It feels slightly strange to be back blogging. In total we have now been away from the tandem for a full 6 weeks, enjoying creature comforts back in the UK while catching up with friends and family. We had a lovely time and the trip home cemented many things and hopefully opened up a few new possibilities for when we finally get back.
Neither of us did much cycling while we were back. Me an afternoon ride around Falmouth in Cornwall and Paddy took his dad’s new carbon road bike out once while in Dublin. We both agreed it was very strange being on a single bike and I found the alien concept of pedalling, steering, breaking, and changing gear all at the same time very overwhelming!
Our next six weeks won’t see us doing much cycling either as we plan to live on Encore, Dermot’s sailing yacht, while we cruise around the Aegean Sea and wait for the weather to get just that little bit warmer before we cycle north towards Albania. The hope is that the sailing will be a great stop-gap in Greece to ease us back into that travelling mentality before we get going again.
Our only concern is that our fitness levels will be so low by mid-March that those climbs will feel pretty taxing. Fortunately, we decided to give the tandem some important upgrades while we were back including a completely new chain, cassette and smaller front cogs which now means we have a few more lower gears to make the climbs that little bit easier. We also got a bomb proof Surley steel front rack which we are both very excited about.
So we arrived safely back to Lavrion where the boat is currently moored and found everything as we had left it before Xmas. It didn’t take much time to settle back in.
For so many reasons, we are very fortunate to have the use of Encore for the next six weeks. We have had many amazing summer holidays on the boat so we associate being on her with many good times. In this way she feels like a little home away from home…
One of the best things about Encore is that she is big enough to accommodate six people comfortably so it’s easy to have friends come and visit us while we’re here.
We had last seen cyclists Andy and Clare in Kyrgysztan back in June. They had also spent the summer and Autumn steadily making their way across to Europe too and we had always had vague plans of meeting up on the boat in early 2017. A lot of things can change over 7 months when cycle touring though, so we were really glad when they replied to our message confirming that they were still in Greece and had time to come and join us for a week of sailing. With some relatively good weather promised it was time to get back exploring, this time by sail.