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March 8th, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,Greece

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This time I’m serious. I am leaving Thessaloniki tomorrow. The last few days have been a time of reflecting and pondering for me, forming and scheming some schemes of what lies ahead. Not only roads, but also possibilities and potential for the remainder of my journey to England.

Route scouting at my Couch Surfing host's place in Thessaloniki, Greece

For the time being however, I am headed towards Slovenia tomorrow, with about 1,200km to cover. I hope to have this section done in good time to meet my fellow recumbent rider, Peter, at the beginning of April (see previous post for details).

I have also sent home some more gear – 2kg of extra insulation that I won’t miss now that I am heading into civilised climates. Once you start reading about the ultralight backpacking philosophy, things start to make you think twice about what you really need and don’t need. This makes my total luggage weight including bags plus some basic food 14kg. A far cry from the 30kg monster load that I was carrying for the last three months through winter.

So until my next post, adios.

Graffiti art in Thessaloniki, Greece

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    Permanent Link     Comments (9)

Comment by akimoto — March 8, 2007 @ 2:23 pm | post a comment

Hey Jollynut, nobody feels fooled.

I think, you do the right thing to take a rest and put everything into new order, for the upcoming route.

What is your new day-to-day approach? Go as fast as possible to be in London in no time? Or do you want to see Europe and experience some of its cultural treasures? There is a big difference in both ways.

I think one of the comments here was right, you should at least get yourself the Lonely Planet Europe Edition, the best way to quickly understand whats on your way.

And I think the Greek are right to alarm you about countries like Albania, although there are pickpockets all over Europe and you have to be much more aware of these kind of encounters now. My Trekking-Bike was stolen in Amsterdam, when I arrived from Japan, many years ago, what a shock.

You missed Athens and you will miss Rome. Please, don't miss Venice, it would be a crime to not visit that fantastic city.

I hope that everything works out for you. Stay healthy and keep up your good spirit.

Cheers, Akimoto

Comment by Aleksej Dolin&scaron — March 8, 2007 @ 4:17 pm | post a comment

Ahh… So, see you soon in Slovenia Rob!Last summer I`ve cycled from Ljubljana to Dubrovnik, on the main coast road all the time. Road is very good, without serious hills. Pay attention to local busses! They are sometimes cyclist-ignorant :) .

Comment by Jonny Reveley — March 8, 2007 @ 10:53 pm | post a comment

im loving your site Rob. Your pictures are amazing! All the best with your travels through Albania.

Comment by Mike — March 9, 2007 @ 9:04 am | post a comment

Hah, do I hear a potential Flying Dutchman aiming to bike on forever. Seems you have come to the point where you realize that once you arrive in the UK all the fun is over. Best spin it out as long as possible. Why not come as far north as Sweden? If you come to Gothenburg I will most happily provide you with a place to sleep and grub to keep you going. Just drop a line. Recumbent riders here would be happy to meet you.

Comment by Eoin — March 13, 2007 @ 12:59 am | post a comment

Nice work Rob – it looks you have the exact same map of Europe that I had a few years ago when cycling to Hungary! You might want to get yourself something more detailed for day to day use in local areas as there are a lot of towns and villages that are not listed on it though, especially when you get to western Europe.

Hope you make it safely through Albania – I heard nothing but bad things about it during my stay in eastern Europe (mind you Im sure it will be pretty safe compared to some of the areas youve been through already).

All the best.

Comment by Dad — March 13, 2007 @ 2:40 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

We have just caught up with your latest adventures. Sounds like you are still going strong.

Mum and I are in Tasmania at the moment. We are having a great holiday and enjoying all the sights. Tassie is very much like NZ.

You will probably find Albania is like Turkey – not so bad after all, but look out all the same,


Comment by Satoshi — March 13, 2007 @ 5:10 am | post a comment

Hey hey Rob

The map you are looking at may be good for getting to know which cities are located where and realise that you won't find Cologne unless you look for the first letter K then ö and so on. However, as Eoin says above you will definately need more detailed maps of each region you travel through. At the mo it's like you got a map of Australia which contains a tiny map of NZ with three major cities and only two or three roads on it, no more.

Europe has a far greater number of cities and extensive network of highways that's why the maps drawn to the scale like yours look pretty detailed and informative but the fact is that such maps are simply misleading and even if you were driving or travelling by rail you wouldn't want it. Yep I am advising you from my own experience!

Michelin publishes nice road maps (with red cover, as green covered ones are hotel and restaurant guides)and you can get them at most book stores, news stands and petrol stations BUT they are ROAD maps and once you are in the West again you should consider Bicycle specific maps (they also indicate roads anyway). I think you will only find maps published by AA equivalent (not alcoholic anonymous) or Michelin until you are in Italy. Bike maps are vital in countries like Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands – you can read my post on Holland and Belgium section. Their bike tracks are often a few km off the major highway.

Next time when you are at a large-ish bookstore spend extra half an hour comparing different maps at different scales – look at the same town or city and see the difference.

I have never been to Albania and also never heard anything good about its people. I don't want to give you the second hand opinion so I will not comment on the country. Just watch out for the child beggers who would surround you and your bike and it's hard to reject them or repell them because you are a nice fella. Secure your luggage lids with duck tape!!!

Comment by Rob Thomson — March 14, 2007 @ 8:17 am | post a comment

Thanks for the advice on detailed maps. I was intending on getting a detailed map of Croatia for sure. These little countries like Albania and Montenegro were not worth getting separate maps for. I am thinking of doing some cycling on the islands on the coast of Croatia, if I can work out the ferry details…

Comment by marcCO — March 18, 2007 @ 5:01 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Maps of europe in detail on http://www.viamichelin.com

If posssible buy orange or yellow michelin maps, (advice from experienced motorcycle traveller in europe)

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