together, but some of us will keep in touch, and others our paths may well cross again in the future.

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Ode to Trans-Europa

To each of you my sincere congratulation
Reaching today your final destination;
You have achieved your ultimate goal
Arriving in tact – stronger in body and soul!

At this celebration forgotten are the pains
And the detours, and hills and other complaints,
But not the friends who shared your bliss
All the way to Lisbon or just to Venice!

The memories will last all the days to come
To cherish forever and to recount at home.
Another thought is sneaking in on the side:
Can we get together somewhere for another ride?

Cristiano scouted and led with detailed instructions
Every turn was flagged giving orange directions.
Ciaran and Gergo assured safe arrival at camps
Miles’ delicious meals caused no stomach cramps.

For weeks you had your tires sharing the road
Also no toilet seats, nor tissue, cold showers, nor soap.
Your tents were firmly pegged to the grounds
You know who is snoring and making other strange sounds.

But now comes the time to go your own way,
Perhaps we will meet again somewhere one day.
Now lift your glasses and with great cheer
Make a toast to life …
………………………..and wish Walli was here!

She can’t make speeches in public for fear she’d cry
Though poetic emotions are not hard to come by.
Alas, she has been reading the blog by the minutes
And decided to be with you this moment in spirit(s).


Categories: Cycling trip | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick updates

Day 18: Augustów to Nowogrod 

Safely at camp, we are staying at a college, they rent out the rooms in the summer break. All the women are in one room and the men are in another. We are in a Geography classroom.

Long day today, 135k at 35 degrees. All good, feeling ok.

Day 19: Nowogrod to Pułtusk 

Another long day – 125k. Got here safely but no update today as my iPad is not working. Mr PC guy can’t fix it so I will have to take it to the iPad store in Warsaw tomorrow.

Categories: Cycling trip, Text Update | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Day Four: Saka to Kasmu

366km down: 5,859km to go.

108km ride today from Saka to Kasmu. The first 52km were dirt roads then highway, luckily after lunch the last 56km were through forest – mostly downhill. Tonight we are staying at Lainela Camp. Last night was my first night camping – it was also the first night of rain, but I managed to stay dry.

Tomorrow is 85km to Tallinn, then a rest day. The riding is going ok, looking forward to a rest day though.

Categories: Cycling trip, Text Update | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Day Three: Kingisepp to Saka

258km down: 5,967km to go.

Today we left Russia for Estonia, heading to Saka. We cycled 95km. There was a different atmosphere as soon as we crossed the border out of Russia into Estonia. The road went through fields of wheat and canola, kilometre after kilometre of it.

The first half of the ride was highway, then country road – no more trucks, yay. I managed to put up my tent successfully.

I have plenty of stories for the blog, but unfortunately our accommodation only had Wifi, which is only good if you have a laptop or iPad.

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This blog is now up to date with the latest text from Kaye received at 1:30 this morning (NZ time).

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Day Two: Peterhof to Kingisepp

163km down: 6,062km to go.

Arrived safely in Kingisepp last night (Monday), after cycling for 118km.  Today (Tuesday) we leave for Estonia, hopefully I will find an internet café there to update you all on my travels.

Tonight we are staying at the Saka Cliff Hotel and Spa overlooking the Baltic Sea – it sounds very posh but of course we will be in tents in the campground.

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If you are interested, you can check out the official blog of the trip here:

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St Petersburg Night Tour

Last night (Saturday) I went on the tour to see the bridges being raised. They are raised to let the ships come through on the Neva River at night.

Apart from me the people on the tour were all Russians, so the tour operator at the hotel said either I go and the tour is all in Russian or I don’t go. As it was the last night in St Petersburg I went. It was amusing, they got on and off the bus frequently and often at places I had already been to, but I got on and off every time in case we were suddenly going to get on a boat. I kept my one  eye on the tour operator the whole time. We got back to the hotel at 2:30am so I have been a bit tired today (Sunday).

It was worth it though to see the city lit up at night. Once the bridges were raised a ship sailed past straight away.

Raised bridges (from Casa Leto)

The Russians also light candles, put them into square kits and send them up into the sky. It is very pretty seeing them floating up and dissapearing into the sky.

Categories: Russia | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Quick Friday morning update

This morning I met a number of the tour riders at breakfast: Rob a retired accountant, and Jenny a Doctor, both from Australia, John a retired professor from Canada,  Michel from Montreal – Michel has done two of these rides already including the tour d’Afrique (the tour that originally piqued my interest in all of this), Brett from Australia, and three  ladies in their 60s who have done 3 rides before – Daphne, Shirley and Wally. They look like they will be a lot of fun. Wally’s bike did not arrive with her but thankfully it arrived a day later. The riders are friendly and seem a down-to-earth bunch, my fears of being surrounded by gazelle-like athletes clad in Lycra that will be too fast for me are unfounded.

I am off to find the boat to Peterhoff and then plan on to returning to the Hermitage this afternoon. There is an amazing clock there I want to take a photo of, it was a gift to Catherine the Great (from one of her 22 lovers). It is the size of a phone box but longer. It is gold and has a peacock, an owl, a monkey and birds. When it strikes the hour the peacocks tail opens, the owl blinks and the monkey waves its hand – hard to explain but I think it is fantastic.

Plus I do not like things to defeat me so I am going to have another go at finding the third floor at the Hermitage!

Categories: Russia | Tags: , | 1 Comment