Clare and Vernon Lewis

Clare and Vernon

Clare and Vernon Lewis

Well it is now over 4 years later and we are finally off again. Those of you who thought it would never happen were nearly right, our original plan to continue the journey in 2007 got shelved after an RTI, then 2008 went by while Vernon was still recovering and getting back to full fitness, in 2009 Clare's right knee was the problem, but one arthroscopy and a recovery period later we were planning again and so it is that on Wednesday 3rd November we will fly to Perth (Aus) with a rather spiffy orange tandem which we are going to bring home via Australia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, a random route through the 'stans, over the Caspian Sea and through Europe... least, that's the plan.

Cheers all,
C & V

Europe December 26th 2011

Sorry for the huge delay in getting this written, the real world of finding a job has taken precedence over everything else for a while now but as I am still unable to convince any potential employer of my genius I've taken time out to complete the trip. So the plan is a quick dash in a south-westerly direction to Hoek van Holland with a short detour to Turnhout for a weekend with the rellies, boat to Harwich and two days to Bletchley. Lubeck After a short, restless and rather bumpy night we docked at 06:30 and were disembarked by 07:00, finding our way across the port along with all the vehicles which were disembarked alongside us. There is no segregation of bicycles in any of the continental ports we have used, we are vehicles just ... read more
Model of Lubeck
Holstentor stairs
Door handle on Marienkirche

Europe » Sweden November 8th 2011

Fifteen minutes later we disembarked into another new country and rode through the rather industrial port area of Helsingborg looking for a cashpoint and access to the town centre. Five minutes of drab grey buildings and we were in an underpass worthy of Milton Keynes with three possible exits each signed to local areas not listed on our maps, guessing that the town centre was to our left we headed that way and came upon a road full of take-aways and shops selling cheap plastic stuff with a lot of sad looking people trudging about and the occasional excited argument spilling out from doorways. The cyclepath seemed to be a place to put rubbish, smoking areas, pushchairs and advertising signs or to just wander aimlessly in. We found a cashpoint and left quickly, following the main ... read more
Scupture at Helsingborg
Reconstruction of Brahe's quadrant.
The transverse scale of Brahe's quadrant

Europe » Denmark September 25th 2011

It will come as no surprise that we rode south from Skagen into a southerly head wind, it was a niggling, uncomfortable ride, my gears were playing up so we stopped for coffee and a fettle at Halsig then on towards Fredrickshavn on a cycle path next to the main road. My positioning was totally wrong and I had sore shoulders and numb hands, kept stopping to faff with settings but didn't manage to sort it out, very perplexing as I'd had no problem before and hadn't changed anything. Once in Fredrickshavn we headed straight to the Danhostel which was a pile of rubble with a poster giving directions to the new Danhostel, second time lucky we found the place after a short tour of a supermarket car park. It was a nice place, a purpose ... read more
Vase at the glass museum
Dyeing room, Ebeltoft Historical Museum
Knife sharpening machine, Ebeltoft

Europe » Denmark September 9th 2011

Please note, I can't work out how to create the extra Danish vowels on this EeePC so place names may not be quite correct. May contain traces of weather Nothing much changed as we crossed the border, no flags, no signs, not even a join in the tarmac. We were soon on a gritty rutted cycle path around the back street and car park of Rudbol then onwards to Mogeltonder and our first taste of Danish cobbles; gaps big enough to swallow a wheel meant I soon got off and pushed. We got blown to Tonder with a brisk tailwind and rolled into a lively town centre with stalls, bands, street entertainers and a lot of people enjoying a beer or two. The Danes are cheerful drunks and laughter filled the air as they enjoyed the ... read more
Night watchman at Ribe
Ribe old town
Patrolling at Ribe

Europe » Germany July 31st 2011

It's all a little bit different So, into Germany, the route continued but the signs changed, we worked out that the North Sea Cycle Route signs appeared intermittently and at all other times we should go straight on unless we saw a sign indicating cyclists should turn left or right, problems arose when there was more than one sign at which point we resorted to an iPod and Mapswithme. Anyway we found an open cafe within 5km of crossing the border so bonus cake points to Germany and bonus smug points to me as I managed to order two Danish pastries and two coffees in German having not spoken the language for 31 years. Suitably refreshed we rolled on, German cycle routes are very different to those in the Netherlands, we were mostly on concrete paths ... read more
Noorddeich harbour
Beach seats at Horumerseil
Dodging sheep

