Day 173: Faversham- Stratford (East London) (82km) Distance travelled so far 10,751km “Thank you Phil”

Last night we decided to head out for a pint in Faversham. With our red hairy beards we obviously drew alot of attention…People were very interested in our story.

The barman, a very nice gentleman named Phil, asked us to come back in the morning and he’d cook us up a breakfast. We couldn’t turn down the offer….


Our campspot

The bacon-butties Phil cooked us up was just what we needed. Thanks again.


Behind the bar with Phil

With our bellies full we hit the road. The Thaireland trio couldn’t wait to have a couple of rest days in London


A typical English town

S
Nearing the city

We couldn’t get over the size of London. We were cycling in the city for half the day, to get to our destination….

We finally made it to Stratford and will be spending the next few days with Pauls brother, Mike and his fiancee, Vanessa. Tonight we will head to a BBQ hosted by some of Mikes work buddies so it should be fun!!


Us with Mike


With Mags


Mags with Una the wonderful BBQ hostess


Declan and us at the BBQ sucking back on some Ales


…with Brians mate Alex


Mags and Declan

Day 172: Bruges – Oostende – Ramsgate (England) (80km) Distance travelled so far 10,669km “Andrew the Ukranian Saviour”


Early morning coffee in Bruges

Knowing we had to catch a ferry across to England we headed from the city of Bruges very casually.


Leaving Bruges


Famous church in Bruges


Crossing one of the many bridges in the city

We had to cover an easy 24kms to the port town of Ostende. Leaving Bruges we got very mixed up with some of the road signs and lost alot of time. We finally got on the right track, but there was a horrible gail wind blowing in our faces and slowing us down considerably. We were beginning to think we would not make the ferry!!!

We finally arrived in Ostende 15 mins before the departure of the ferry. Oh, but another shock was to come our way!! While investigating into the price of the ticket for the ferry, we were informed that the ship only carried vehicles- no bikes!!!!!!

With 5 mins to departure, we quickly came up with a plan to hitch a ride onto the ferry. We came across a Ukranian man with a big empty van who had no problem with throwing our bikes in the back and giving us a lift. Thank you so much, Andrew……


Mike in the back of Andrews van

We all agree that Belgium was a fabulous country. Being so close to home we swear we will be back……


On English soilRamsgate


Our first English pub

We put down a nice 40km when we got of the ferry. The English roads are incredible difficult to cycle on. No such thing as cycling lanes or hard shoulders for bikes.

Went out for a couple of pints in a small town to celebrate our move closer top home.


Our campspot

Tomorrow- London, and a couple of rest days…..thanks be to Jaesus!!!

Day 171: Bruxelles -Bruges (115km) Distance travelled so far 10,387km “In Bruges”

With heads on us like Medusa (We drank a considerable amount last night) we slowly get going to Bruges….


Early morning site-seeing - Power hangover site-seeing…Asprin anyone?


The bitches love him…and dogs want to be him…


Making some bad turns we find ourselves on very busy motorways…


No..not The Netherlands…but pretty close to it at the moment


Ghent..An absolute wonderful place…Get to this place people!!!


Ghentastic!!!


Full of canals…and a great buzz about the place too….


On route to Bruges…If only Ireland had cycling routes like these ones!!!


Dying for a burger at this point!!


Bruges…Fine spot this one…

Tomorrow morning, we will head to the port of Ostende (approx 30km outside Bruges) and from here we shall head to Ramsgate in England. We are absolutely buzzing at the moment!!

Day 170: Denant – Bruxelles (Belgium) (87km) Distance travelled so far 10,474km “Another day another country”

Our camp spot (a soccer ground) was pretty decent. It didnt rain either, much to the relief of Paul. (his cheap tent beginning to show its true colours.., ie. crap!!!!)


Three tents – three men – three stalkers


We followed this river all the way to Brussels


Mike enjoying the cycling lanes, the scenery and great companions


Nearing Brussels – Watch out!!!


Quick bite at a filling station

As Brian had worked in this district for a few months, he knew the place pretty well. We also secured lodgings with Chris (one of Brians ex-work-mates) and plan to head out for some good-times tonight at an exclusive Belguim booze-house….


Cycling paths all the way into Brussels…Perfect


Time to party (left to right – Chris the Smasher,Mike,Paul,Mark,Mike The Ledg,Brian.

Day 169: Luxembourg – Denant (Belgium)(151km) Distance travelled so far 10,387km “Another day another country”

I think we were all in agreement that Luxembourg city was not the most exciting place we were in!! Not really much to do here….and it lashed rain which made matters worse


Leaving Luxembourg

Its strange to believe that we got through Luxembourg so quickly. Leaving Germany , we were in the capital (Lux city) within 2 hours and within another 2 hours cycling, the following day we were in Belgium….

The width of the country is only 87kms.


