The time has arrived: I´m changing the name of the blog. Is not that I don´t like the current one, I really do. But I feel that it´s better to have a name with which I can be identified. At the beggining I was not sure, but it´s true that nobody can identify me with North by South-West. So here it comes: bicycloud (my name means cloud …), so from now on the address will be bicycloud.blogspot.com. I guess this also makes me bicycloud. Yes, the more I write it the more I like it.
The blog will be the same but with another name. I will copy the posts to the other site. I decided that each post will also have a Spanish part, so all my friends and family can read it.
So you are welcome to read and comment in the other site. This one I will leave it for now how it is, and the new things will go in the other one.
A few posts back I said how much a friend’s father, and my friend also, are helping with this blog. I also mentioned Agirregabiria is the president of a local blogger association called Getxoblog.
This weekend there was a meeting of this association and the guest speaker was HombreLobo, from hombrelobo.com. He is a really big blogger, or videoblogger, and he talks about the trips he´s doing. He´s been all over the world, and has this videos to show. He also knows a lot about blogs. You can see the whole presentation at Agirregabia´s, blog.
Well, Agirregabiria asked him if he could give me some advice, and so he did. As I was not there, they made a video of it. Thank you to both of you! Your support and advices are really helpful.
The first one is in Spanish (and it´s longer, with more advices) and the second one it´s in English.
Today I went for a little ride with the bike. Yes, I know should have been studying, but the weather was really nice. Well, it was, til I was gone for 10 minutes. It was really sunny, and really fast it got cloudy, and at the end it even rained a little.
I took some of my new equipment to try. The helmet fits. The sun glasses are great (I was afraid that they would actually hurt my ears, because they were amazingly cheap, but they are good).
I did a little video while being lost, just when I saw the airport. It´s my first attempt to make a video while riding (and talking). It´s actually better than what I thought it would be. Of course it´s a bit shaky, and you can´t hear me that good, but it´s not bad. Hopefully I will get a better camera for the trip.
Already cycling I saw some signs pointing the beach at Sola, and there´s where I ended up. On the way I saw a huge sign taking to “Ruinkirke”. The sign was so big that I had to follow it. As expected I got to a ruined church just by the road. The church was built in the XII. century, in a really nice place. You can see the sea from there.
You can visit it at anytime, it has some glass walls (so you can see inside). But the interesting thing is that you can get an audio guide by calling a number. I never heard something like this.
Finally I got to the beach. But the sun and the warmth this beaches don´t have anything to envy to those in the south, they are really nice. I was really surprised to see lots of people there. The funny thing is that they were all wearing coats, gloves and hats.
Tomorrow I will fly to the Basque Country, to take some exams. And after that, well I´m going to London, but after I will start thinking, planning and taking decisions for the trip by bike.
For a few years now I´ve been collecting the famous Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book in different languages. I only get the books in the languages of the countries that I visit. I don´t count visiting a country I only drive through, but this time, I won´t just be crossing them, so I will buy the books. I know that probably at the end I will have a quite big stack, but as I already have the books of half the places I will pass, and it´s the only souvenir I´m planning on buying, I think it will be alright.
Here I leave a link to a website, it´s quite strange as it is in several languages at the same time, but it has interesting “Le Petit Prince” links, as well as links to the online book in many different languages.
This is one of my all time favorite books, so if you you haven´t read it I really recommend you do. Enjoy!
The map finally arrived! Great? Well, no. I was so exited to open the little package I got from Amazon, and then I saw it.
This is probably one of the worst maps I´ve ever seen. I was not expecting a really great one, with all the towns and the names of the roads. I just wanted it to get a first idea of the rout. But this! Seriously. It´s just a map of Europe, with the major cities and roads, and drown over it, approximately where the roads go through. It´s not even drown on roads. My advice for anyone who wants to get it, see the little map in the website, it has exactly the same information.
I knew that probably I would make some mistakes buying some things for the trip, and that I would have to change some of the plans, but I was not expecting to make a bad buy so early. I´m so angry, I´m actually thinking of doing the whole trip without following the Eurovelo routs at all.
Well, here it came. I´m 25. just the perfect age to begin the trip i´m planning :). As the last few years, this is exam period for me, so I can´t really celebrate, and I will have to wait a couple weeks for that.
