Juvimax adventures

An account of our lifestyle and family adventures around the world

Blog

view:  full / summary

Here we go again

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Every time I look on here it has been a few years since the last post. ALso, every time I tell myself that I'm going to update the page and do all these things.. and then life happens and it gets forgotten.

This time I'm hoping to be a bit more serious in my ambitions. 

FIrst of all, we'll be changing Vimaxadventures to Juvimax Adventures as we do have a little man (who is 4 years old alread) named Justin who needs to have his name incorporated in this! In case you didn't know Juvimax will then consist of the names of all 3 of our children, Justin, Victor and Maxime. 

Looking forward to sharing our adventures with you!! 

- Leandra

the life of many adventures

Posted on January 16, 2016 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Here we are, it is January 2016 and after 5 years of absence it is time to update!

We've had some amazing adventures in the past 5 years, from witnessing major geological changes in our area to having our third son Justin in 2012 to megapackrafting, cyclotouring adventures with the kids to starting a business adventure in roasting coffee.

More details on all of those and more. But for now, let's get this site back in to shape!

happy trails,

Leandra

It's been a busy while

Posted on November 15, 2009 at 8:08 PM Comments comments (0)

November 15, 2008

 

It has been a busy while for us!

We have very much enjoyed working at the winery. as everything comes to an end, so did working there.

We spent 3 weeks working on our house, converting our open space second floor into 4 beautiful bedrooms.

 

Just 2 weeks ago we have spent some time with the kids in France. The boys enjoyed their little cycling holidays this summer so much, they asked to go again. Thankfully the weather was permitting and thefore we were able to go on a 3 day adventure.

Victor had a new bicycle, same style as ours; front suspension and 21 speeds.

Maxime with no more broken limbs, was able to cycle on Victor's old bike.

We took small roads and a small trail following the aveyron river in southern France. The trail was covered with mossy trees, often creating a tunnel. This along with some creek crossing made it a 'jungle adventure' (as Victor and Maxime called it). The boys were so happy to do some wild camping, make their first campfire and roast some marshmallows.

The pictures of this trip can be found on our photo gallery.

 

Now we are in Clearwater, getting to know the dogs.

 

 

Our adventures never end (and we don't want them to)

Posted on September 14, 2009 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I can't even remember when we arrived back in Canada. It mus have been the 8th of September. 


Since then, we have been busy in our current adventure. We are in southern British Columbia, in the Okanagan region, working in a vineyard. The vineyard is owned by some good friends. They are just starting, and so there is lots to do and learn, for them and for us! We have been helping them in the field, we hang nets (so the birds don't eat the grapes) and we leaf thin (cut the leaves in front of the grapes so the grapes can enjoy the sun and sweeten in the last weeks before we harvest). Also we are busy in the Winery itself, the tanks (8000l tanks that will hold the wine) arrived last week and Philippe has been helping to put them in the winery. Soon we will be harvesting the grapes and assist in the process of crushing etc. until the 'grapes' are in the tanks, waiting to be drunk next year! We really enjoy this work, as we are outside all day, surrounded by friendly people, and it is so very interesting to see how much work is involved in making wine!


Besides just working, we have been looking for some interesting work for the winter. Doing this,  we learned that travelling is life changing while you travel, but it opens up oppurtinities even long after you have travelled. We are the living proof of that....

10years ago, Philippe did a 5 week camping trip on the Yukon Quest trail, with a dogteam. Now, 10 years later, we are going to be spending our winter at the second largest ski resort in BC, giving dogsledding tours. We will be taking care of 40 dogs and give tours every day. for more info, or to book a tour, check http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/activities/winter.aspx and click on dogsledding tours.


For now, we're in the heat, having a blast! And we are happy to continue our adventures through work, together. 

 


Remembering Nanook

Posted on August 24, 2009 at 10:48 AM

August 24, 2009

 

Today it has been a year since our best friend Nanook passed away. Together with the kids we have baked some dogshaped cookies, and looked at Nanook's pictures, to remember our friend.

Thinking back of the same day last year, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were riding that rollercoaster of life changing events....

