7 challenging weeks in the books
Part II of this journey, together with my dad, started with illness, after separating in Zürich we both ended up with Covid. The time inbetween was unforgettable perfect – to go on a bike tour with my dad was a dreamt that came true.
The first days of Covid I had massive muscle pains like I never had before. My bike also decided it needed a rest, a part broke and I had to wait till it arrived.
On the climb to the Oberalpsee I got caught in a thunderstorm and I had to sleep next to a railroad. The next days I felt worse and worse. There is not many terrible things out there than being ill and alone the nature carrying only a bike and a tent with you. I felt miserable.
I battled my way through and it appeared to be the best days on the bike after. In a month I covered nearly 3.000km crossing Italy, San Marino, Austria en partly Slovenia. The body and mind were in great shape.
I took all the little roads in Italy via Lombaria, Emilia, Toscane, Umbria, Marche, Veneto and Trento. A million hills, mountains, lakes, off roads I conquered and it was beautiful. Although, the Italian people didn’t surprised me in a positive way. They appeared to me as being very self-centered, it was hard to even get one conversation going. Probably that’s why I felt lonely for the first time during this tour. Staying on a camp site and calling with friends and family got me over it quite quickly.
In the Alps I really wished for the Gavia and the Stelvio passes to climb, but due to a landslide I had to go back the same way I came, which forced me into Austria. This gave me the change to go over the Grossglockner which was extremely satisfying. What a tough climb, what a magical scenery. I couldn’t resist sleeping on the slopes and enjoying the stars and quiteness of this place.
The last week was full of everything that makes a bikelife so challenging, bad weather, hot weather up to 40 degrees Celcius, hard winds, nasty gravel off roads – I got nearly catapulted into a Slovenian canyon. I got offered a shower and food by an Austrian family, I slept in a forest with the loudest deers and birds I’ve ever heard, slept next to a little chapel to stay at least partly out of the wind and the last night I asked a Slovenian to sleep in their garden – the company and cookies they offered were nice.
And now – it is time to take a step back. I’m enjoying my time off the bike in Slovenia, having holidays till the 7th of July and then the journey continues to the Balcans! Great, challenging times awaits and I am ready for what lies ahead…