Haven´t been doing much planning, as I need the time for studying. Still waiting for the map to arrive. I really hope it gets here this week.
I don´t know what else. Next week I will go back to the Basque Country to take the exams. I will also have to buy some brakes there, as they are a lot cheaper than here (the bike i´m using doesn´t almost brake anymore) .
I will go to London for 3 days (birthday present), and afterwards I will start doing some serious planning.
There was a comment for the post “My trip”. Rafa did a similar trip last year and gives me some advices. -Thanks, I will really look into some of them. And as soon as I start making some decisions I will write you an email, because I have many doubts that you might be able to solve.-
From the first day, Agirregabiria, told me that I should find a unique name for the blog and the trip. It´s true that probably with a unique name I could be found easier, but at the beginning I was not that convinced. I really liked, and still like, north by southwest. The only problem is that is really not original. Google finds millions of pages related to this name, that´s what got me thinking of other names.
I want something easy to remember, a mixture of words maybe, and short. My name, Hodei, means cloud in basque, so I´ve been thinking something related to this. So far I´ve got only one name that it´s not found in Google and I like.
So probably I´ll will be moving to another page soon with the new name
If you think any cool names, I´m open to suggestions.
Today the weather was much nicer so I went for a ride, but the way was not as good as I thought. It was really icy. So I went slow. Sometimes I have the feeling that it´s more slippery if you go slow, but at least I can always jump.
This is a picture of me and the bike I´m using.
As I said yesterday today I put the panniers on the bike. It wasn´t hard at all. Afterward I thought of filling them just to see if I have enough space, but then I realize that probably I should do a list with the things I will be carrying.
It was snowing again here. Surprise! Anyway, the roads seem much better now, so tomorrow I will start cycling again.
Here you can see two pictures of the bikeroads right now. When I get north I expect to get something similar, just with many more hours of sun.
Tomorrow, as I don´t work on Wednesdays, I will pack my bike (well, not really mine) with the panniers (actually the only equipment I own right now), and see how they work, and how much I can pack in them.
A couple days back I came back to Norway after the Christmas break. I haven´t been writing much since, or cycling, as I´ve been sick, but as soon as I get better I will continue doing both. I hope by that time the ice from the street melts, or at least snows some more to be covered, it looks quite hard to cycle right now.
I already ordered the map from Amazon, I hope it gets here soon. I can´t wait to keep planning.
In my second post I said why I was going to write a blog and how I decided to do it, but here is the whole story.
As I don´t know much, if anything, about blogs, in the new year´s eve party I did with my friends, I asked one of them if he could explain how exactly they worked. He was really interested, and started giving me lots of ideas. The main thing I got from this chat was that I could, and probably should, do something not only for my close friends but for anyone interested.
A couple days later I went to this friend´s house to meet his father. If I thought my friend knew a lot about blogs, it´s nothing compared to his father. He is the president of a local association of bloggers (Getxoblog), and from the first minute he was giving me lots of great ideas, but mainly he explained how the first thing I had to do was to let people know about the blog. He also explained how a blog should be written to attract readers.
One of this ideas is to create accounts in the social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I also don´t know anything about them. I always tried to be apart of this, not to get distracted while studying with computer. But at the end of the month I will start using them.
Another idea is to include lots of pictures and videos of the places I cross, as many as possible. This is a really interesting idea. Till then I was thinking to take just my cellphone, it takes quite good pictures, and for me to remember the places it´s good enough. But know I´m planning on getting a good compact camera, one that would allow me to show better the places and the people I meet. But I will talk about this in another post, when I start analyzing the equipment.
The third thing, and probably the most important of all, is how often I will write posts. Of course the best thing is to write everyday, which I´m planning on doing. The problem is the internet connection. It would be perfect if I could get a USB device or a good cellphone to get internet access anywhere, but it´s way to expensive for my budget. I could barely afford it in one country, so internationally is out of the question. Luckily through Europe is quite easy to get internet (eg, libraries, cafes, …), so I hope to be able to post every couple of days what I write everyday.
So I´ve decided to change a bit the way of traveling. Now I intend to stop in more places and learn interesting things and people. I know it will be a much bigger effort, but I think it will make the trip much more interesting as well as the blog.