At the time, we were ready to go to Siberia, where we planned to cycle for 3 months. Philippe would have a fully loaded bike and would pull a trailer with Nanook. I would have only rear panniers and pull a trailer with gear.

Everything was going well until the Thursday, we received a phone call that the Russian embassy denied Philippe's passport because of a stain. That meant no visa in time. We lost the time and money invested in the visa and the planetickets. Also all the wintergear we had invested in, for us and our bicycles, was now not needed anymore. And yes that weekend, Sunday evening, Nanook suddenly passed away.

I remember how lost we felt, our planned journey fallen apart, our best friend gone. It took at least a week before we decided to at least keep travelling. We had to find ourselves another route. We decided to go eastbound, our goal was to reach the black sea....

Our 'spontaneous' adventure ended up much further than the Black sea, in North Africa.

It's hard to believe it has been one year already. Nanook has been, and still is, on our mind very often. We hope to one day enrich our family with another samoyede. His name is already decided for: Nanook.

Cycling with the kids

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 10:44 AM

August 15, 2009

Cycling in France with the kids.

 

Our last week has been busy, we are enjoying our time with the kids in France.

We just returned from a 4 day cycling adventure with Victor and Maxime. Maxime had broken his arm just one week before Philippe and I arrived, therefore he was not capable of cycling. Luckily we still had the dogtrailer that was once supposed to be for Nanook. We transformed the trailer into a luxurious little 'cabin' for Maxime. Also we succeeded in mounting one of our front racks on the rear of Victor's bike, so he could carry some luggage as well (on his own request).

By car we were dropped off at the top of a valley. We spent our first day descending along a creek to arrive at the river the Viaur. After 20km we arrived at Laguepie, a picturesque little village along the river. The camping right by the water was very much welcome. We enjoyed ourselves swimming and playing mini golf in the afternoon.

Day 2 we cycled 32 km, from Laguepie to St Antonin. We picked some prunes from one of the many prune trees along the road. Picnicked on a cute church square. We stopped to pick flowers and to admire a gorgeous caterpillar that was traversing the little road we were on.

Day 3 we cycled 35km from St Antonin to Najac. We had to climb out of the valley. 3 long kilometers up. We figured out a way for Philippe to pull Victor and that worked very well. The descent into Najac was great. Once again we swam and we hiked up a steep hill to reach the Castle of Najac and had some ice cream.

Day 4 we cycled 20 km from Najac to Villefranche de Rouergue, where we were picked up in the afternoon. We had another big climb this time 5km long. Philippe sweat lots as he pulled victor and the rest of his load (that includes Maxime) up the hill.Once on top the road was relatively flat all the way to the end. Once picked up and in the car, we figured out the Temperture was 35 degrees celsius!

We have been throwing water on eachother all these days, wetting our baseball caps and eating lots of ice cream to keep ourselves cool in these roasting temperatures.

All 4 of us loved this short trip. We will be doing another one with the kids next year. Then 4 of us on the bike (unless Maxime decides to break a leg just before we show up just so he can go in the trailer again...).

Easy travellers recipe to change from pastas

Posted on August 13, 2009 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

August 13, 2009

A traveller's tip to change from pastas

 

I have decided to give you one of our special travelling recipes. While we travel it is often impossible to carry along fresh food due to many circomstances.

In Egypt, we came across a traditional dish that is actually a mix of lots of stuff. It doesn't look very attractive, but the taste is great.

As we were cycling from France to Norway, in the grocery store I found some fried onions that reminded me of this Egyptian dish...... since then we have been eating it a lot to change from pastas with cheese...

Kushari is a traditional Egyptian meal that consists of a strange combination of macaroni, spaghetti, rice, black lentils, chick peas, garlic sauce and a spicy tomato chili sauce, all topped with fried onions. It is sold from carts by street vendors, in restaurants or even made at home and each is considered a different taste experience.

Our 'expedition' version of this dish is very easy and very yummy. We buy instant rice, macaroni and fried onions. Check the cooking time of both rice and macaroni.

Boil the rice (300gr), add the macaroni (200gr) at the right timing so rice and macaroni are cooked at the same time. drain and serve. add fried onions on top and enjoy!