Europe » Netherlands July 26th 2011

Europe bound (29/06/11-19/07/11) So we finally decided to set off again, this time into northern Europe with a section of our route (which will be made up as we go along) using the North Sea Cycle Route, we are headed to Denmark from where we can either head north into Norway and up the coast to Bergen, fly to Aberdeen and head south for winter or turn right into Sweden, then Finland and back through the Baltic states and eastern Europe. Of course all plans depend entirely on the whim of the participants so they may change at any time. Essex and mechanicals We left Bletchley on the 29th aiming for Harwich and a ferry to Hoek van Holland, route-planning by asking the iPod to give us a route for bicycles to Harwich. Things started well ... read more
Access point for the Flitch Way cycle path
The Doctor's Pond Great Dunmow
Netherlands public art, part 1

Asia » China » Sichuan June 15th 2011

Chengdu We arrived at a rather crowded airport but quickly saw the sign with our names on it, getting to it was going to be fun though; we gave up being polite, "Excuse me" just didn't cut it as well as a nudge with a bike box, people would look round, glance down, do a double take, then leap out of the way. We finally got to Li who grinned at the comedy luggage trolley and led us out to the car park via an international standard bollard slalom. I usually avoid breathing air that I can see but in Chengdu not only could we see the air we could also taste it and we couldn't see anything at all over 300 metres away. After the amazingly clean air in the Himalayan foothills the difference was ... read more
Chengdu smog
Down at the boneless panda ranch
Red panda

Asia » China » Yunnan May 15th 2011

Losing Altitude We were heading down to Tiger Leaping Gorge on a ride over three passes with the corresponding descents so it was gutting to have to sit out the day in the minibus but my knee hadn't improved at all and I was having trouble with stairs, let alone a day's cycling. The Jaffanaut stayed in the van and Vernon rode John's bike while I sat out the best ride of the trip. Ah well, time to take many photos, hurrah for digital photography! We were driven to the top of the first pass where everybody else got on their bikes and hooned off down the hill while He and I chased them in the minibus, we caught them riding up the second pass and stopped at the top to get some action shots of ... read more
David descending
Photos of home
Limestone terraces, Baishutai

Asia » China » Yunnan April 26th 2011

Kunming We landed at Kunming and made our way to immigration, I had an uneasy feeling, no idea why probably because of the publicity China gets in the west, but I definitely felt uneasy. We each had to go through immigration separately, me first: "Hello" "Hello" "Why are you here?" "We are booked on a Bike China trip of the Yunnan province." "We?" "My husband and I, he's over there." "How long will you stay here?" "Well, we have a 30 day visa but we'd like to extend that to see more of your country." "Where do you want to go?" "Sichuan, Shaan-xi, then over to Urumqi before we head into Kazahkstan." "How are you travelling?" "We're on a tandem." "A tandem?" "A two people bike." "It's a long way." "Yes." "Have a nice ride." "Thank ... read more
The view from Green Lake View Hotel
Musician in Green Lake Park
Chinese public toilet

Asia » Thailand April 24th 2011

Bangkok (25-28/03/11) We landed at Suvarnabhunmi Airport at 23:10, quickly cleared immigration, collected the baggage and steered the box through the customs slalom to the amusement of the staff there. Originally we were going to be riding through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam then into China but our plans had changed when we had to extend our stay in Australia, so we only had one week in Thailand before flying into China and would be spending that week in cities so we decided to leave the Jaffanaut in left luggage. Unfortunately we arrived on floor 2 and left luggage was, we were assured by a very helpful gentleman, on floor 4. More unfortunately the lift didn't stop at floor 2 so we had to use the travelator. The travelator was one metre wide, the bike box wasn't. ... read more
Novotel Suvarnabhumi reception
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Garden at Jim Thompson house

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