I think the title expresses quite well which is the main thing of this trip, but I´m so happy with the idea of doing it that I will say it again: I will cycle from Nordkapp (the North Cape), in Norway, the northernmost place you can get by road in Europe, to Tarifa, in Spain, the southernmost!!
Another characteristic of this trip is that I will do it only cycling, without crossing any seas. That will take me through Russia and many eastern countries of the EU, with a total of 2000km more (more or less), than taking the straight way, taking ferries.
This adventure will start in mid-April, when I´ll be done with my scholarship. The exact date is not decided, I have to see how I´m getting to the north of Norway, due to my lack of funds, it will probably be on the cheapest day possible.
The route is also not completely decided yet, there are many thing that I have to check before doing so, and probably it will change a bit along the way. The countries I´m planning to cross are: Norway, Sweden (if inner Finland is too cold in April), Finland, Russia (I´m having difficulties with the visa, if anybody can help, it will be much appreciated), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, France, Monaco (?), and Spain.
I will sleep in my tent, most of the trip, but I hope that the friends I made over the years, thanks to different international scholarships, host me when I go though their towns (if you are one of those, don´t worry, I will contact before getting there).
Well, that´s basically the trip I´m planning. At the beginning I thought I could do it in between 1 and a half and 2 months, but now I decided I won´t hurry at all. So I can write more about the places I go through :)
There are some European cycling routes, Euro Velo, which cross Europe, through many places. For now I´m planning on following them. The map costs only five euros with transport, so it will be one of the first things I will get.
If you have any suggestions about the trip (which are really welcome), or you want to ask something (even do I don´t know much yet), you can write comments.
A couple days ago when I started writing the blog, I did a really small presentation about me and the trip I´m planning, but as I´m hoping to reach as many people as possible, I will write a bit more, so people who doesn´t know me and haven´t heard from me what I´m going to do get a better picture of the whole thing.
I´m 24, right now, 25 soon. Now I live in Norway where I´m a language assistant in a high school, trying to teach Spanish. But I´m from Getxo, in Biscay, in the Basque Country.
I always liked sports. From my childhood till I went to the university I was a swimmer, combining this activity with water-polo, football, judo, tennis, and as many sports I had time to do. Slowly I got tired of doing so many things, and I quit doing most of them so I could focus on my studies. But I could not stay without moving so I decided to start jogging. And as I said before, if I do something I take it to the extreme, so last year I run 3 marathons and 3 half marathons, as well as many city races, mainly in Bilbao and the surroundings.
That´s why I think I´m fit to do this trip. It´s true that I never cycled for more than 5 days straight traveling, but now I cycle to work every day (even when it´s snowing), and I know that once I have an idea I can´t take it out of my head, so I´m confident I will be able to achieve this challenge.
I also like traveling and learning languages. So for two months (more or less) I will be doing two of the things I like the most.
As I mentioned yesterday I got convinced, by a friend and his father to try to attract as many people as possible. Both of them are big bloggers, and they wrote a post about my blog and the trip I´m planning. You can reach the blog in this link, it´s in Spanish, but it has some videos (also in Spanish), in which I´m talking with both of them about this adventure.
By the way, the picture in the background it´s me at the end of Lysefjord, probably one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway.
When I came with the idea of this trip, I decided that somehow i would let know my friends and family about my whereabouts and my experiences. But a friend of mine, and his father, convinced me that I can do something bigger, something that more people can follow.
Right now I dont´t know much about blogs or social networks, so I will start learning to try to make it more interesting.
I decided that i will write in English, it´s not my mother tongue, but with it I can reach my international friends. As for those of my friends and family who don´t speak English I will try to do something in Spanish as well, but I haven´t decided what, or how.
I will try to post, every couple of days before I start my trip in mid-April. Once I´m on my bike south I will write everyday what happened.
Every time I set myself to do something I tend to do it to the extreme. Now its cycling time.
This summer I did a little trip of five days following the Danube with the bike, and then it´s when I came with the idea of going from the north of Norway to the south of Spain. When I was doing this small trip sometimes I was following the Euro Velo trails, and I saw that they crossed Europe. In this trip I´m planning to follow them for the most part.
I will start my trip this April, it´s when i will have time. I don´t exactly know how long it will take me, but I guess between 1 and a half and 2 months.
I still don´t have a bike, as I´m planning to buy it Norway (where I´m living now), but thanks to Santa´s help I´m getting the funds to get what I need.