If you are interested, here is the 'real' recipe:

 

KOSHARY (EGYPTIAN, LENTILS, RICE AND MACARONI)

1 1/8 c. brown lentils

1 c. elbow macaroni

1/2 c. long grain rice

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

SAUCE:

2 minced onions

2 crushed cloves garlic

2 tbsp. oil

16 oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp. wine vinegar

1 chili pepper, crumbled (either fresh or dried)

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Place lentils in saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Fry onions and garlic in oil 5-10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, and chili pepper and simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Add parsley, season to taste.

While sauce is cooking, boil macaroni and rice together in water for 12 minutes. Drain. Mix together lentils, macaroni and rice, season to taste. Place on heated serving dish. Pour tomato mixture over all. Serve hot.

Egilsstadir to Reykjavik

Posted on August 7, 2009 at 10:43 AM

August 7, 2009

Egilsstadir to Reykjavik and back to France

90 days 7500km

 

The windgods have been playing with us on our last stretch. Lucky for us it has been mostly in the back. It would push us at 44 km/h! No wonder why cyclists going the other way were taking the bus! Once arrived in Vik, the most southern point of Iceland, the wind was so strong that on the camping, some tents were litterally dancing in the wind and tentpoles were breaking. We were happy to have a strong tent made to withstand hurricane winds.

Together with the wind, we had some rain: We haven't had good weather for the last 2 weeks.

We followed the ringroad towards Skaftafell, a national park well known for its many beautifull hiking trails. We spent an hour hiking towards pretty Svartifoss and learned about the Jokulhaups (the flood of water etc that occurs when a volcano erupts underneath a glacier) that happen in the region. The biggest Jokulhaups was in 1998:

During the Grimsvotn Eruption From December 18 to 28, 1998 a 1300-meter-long fissure eruption took place on the south edge of Grimsvotn Caldera, much of which is buried beneath the Vatnajokull Ice Cap. The ash and steam column reached heights of 10 kilometers. This eruption occurred 10 kilometers south of the 1996 Gjalp subglacial eruption that melted 3 cubic kilometers of ice, causing a huge glacial outburst flood that destroyed the road and communication lines across southern Iceland.

We cycled for many kilometers over the long, flat, grey, rocky moorland that is caused by the Jokulhaups wiping out everything on its way.

The road became very impressive as we were squished in between the ocean on one side and the countless glaciertongues on the other. One of these glaciertongues drops into a lake, creating a lake full of icebergs. The lake slowly flows out into the sea, creating a perfect fishing spot for the seals that hunt in between the twirling icebergs. This lake is known as Jokulsarlon (glacier lagoon). we were lucky to find a campsite just by the shore of the lake to enjoy the icebergs for ourselves.

Slowly but surely we were progressing towards the west, we left the Vatnajokul area and the shoreline. The road became hilly and the wind came from the side. We took our time as we were ahead of schedule.

We arrived in Reykjavik 3 days before departure and spent those last 3 days walking through Reykjavik and eating our favourite snack, Skyr (Skyr is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. Technically it is a very soft cheese).

Ofcourse on our last kilometers to Keflavik airport the rain decided to give us a last pooring, so we arrived pretty wet at the airport. But that didn't bother us as we knew that in a few hours we would be arriving in the very welcome French heat!

We are currently back in France.

Akureyri to Egilsstadir

Posted on July 20, 2009 at 10:41 AM

July 20, 2009

Akureyri to Egilsstadir

 

81 days, 6800 km

 

25 km after leaving Akureyri, just after climbing a long steep pass, Philippe blew his rear tire on a sharp rock. We used the one and only spare tire to replace the broken one. Knowing we would be spending lots of time cycling rough roads in the weeks to come, we decided to ditch the bikes and hitchike back to Akureyri and get a new spare tire. 3 hours, 4 rides and a 5km walk later we were back at our bicycles with 2 spares (we didn´t want to take a chance).

The next day we arrived in the Myvatn area. We visited some pseudocraters, formed by steam explosions when molten lava rushed over wedland. After these, we visited a volcanic crater, Hverfell. This crater is 140m deep and has one of the largest tephra rings on the planet.

