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July 11th 2011
Published: September 7th 2011
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There has only been one trip in my life where literally everything that could go wrong did go wrong. This was on the 10-day cycling trip I had planned beginning and ending in the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

For a start "it was raining cats and dogs" for several days, so that I simply couldn't bring myself to begin. Then I thought screw it, bought full body waterproofs from a market and set off into the storm. Two hours outside of Lviv, not only did my waterproof trousers tear from top to bottom but so did my jacket. Then my bike fell apart. I wheeled it down the long and lonely road to the city, on the way stopping to buy a packet of cigarettes despite having recently given up. That night, just before I finally staggered back up to my friend's door, I decided to buy myself a bottle of beer. Reaching into my pocket, then desperately searching my bag, I found that I had lost my wallet.

Having explained the situation to my friend I borrowed two bus fares from him, enough to get to that shop where I had bought the cigarettes, the only place where I could have left my wallet, and set out into the thunder and lightning that was ravaging the city. On arrival the shopkeepers told me that I definitely had not left my wallet there. On leaving the shop I realised that we had miscalculated the bus fare and I did not have enough to get back to town, so I walked for two hours through the downpour until I got to a bus stop where I could afford the fare back to Lviv.

Normally after such an occurance I would have asked someone to send me money through Western Union. The thing is that I had just handed my passport in to the Russian Embassy in Lviv with my Russian visa application so had no way to prove my identity and collect a Western Union transfer. Thankfully though my friend lent me US$50 and I finally set off on my bike ride, though by now I only had 3 days for it. I took the route Lviv - Oleskoe - Zoluchiv - Lviv - Przemysl (Poland). The photos in this blog are from that trip. They in no way represent the best of this region, which is full of medieval castles, mountain ranges, ethnic minority cultures and picturesque rural villages where even on the main Kiev - Lviv road horse and carts are seen more commonly than tractors. This is unfortunayely only what I managed to do in three days, covering about 300km.

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