FINAL year long Statistics

344 days 

122 camping nights (5 temples, 8 campsites) 35%

150 hostels/guest houses/air b&b 44%

49 nights with warm showers 14%

6 Nights with WorkAway host

7 families who took us in

4 nights with friends 

4 trains (3 nights)

18 bus/shared taxis (4 night bus)

4 ferries 

10 pickup trucks/hitchhiking

138 Days not cycling 


Just under 12 months ago we were dropped off at Heathrow Airport with six panniers and a styrofoam box containing a tandem. We were headed for Vietnam. This week we officially crossed into mainland Europe and cycled to our intended destination; the boat Encore in Lavrio near Athens.

It’s been pretty great cycling across 13 countries with Paddy long legs… We have climbed 6 peaks over 4000m and 1 over 5000m. Cycled across deserts and through snow blizzards, along mountain ranges and sea coasts. We have slept in our tent 122 times, worn our way through 5 tyres, fixed 25 punctures and replaced 2 spokes. We’ve hitched lifts on cars, trucks, trains, canoes and motorcycles, and cycled nearly 13,400km.

The journey isn’t over but we’re looking forward to coming back to the UK for a month. This is us signing off from the blog for a while. Thanks for following and we wish you a very merry Christmas. We’ll be back writing again in 2017! 

Love from the two Londoners and one bike

Here are some of our favourite bits of 2016:

Temple hopping in Cambodia
6:30am start on U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
Celebrating Qingming Festival with locals in Yunnan province, China
Cycling to 5000m on the Tibetan Plateau, Sichuan Province, China
Cycling off road to Song-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan
Cycling to the remote Zorkul Lake in the Pamirs and following the Afghanistan border, Tajikistan
Finally getting our transit visa and our mad four day, 500km dash across the Karakum desert, Turkmenistan
Experiencing first hand the incredible hospitality and kindness of Iranian people
Campfires and hearty broths in chilly Armenia
Dressing up for an evening at the Georgian State Ballet in Tbilisi, Georgia
Following the turquoise coast, Turkey

Turkey in Stats 

Total Number of Days: 25

Total Distance Cycled: 1044.7km

Average distance per day: 58km (over 18 days)

Shortest Day: 20.6km – hour morning cycle to Bodrum

Longest Day: 103km towards Antalya

Public transport: 2 busses from Georgian border – Ankara – Mersin

Hitch Hiking: 0

Number of punctures: 0

Days of rain: 3

Days of snow: 0

Number of nights camping: 14

Nights at Warm Showers: 4

Nights at WorkAway: 6

Total spent on hotels: £22.60 (1 night)

Days stopped due to illness or injury: 0

Fethiye to Bodrum – our last days in Turkey

We spent a nice day food shopping, eating and relaxing on the beach front in Fethiye with Kathy and Nigel who are both keen cycle tourers too. Before he met Kathy, Nigel had been cycling for 6 years and has been everywhere including all over Europe and South America, a long tour following the full length of the Mississippi River and the famous Cairo to Cape Town tour. Needless to say we had lots to talk about and it was good to hear about their next trip which will see them team up to cycle around New Zealand. 

In the morning we visited a local bike shop and made the unusually (for us) snap decision to have a new Shimano cassette and chain fitted to the bike. Initially everything appeared to be working well despite the fact that the shop hadn’t also been able to replace the front cogs. We cycled around Fethiye peer without a problem but as soon as we tackle a hill the new chain now starts to jump off the smallest front cog… It turns out that all the advice is right – once you need to replace the cassette, everything needs to be changed because it all wears together. After some researching on the net by Paddy, we also discover that the cassette we’ve been sold isn’t quite the quality we’d hoped for. Knowing that we had a good few climbs to tackle before getting to Bodrum we decided we were better off going back to the bike shop and having our old chain and cassette put back on – we had come this far with it and had developed some pretty good tactics to prevent it jumping in the easiest gear! We half hoped that the shop might give us a refund for the new parts in light that we had only cycled 3km on them… Unsurprisingly, the shop wouldn’t take the new parts back and so we were kicking ourselves slightly for not doing our homework before buying. 

Anyway, these things are all trial and error and we now know for next time! Back on track we start to cycle out of Fethiye when the car in front of us suddenly turns right into a parking bay without any warning or indicating. We are forced to swerve quickly to the right to avoid crashing and start to skid on the wet ground. We both go over, Paddy taking the brunt of the fall. Things escalate and we end up having crossed words with the passenger in the car who was this big mouthy Turkish women. She claimed that we should have been in the cycle lane and this was Turkey not the UK so driving habits were different. This annoyed us because the whole thing was clearly the drivers’ fault. 

Anyway, after brushing off most of the dirt we finally get going properly. Bodrum is 240km away which we hoped to complete in 3 and a half days. Despite being delayed first in the bike shop and then on the road we still hoped to get to Koycegiz Lake 77km away. 
The day was spent on the main road; not unpleasant but not particularly scenic either. Koycegiz is really beautiful and the Lakeside park offers great camping facilities for 20 Lira a night so it was a great place to stop for the night. 

Cooking up dinner on the lake side

Onwards the next day and we reach our turn off at Akyaka which will see us leave the main road and take us along the Bodrum peninsula for the next two days. It was really great to be off the main road and we stop at a very swanky harbour for lunch before spending the afternoon cycling along some beautiful small roads with gorgeous coastline to our left. 

We reached the small cove of Akbuk and manage to find a local guy to open his little shop so we can stock up on a few things before camping on the beach. 

We had two days to reach Bodrum from here before catching the 9:30am ferry to Kos on the 9th of December. It was only 88km but there were two big 500m climbs between us and the town. We spent most of the day getting over these. This would be our last major climb of 2016!! 

Quick stop and looking down to where we camped the evening before

It was a beautiful cycle up through pine forests and mountains and we enjoyed winding our way up through the small sleepy villages despite it being pretty tough in places! We stop to buy some hand pressed olive oil from this lovely chap who was also selling his own honey, olives and balsamic vinegar outside his house. I wish you could all smell the oil – it’s divine – and we buy a litre. A little taste of Turkey to last us through our time on the boat in Greece.

We dropped down to camp on a beach just around the headland from Bodrum itself. The next day would see us complete the final 16km to the town, and find the campsite situated in the western part. Suddenly it was our last night in Turkey so naturally we enjoyed a few beers overlooking the marina. Tomorrow we catch the ferry to Kos where we can then get the long ferry to Athens.