We found ourselves a nice campsite between some small trees, we had some eggs as a treat. As we woke up the next day, Leandra had pain in her stomach and didn´t eat much. We went to visit an area with boiling mud, steam vents and solfataras, followed by a visit to the Krafla (volcano) area, where we walked on very fresh lava (1984) that was pitch black, still smoking and sometimes sharp as glass. Unfortunately Leandra started a very bad stomach flew as we were visiting.

Leandra felt a little better the next morning so we decided to go on. We left the ringroad to head into the interior. After 40 km on the rough sandy road, we both felt very sick. As soon as we found a little pond in the sandy desert we set up the tent. We learned that Philippe had a 39.1°c fever. Both sick, we could only rest. We couldn´t eat a thing, must have shared one loaf of bread over 3 days, but didn´t touch our rations. We stayed stranded for 48 hours, laying in the tent, motionless, with no other desires than laying still. Still like this weird desert around, motionless also, no animals, no plants, no colors, nobody. If not for the breeze, we could very well be on Mars or on the Moon.

When we felt a bit better, despite the fact we were not back to normal yet, our curiousity and our fascination pushed us to get us going farther.

The hot days we had now turned into foggy cloudy and rainy weather which was great because it made the sandy roads more compact, thus less pushing the bicycles!

Once arrived in the Askja area, we walked up to the Viti crater through the fog, which created a very special atmosphere. We scrambled down to the geothermally heated milky blue lake in the bottom of the crater and had a swim.

At this point we had both totally recovered from our mysterious sicknesses and were starting to eat like normal again. We decided to cycle deeper into the interior towards a special place where the biggest glacier in Europe and a Volcano meet. A rough and long, narrow track led us to a mountain hut a few kilometers from the hot spot. The tracks first go through another one of those moonscapes, a desolated vastness of volcanic ashes, sands, volcanic bombs and pumice. It is actually in this very same place that NASA tested the landing module and lunar jeep for the Apollo missions.

For a while the track then goes through lava fields, endlessly winding its way through. We find the tracks challenging but very exiting and despite the long hours spent bouncing around on rocks, pushing our bikes through sand and many river crossings, we are really loving it.

Passed the mountain hut, we wade through the most challenging river crossing ever, with icy cold glacial water (the glacier is only a few dozen meters away), holes, and big boulders. There is enough current that, when we cross the river holding the bikes by the handle bar and the saddle, the strong current pushes the bikes nearly horizontal trying to take them away from Phil´s strong hands. Even though the whitewater is coming up to his thighs, Philippe still takes Leandra on top of his shoulders to take her across (isn´t he the sweetest).

After a short walk, we then find the ice cave. The main entrance must be 15 meters in diameter and steam is pouring out of the huge hole. A surprisingly warm river is coming out of the glacier (the warm river made the caves). It is easy to walk inside the first 100 meters under the glacier. This is very special. We see some light and find the roof of the cave had fallen down, from here you could look up to the crevasses towering high above you, this was quite impressive.

We later walk in the surroundings and even on the glacier, looking for the fumeroles and other steam vents hidden somewhere else on the glacier, but because of fog and a bit short of time, we decide to go back to the mountain hut.

We cycled the same 45 km tracks back to the gravel road, where we turned east. The road was very sandy, the desert was gorgeous, lots of sand and some big volcanic boulders (basaltic organs). Deciding to camp there we took a walk to the river to get some water for cooking and realized we had set up the tent close to a mighty canyon! We scrambled down the jaw dropping canyon and once again realized how awesome is it to stumble upon these ´unknown´ (or at least unmarked) natural goodies just by yourself instead of being surrounded by tour busses.

We were happy to reach the pavement again as it meant returning to the known world but we were sad to have left all the oddities of the interior desert.

We are currently in Egilsstadir, we are all cleaned up, tomorrow we will be back on the road towards Hofn.

Varmahlio to Akureyri

Posted on July 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM

July 7, 2009

 

We arrived in Akureyri the beginning of the afternoon.

