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Wish you were here!


After a heavy session on the raki, Goat Peter stumbled into a very enthusiastic man brandishing a tentacled monster from the not-so deep

It’s been a while since the last post… it’s been a while since we were last on the saddles. We’ve been enjoying a bit of a holiday in Crete with the folks in an old town house we’ve rented in Xania, a city on the north coast. Crete’s a beautiful island with a surprisingly epic landscape for a relatively small place. Huge mountains, beautiful coastline, crystal clear seas, alive a kicking traditional music scene, countless villages and general all-round island goodness. It’s been nice spending time catching up with the family, seeing the sights, tinkering around with the bikes and shopping for pepper spray.


Ross Daly performing in Xania, Crete.


Fishing at the light house Xania, Crete


Balos
One of Crete’s breathtaking stretches of coastline. The Mums weren’t overly keen on the drive to get there, probably because the roads bore more resemblance to apple crumble topping than anything suitable for driving on.

With the folks heading back to their respective homes way back west at the end of next week, Mary and I have been spending another sunny day inside trying to figure out where to head next. So far we’re pretty sure that we’ll be heading over to the south-west coast of Turkey. To get there we’re taking a boat from either Heraklion, Crete’s largest city, or Sitia, a town on the east coast. The direction we head in once we land in Turkey is still a unknown. Do we head east through Turkey and into a *chilly Middle-Eastern winter? The other option is to spend a few months in an interesting place, such as Istanbul, making art and practicing banjo and guitar. We had intended to base ourselves somewhere in Crete for the winter, but within two days of finding a place to rent we got very itchy feet and changed our minds.


Here’s a video of two blokes who decided that the -35 degrees C temperatures of Kyrgyzstan in mid winter provided ideal cycling conditions


Mountain goats A friendly reminder not to take the mountain road corners too quickly

We’re not sure what we’ll do, but having stumbled across a couple of very useful and detailed cycle blogs www.rolling-tales.com and www.worldbybicycle.com it looks like the Istanbul winter refuge has played a role in many other cycle tourists journey east. If we decide to head north to the ‘Gateway to the East’ my main concern is how we’ll deal with the challenge of living on a strict budget in a very tourist orientated city. We’ll keep you posted. One of the huge pluses, besides living in an amazing city, is that if we resumed riding in March/ April 2012 it would open up new possibilities for routes east including Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan… countries we hadn’t considered to be particularly feasible because of ludicrously harsh winters.


A night in the clouds Kallergi Mountain Refuge


Mountain Folk Nothing but natural smiles glowing on our faces as we stand with our backs to the huge mountain cliff-edge right behind us.

*Chilly is a fairly understated adjective when it comes to winter weather in the neck o’ the woods we’ll be cycling through. With snow causing major road closures for months and temperatures plummeting as low as -14 degrees C, f*$king cold would be more accurate, but, as anyone that knows me will testify, I think swearing is crude and puerile, so chilly will do.

Discussion

5 Responses to “Wish you were here!

  1. Marian certainly looks like she’s wearing her natural smile :P

    [Reply]

    Posted by Andy Degnen | December 3, 2011, 10:03 am
  2. Mum does look slightly like she is grimacing and wishing she was at the bottom of the mountain.

    Beautiful views though, because Crete is quite little I hadn’t realised that the views would be quite to impressive. I’ve been showing all my friends the pictures Pete emailed me.

    [Reply]

    Posted by Elle | December 3, 2011, 9:50 pm
  3. Everest next then. Crete sounded wonderful I heard all about it walking the dogs at Portelet with Marian yesterday. A bit cooler here, and just waiting for force 9 gale to strike. Glad we got a new roof in the Spring.
    Enjoy Turkey – will think of you in Istanbul

    YELG XX

    [Reply]

    Posted by Marguerite | December 12, 2011, 5:02 pm
  4. Awesome photo of the Kallergi Mountain Refuge, looks like a Bond villain’s hideout!!
    Take care
    Simes

    [Reply]

    Posted by Simon Ellis | December 21, 2011, 11:32 am
  5. all right! so you finally got to hear ross daly! was it just too remote and rural to stay in a little village in the off-season? thanks for posting this sound file… it’s almost like being there…. except no ouzo!

    [Reply]

    Posted by Miko | January 7, 2012, 11:14 pm

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