After much working over this summer with research projects and shop work back in Edinburgh, the time has come to start probably one of the hardest things I’ve attempted in a very long time. A holiday, with a twist.
After much delegation with my dear friend Paddy as of what to do this summer, it began with inter-railing, which had appealed for me, for a short time. Inter-railing is a good was to see a lot of places really quickly, but you don’t get to dive into the culture of the country you actually go to because you don’t spend enough time there. So what did we think of as an alternative? Something far more stupid.
Barcelona was a must in my eyes, a vibrant unexplored city just begging to be explored, but we couldn’t just go there, Paddy’s ultimate destination was Nice, France, where the south-french culture really appealed to his laid back attitude in terms of being able to relax and enjoy the scenery. However, getting firstly to Barcelona and then to Nice went under some speculation for cost-effective reasons. Flying, buses, trains, but as two very unconventional men, we decided something a bit left field. Cycling.
And this is how the bicycles would be transported, who said I couldn’t be an engineer?!
With a bus from Edinburgh to Paris, and a train from Paris to Barcelona, what could possibly go wrong? I really shouldn’t jinx myself by saying that should I….oh well.
Our end route panned out like this,
Barcelona to Nice, via basically the whole south coast of France, 4 days in Barcelona, the a multitude of early starts, many shorts pit stops for water and energy gel, trying to maintain a good pace so as to make the next city in time so we can crash there for a day, explore a city for the entire day, and repeat for the next city. Ironically, this will probably leave us so exhausted on the day we spend in each city that exploring it will be somewhat difficult. But with Perpignan, Montpellier, Marseille, Toulon and finally Nice, there is too much to offer for us to waste any time feeling tired from mass cycling, so much food will be consumed (with my love of food this shouldn’t be a problem).
However, we both decided on this for the sheer challenge of it, we both like to push, and surpass, our limits. We like to see how far we can go before we break ourselves whether it’s doing too much at once, a physical challenge as big as this, or seeing who can fit the most marshmallows in one’s mouth (probably me, just saying).
Tomorrow we get our first bus from Edinburgh to London at 9:45, I’m both excited and nervous for what could and will happen during the trip, being able to relax in Barcelona to start with shall be incredible, but my mind is very much focused on getting up at the crack of dawn for when we leave for Perpignan, setting off at 5am, making sure we avoid the intense heat and stay hydrated and everything in between, bicycle maintenance, cycling safety, making sure to stay on the right side of the road (I can see us cycling on the left to begin with, it’s just going to happen).
If we survive this, it’ll be very much a character builder, and we’ll both probably both look at each other thinking ‘Cycling? NEVER AGAIN.’ but for now, we have to pack everything to it’s secure for travelling on many different modes of transports, and making sure we have space for food stuffs to keep us going. If all goes to plan we should get back on the 7th of September, where I then have 4 days to pack all my shit together to move into halls for university to start again. Yes. I know. I plan everything to very fine margins, but that’s just how I live!
If you see another post here, you’ll know we survived, and that it’ll be full of amazing pictures of people, food, road side pictures, probably some angry aching pain photos, and everything in between. But, for now, catch you guys later!