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Stage Eight - Tuesday 5th June 2012

Bad Lobenstien (D) to Hohenberg (D) The heavy rain that had started as I was erecting my tent last night had continued unabated throughout the night and well beyond the morning. Alas my tent had flooded during the night and I and everything in it was soaked. I managed to air it out during a dry patch in the afternoon and it is now damp rather than wet. Today was cold, bitterly cold! I struggled to use my hands and shivered uncontrollably in the cold of the early day. Again I was getting bo

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage Seven - Monday 4th June 2012

Ilmenau (D) to Bad Lobenstien (D) The torrential rain forecast didn't materialise but it was overcast and showers all day with the showers getting heavier and more prolonged later into the day. Today was tough going on the bicycle paths, the recent rains had left them deep mud in parts and in no way suitable for a loaded touring bike, they were really only mountain bike paths at the best of times. After getting stuck one too many times and having to push my bike through ankle deep mud. I dec

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage Six - Sunday 3rd June 2012

Walterhausen (D) to Ilmenau (D) It rained hard during the night and into the morning. It was 11:30am before I packed up a soaking wet tent and braved the weather. After a few hours of cycling through the cold storm shivering and miserable, I happened upon a small village just south of Ilmenau and spied a pension. With no chance of getting my tent dry today I saw this as the ideal opportunity to get everything dry, wash my dirty clothes and charge all my appliances. As I write this my tent is

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage Five - Saturday 2nd June 2012

Kassel (D) to Walterhausen (D) A beautiful day with no rain! I even had the chance to dry out some of my equipment including my tent and sleeping bag. I started off on route but was soon forced to take the cycle path route that passed through all the charming villages. Unfortunately I went somewhat off course and spent a large part of the day lost (something I would do in no small measure as the tour progressed). I eventually made my way to "Sontra" before getting back to "Eisnach" and then

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage Four - Friday 1st June 2012

Overhausen (D) to Kassel (D) The rain never let up today, so that's 48 hours I've been soaked through and I'm starting to look like a human prune. I spent the day (as yesterday) on quiet forest roads and cycle paths and later roads but with the German drivers so courteous and considerate sharing the road with them is a pleasure. I made camp in the forest just north of Kassel. Soaked through and in a wet tent and sleeping bag I dreamt of drier days.

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage Three - Thursday 31st May 2012

Wesel (D) to Overhausen (D) After a morning of light showers the hard rain came down with a vengeance in the afternoon as the skies darkened and I spent the day soaked through to the skin. I made my way through the rain and passed through a plethora of small villages and towns such as "Selm, "Werne and "Hamm" before eventually worn out I hurriedly erected my tent in the woods while being buffeted by the rain. It was to be an uneasy sleep both damp and cold

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage Two - Wednesday 30th May 2012

Zennet (Ned) to Wesel (D) After a difficult night’s sleep, (my injured arm kept waking me every time I moved) I was unaware at this time that I had a rotor cuff tear in the shoulder that wouldn't heal until I was to finish the tour and receive medical attention. I awoke to find that when I pitched my tent in the dead of night the previous day I had inadvertently camped in a field full of cows. They may have been on the far side of the field but for all the world they seemed to me to be stan

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Stage One - Tuesday 29th May 2012

Hook Of Holland to Zennet (Ned) After an uneventful journey to the start at the Hook I made my way east circumnavigating Rotterdam and passing through the beautiful Kinderdijk with its multitude of windmills. I felt quite emotional cycling this stretch as I covered the ground that I had cycled with my daughter when we did a tour of the Netherlands together some seven years before. Following the river Lek it soon became apparent that my GPS was not picking up the satellites and consequently

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

 

Istanbul and Back - An introduction

I was pretty sure that this would be my last tour so I wanted to go out with something special. This would be my sixth major tour in as many years. I knew I was well prepared and experienced but I was also aware that with traveling solo so far off the beaten track both triumphs and disasters lay ahead. All the entries you will read are taken directly from my diary that was written at the end of each day before going to sleep. They are for the most part an account of the route I had taken that

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

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