Entering BelgiumHoly smokes!!!


Very similar to Ireland.


A quick roadside break after a long slog


Belgian blue cows. Some of the finest arses in the land!!


Nearing the end of the day, getting late


Took us a half hour to get to the end of this straight -


Oh my gorgeoust!!!


Brian gives a big salute – closer to home…


Nearing Denant – nice 3km decent…We’ll take that

After a serious days pedalling, and covering over 150kms, we crawled into a beautiful town called Denant. So far, Belgium has been a lovely country.


Denant – Very nice entrance to its town

We treated ourselves to a meal in the center of the town and afterward, under the darkness of the night we searched for a campspot. It was 10.30pm before we found a spot. We were all proud of our days work and looking forward to Belgiums capital, Brussels, tomorrow…


Got a cup of sugar? Setting up camp, very late..Animals!!!!!!!

Day 168: Nohfeldon – Luxemburg City (137km) Distance travelled so far 10,236km “Anyone for Luxemburg?”

Today was a lenghty slog to Luxembourg City. We are jusrt bombing through the kilometers at the moment. Ireland here we come!!!!


Last of the German vineyards


Relight my fire…eh… I dont think so!!!!…Luxembourg City did not set us on fire!!!!


Those Tanks never obey the speed limit..Bostords!!!


Working our way out to the only campsite in Luxembourg..Clouds are starting to look dark..Boo!!!

We treated ourselves to a camp site in Luxembourg this evening. Once the tents were set up we headed into the city for some food. It rained heavily while in the city and upon arriving back to the campsite we were greeted with 2 very wet tents. Enjoy….

Day 167: Brackenheim – Nohfeldon (135km) Distance travelled so far 10,099km “Another long day, but feck it..we are nearly home now!!!”


Cherry picking – Early morning at the campsite


Entering Speyer – Pretty

The town of Speyer surprised all of us. The town was full of many attractions. Many parks, buildings, monuments and a very nice pedestrian street full of bars and cafes. Unfortunately we could only stay for a few hours. Back to business boys!!!


Lunch in the park- Speyer


Cycling the pedestrian street


Heads down and back to business

After a hard day on the bike we camped in a nice secluded spot in a famers field just outside the town of Nohfeldon.

That night we cooked up the usual spaggetti and added our favourite….sardines in tomato sauce…mmmmmm!!!

Before we went to bed Mike took a look at his speedometer and realised that we had covered over 10,000kms!!!! Our first few kms of the cycle trip were from all the way back in Bangkok, Thailand!!!!!!! Impressive,eh??

Night all…..

Day 166: near Aalen -Brackenheim (131km) Distance travelled so far 9,964km “Back to hard slogging”

After slacking it for the past few days, we knew that we would have to get back to doing our usual 100km days. So we put down the heads and made sure not to stop for any more distractions.


Brians landing strip


Which way to Aalen!!!..Decisions decisions….


Wind power and pedal power galore


Breakfast in Aalen


Irish bar in Aalen..we wondered had they misspelt it?


Lunch time in ____


Vine-yards line the hillside

We arrived into Brackenheim at 9:30 after a very long days cycle, only to find yet another festival on. We decided to stop for a beer, some food and to listen to the local music talent.


Festival night in Brackenheim


Paul enjoying the music

Day 165: Dillingen – near Aalen (47km) Distance travelled so far 9,833km “Fly me to the moon.”

With the hangovers now subsided and feeling really refreshed, we were well geared up for some monster kilometers today..Come on… bring it on!!! Yeahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Leaving Dillingen…Feeling on top of the world


Spotted this monument on the way out of Dillingen


Spotted some a plane taking off from a local air-strip – curiousosity got the better of us


So we headed straight for the air traffic control tower

Check out the vids -



One of the gliders – very exciting!!!


Mike helps bring out the glider


Brian keeps the glider sturdy on route to the air strip


Whats up Maverick!!!


Our flying instructor – Manfred


Brian mid flight


Paul gets ready for launch

After another slack day (kilometers wise), we didn’t feel too bad to be honest. It was an oppurtunity that we just couldnt turn down. So with a great flying experience, a BBQ, we headed to our free campsite, compliments of Manfred and his partner. Thanks guys.


Manfred offers us free camping for the night

Day 164: Augsburg – Dillingen (44km) Distance travelled so far 9,784km “The Medieval Hangover”

Last night bucketed rain and with our mornings hangover throbbing hard, it didnt help our cause one bit. The morning was really windy too, which makes cycling conditions pretty horendous….


Pretty tedious scenery in Germany


Hungover but still smiling!!


We love farms we do….er!!!…Lovely tractor!!!


Crops


Entering Dillingen

We didn’t expect Dillingen to be our last town today, but the hangover and the increasingly mischievous headwinds finally got the better of us, so we booked into a campsite for the night to recouperate.