While I wait for Stanfords to order in the third map I need for Greece, I thought I’d write about some practicalities of my trip. This applies more to the European leg as I know more what to expect, I’ll work out India and the Far East as I get there!
First, accommodation. I will be camping most of the time to save money and give me greater flexibility and options of where to stay. I’ll either know which campsite I’m going to go to beforehand, or stop when I reach a campsite at about the right distance, or stop anywhere with a bit of grass for the night. Taking a tent means I have all options available to me. If I’m staying in a city, I can find a nice cheap hostel and have a hot shower and proper food, or if the worst comes to the worst, I can pitch my tent in a field by the road and find civilisation the next day.
Food: Most of the time I’ll eat food I’ve cooked myself on a camping stove or made in the morning before the days cycling, such as sandwiches. This will be much cheaper, and since most campsites have good basic shops, just as practical as eating in restaurants. Breakfast I’m really looking forward to in France and Italy, known for their croissants and pastries.
Luggage: I’m taking a trailer, maybe the Burley Nomad with a cargo rack, but I still have to work out how it would attach to my bike. The cargo rack can be used to put a solar panel on to charge things like a mobile phone or camera. This trailer isn’t waterproof, and isn’t the perfect trailer I envisage in my head, but it is pretty close to it, and gets very good reviews online. The alternative is the Carry Freedom Y-Frame, which is a simple flat bed, but I could build up whatever trailer I wanted on top of it.
Medical and Visas: I’ve made a list of countries I’m going to, and am going to the doctors soon to see which vaccinations I need. I’m also researching which visas to apply for, and where to apply for them in case they expire before I reach the country. In Europe I’ll have my EHIC card, and for the rest of the world I’ll take out comprehensive medical insurance.
Contact: Everywhere now has internet cafes, and I’ll be using these to keep in touch by updating the blog and website and uploading photo’s to them. Select people may also get the occasional postcard sent to them. I’ll also have my mobile phone, and to save money and battery (since I’m camping) I’ll have it turned off most of the time, only turning it on every evening to see if there are any urgent texts.
Sponsorship: This isn’t a cheap trip, and so I’m going to write to various companies asking for sponsorship as money or goods or services. For example, companies may like to sponsor me in return for me talking up their products and services, or putting their logo on my trailer, website and blog. If you know of anyone that might want their logo on my trailer, website and blog as part of a sponsorship deal, get in touch!
Now I just hope that Stanfords gets the Greece map in soon so I can finish that route, blog it, and buy the Turkish maps I need.