We‘re cycling for the first time outside Europe and get adopted by a local cycling gang
🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻♂️ Singapore to Langkawi (1000km)
After munching through Christmas season, we were ready to be in the saddle again – preferably in the sunshine and not in freezing Europe. We booked two tickets to Singapore with the plan to make our way to Hanoi in North Vietnam by the end of April. Solid plan! Only the bit about sunshine was slightly off as we arrived during monsoon season.
We left Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital, on the weekly ferry towards Palermo in Sicily and arrived early in the morning. The weather was clear and cold as we rolled down the ferry ramp and into the city. We did not book any accommodation and only had a few hours to see the city before heading towards more rural areas to pitch our tent.
The ferry arrived on a clear but cold Saturday morning in Olbia, on the North East coast of Sardinia. We chose to cycle south on the east side of the island which, although tougher, promised a more dramatic landscape with high mountains, rugged coastlines, hidden coves and crystal clear waters.
After spending time with Lucy’s family we caught a flight to Venice on a Tuesday evening and arrived in dark, foggy Italy. The visibility was so poor we only could see the massive buses seconds before they overtook us. The only route took us along a big A-road, which seemed rather suicidal in these conditions and so we decided to try our luck down a dirt track between some fields. After pushing and staggering through the darkness, we gave up on reaching the city and set up camp at 2am.
On a Monday morning in September we handed the keys of the flat to our landlord. ‘I’ve cycled in Vietnam in the early 90s’, he said.‘It was the hardest and the most rewarding thing I have ever done.’ Then he snapped a picture of us and waved goodbye while we set off with all our remaining belongings stuffed in six panniers.
Did you ever find yourself wet and cold after a day out pedaling in the rain missing serious rain gear? Or maybe you are like us, only reluctantly shopping for new gear and trying to recycle older stuff that we’ve lying around? Well, we slightly adjusted after cycling through non-stop rain for 6 days in Wales. Our year’s old water-resistant pack away jackets gave up after 30min, wet shoes and socks gave our feet a cold hug and trousers we didn’t pack at all. Never again!