Thursday, April 23, 2015


"For all the law is fulfilled in one word in the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another ".
Galatians 5: 14-15.

October 1809. A young English aristocrat tries to find shelter in the middle of a terrible storm that looms over the Pindos Mountains, northwest of Greece. Not long ago, when he still had the money to pay for his studies at the University of Cambridge, he would play with the monkey he had brought as a roommate. One day he confessed to the animal that he was planning to make a grand tour of the Mediterranean and it looked at him strangely. He thought he understood from the look of his little friend that it would not be an easy trip, let alone for a lame man, but he was encouraged by the idea that misfortune could be a source of inspiration for his poetry. Lord Byron wandered Spain, Portugal, Malta and Albania before getting lost near the Monastery of Zitsa. The poem that emerged from that storm two hundred years later rests on a marble plaque. Dave has brought us here on our walk with Tsarli, Anna and Kostas´ dog.

Super nicest meal ever: popcorn, sunflowers seeds and cous-cous, the only things we had in our panniers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


“What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do - especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” 
William Least Heat-Moon (1931-), American traveler and writer.

Greece, March 18, 2015.

 Three years ago I was not a human being. Fear paralyzed me and anxiety gnawed at me. In the beginning it was the logical nerves of going to an unknown place, but the beast was fed by my insecurity, I grew and became a monster that devoured my soul. Like a robot, I was only able to go to familiar places. The last one that I got to know was the National Library of Spain, where the low lighting and lack of people made ​​me feel comfortable. But over time it became unbearable that every day I was assigned a different table, and within weeks I was unable to get up from my chair to request new books, so I stopped going, even though I had not finished my work there. Then I took refuge at home, I could not even feel at home there. By that-+ time Gabi and I were looking for an opportunity to build a new life away from Las Rozas where we had shared flat with a colleague of his for a while. Until something new came up, we had moved in to his mother's house on the outskirts of a residential area. Just to go to buy bread one had to walk for fifteen minutes, there was no contact between neighbors and just to get to my library an hour and a half of public transport was necessary. Gradually I stopped going to Madrid, I could not bear the stares of strangers when I got on the bus. I didn´t even try to find an empty seat, I just looked for a corner where I couldn´t bother anyone and waited for everyone to get off the bus when it arrived at Moncloa so no one would see me get off.  But the walk to the bus stop was increasingly unbearable: my legs weighed me down, they shook and my joints ached. A knot choked my throat when I searched my pockets for the bus pass because I was making both the people waiting to board and the driver wait. When the bus pass finished, I didn´t catch the bus for fear of paying cash and the coins falling out of my hands. So, it stopped making sense to leave home and expose myself to a world of inquisitive looks, where I was just a nuisance in the routine of others.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


"When you travel, remember that foreign countries are not designed to make you feel comfortable. They are designed to make their own people feel comfortable."
Clifton Fadiman (1904-1999), American writer.

Zitsa, Greece, February 20, 2015

We feel very sorry for our thief. We usually leave the bikes parked in the main square, surrounded by people. But at nine o´clock on a freezing morning, nobody walks the streets of Cetinje. No one but the clever character who opens the bag on the handlebars of a loaded bicycle probably hoping to find something valuable.  He has just seconds to perform the maneuver before someone sees him, but things look good: he grabs a pair of sunglasses cases and under them is a flask with rakja. He thinks today is his lucky day, he will get some good money selling the sunglasses and will celebrate with a drink. What the poor thief does not yet know is that one of the cases is empty because Gabi prefers to put his glasses in his pocket so later he can lose or squash them. What he also doesn´t know is that the other case contains patches and glue for punctures and that the flask was a gift that we have already enjoyed. When we return from a visit to the Orthodox monastery and evaluate our losses we only regret the loss of the gift (it takes us two weeks to realize that we are missing the cases). The Berbers say that if anybody takes something that is not theirs one shouldn`t blame the thief, but the former owner for not having been more responsible with his possessions.

Enjoying Winter!!

Friday, January 30, 2015


     Two months looking forward to you and only two weeks to get bored with you. Dear Croatian coast, Dalmatia dear, you have sold your beauty abroad and have lost authenticity for doing business, you have revitalized your roots by betraying your fruits. It is not your fault, you did what you thought was right, but you are not for me. I'm tired of your turquoise water, your cliffs do not impress me, I have no interest in diving in your coves. Tangerines wither on the branches… Why not let me enjoy your olives? My beloved sea, it’s not you, it's me. I cannot pretend to be a saltwater animal, when I'm a fresh water fish. I am not a mermaid, but rather a salmon.
Adriatic Sea.

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Swans of the Adriatic

Pedaling below zero can be fun. Our hands are still warm inside poguis, covered only with thin wool fingerless gloves. Our feet do what they can with three pairs of socks on, and our thermal pants and winter coat are still waiting to be used in the saddlebags. At night, the solution to our warmth is to put a summer sleeping bag within a spring one. The tent also isolates us from the outside. Under our fabric covered roof the temperature is always above zero. Sometimes in the middle of the night we have to take off layers of clothing. So far so good, but there is a name that is always repeated in the mouths of those that we meet along the way; when a wind has a name (like our old friends, the Boreas and the Mistral) it is worthy of being taken into consideration, but in the case of the Bura, it should also have surnames. A native of Russia, it extends its icy breath throughout Europe, covering the continent with a white blanket. When you reach the Croatian coast, the cold air mass collides with the Velebit, and runs downhill and when it is exceeded, it rides the coast with fury. Frane told us that a few years ago the Bura, with hurricane force, came with gusts of over 200 km per hour, and on that occasion he had seen a woman flying through the streets of Split. Inland, the Siberian cold makes the Croatian valleys a continuation of the steppe. When we go through Gospić we will be lucky to see the mercury above zero, but Danka told us that a few winters ago, in the same place, the temperature reached 29 degrees below zero in the same season.


Sunday, December 14, 2014


By a twist of fate, winter gear has appeared on the road as a work of Divine Providence. First, Gabi´s wool gloves, which were found lying next to a bench on the Danube, and which now complete the accessory kit that started with an abandoned hat in Madrid and an orphaned neck buff which first appeared in Conques. For the feet, nothing better than some wellies of a poor recently deceased squatter at the abandoned mill that has been our home for a cold week. Meanwhile, Gabi is happy with some neoprene boots he was given in Slovenia, although I can´t complain either about the gloves that Clea (a Valencian who has been travelling with her family in a horse drawn cart for eleven years and has set up winter camp in Hungary)gave me. But what has really allowed us to enjoy cycling in colder conditions has been the idea of ​​Peter to take a couple of second hand anoraks and cut them and then sew them in a way to make mittens that are installed on the handlebars and with which we could travel to the North Pole. But let us take up where we left off to understand how we have linked up this set of circumstances that has made life easier.


Saturday, October 04, 2014


    There's no better break to work on a goat farm with only one goat. Four months after we left home, with over 5,000 miles on their backs, it does not hurt to park the bike for a while. If the bike can also relax in Katrien's stables, much better. We find this Slovak Paradise through an Internet page called Workaway, which brings together volunteers with people who need help with different kinds of work, (which may be teaching English to the family, making beds in a hotel on the beach, taking care of the dogs on holiday or even building a house). The volunteer does not receive any financial compensation, but in exchange usually receives food and shelter. Therefore, it is a great opportunity to learn things along the way and feel useful for the first time in a long time.

The Family.