We will now be heading towards the area of Myvatn lake, spend a couple of days exploring the area around the lake and towards the Krafla volcano. After this, we will go back into the Interior where we hope to make our way over unbridged roads and tracks to the Askja volcano. We will then decide where to go from there. We might take some tracks to visit ice caves dug into the Vatnajokull ice cape by underground steam but this all depends on how the roads and river crossings are. We are planning to be back on the ashfalt road (and civilisation) in about 12 days, and therefore are quite heavily loaded with food!

Keflavik to Varmahlio

Posted on July 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM

July 6, 2009

Keflavik - Varmahlio, via the Kjolur and other interior higlands roads.

 

6 days and 500km on this stretch, 6100 km and 65 days since we left from France.

 

We arrived safely in Reykjavik on June 30. We had quite a surprise though, when our bicycles were brought into the luggage area. The boxes were exploded open! We were not happy at all but thankfully nothing was lost and the bikes seemed ok.

We packed up 7 days of groceries in Reykjavik as we decided to go though the interior roads to reach northern Iceland. That meant going through rough gravel roads in the middle of volcanic sands and rock deserts. Nobody lives in the higlands but a bunch of sheep roaming free. We travelled through the F35 gravel road as well as parallel unbridged monster truck tracks. We had lots of fun doing it and are eager to go on some other tracks again later during our trip.

On our way we have visited Pingvellir, Geysir, Gulfoss and Hveravellir. We have travelled between two large icecapes in the higlands, along lava flows and geothermal areas.

Crossing through a river we discovered that the bob trailer floats! On another track we had to turn around because of a too wild too deep and too strong river. The tracks are only used by local monster trucks and we now understand why!

On our way to Iceland

Posted on June 29, 2009 at 10:31 AM Comments comments (0)

June 29, 2009

En route to Iceland, leg 5

 

 

We've had 5 days for regrouping. Our time has been spent fixing up the bikes, doing research on the internet, taking little walks and reading.

 

We fixed the freewheel problem on Philippe's bicycle. We looked at it with a bicycle mechanic and decided to buy a new wheel instead of just replacing the freewheel for which we (and the bike mechanic) had no tools.

Leandra has been cycling with a broken wobbly rim for a while and we helped her out by switching Philippe's old rim onto the spokes and hub of the wobbly broken rim. We were happy that we were able to do this by ourselves, the rim is dished and true.

Our bicycles have been starting to show their mileage during this trip. It is becoming an annoyance that our bicycles are not equipped with the 'standard' worldwide brand. Therefore the parts we find along the way are not compatible with ours and often neither the mechanics or us have the proper tools to deal with the gear on our bicycles.

We have been spending quite some time researching our route in Iceland. We have decided to make a combination of cycling the ring road and as well exploring the challenging interior rough gravel roads.

In the late evening today, we are leaving on our way to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, where we will arrive tomorrow, on Leandra's birthday. For the last time today we bought our favourite cheap goodies at the store. We'll be missing the super cheap 500gr marzipan for $2!

Sortland to Nordkapp

Posted on June 24, 2009 at 10:30 AM

June 24, 2009

Sortland - Nordkapp (North cape)

 

5534 km from Southern france to the Northernmost point in Europe, cycled in 54 days.

 

We had bad weather leaving Sortland, but the wild rugged coast with waves pounding the rocks alongside us was a true enjoyment. We followed the westcoast of Andøya, there was barely any traffic and very enjoyable. We reached Andenes from where we took an hour long wavy ferry ride. An hour was long enough, even though there were plenty of puffins to look at, our stomaches were starting to let us know they would not be able to swing from left to right much longer anymore..

In Tromsø we were happy to find Leandra's new gear shifter had arrived just before we showed up. Leandra was very glad to have her speeds back after 2 weeks with only 3 speeds.

These last days since Tromsø we were cycling through tundra like landscape. Sometimes with small birch bunches. There are lots of reindeer herds everywhere. They are roaming free in the mountains but are actually cattle. They are not scared of cars and cyclist, and therefore we have lots of close encounters.

It is now tourist season, we see as many RV's on the road here as there are on the Alaska Highway.

The day of arrival at Northcape, the weather was gorgeous. Blue skies and not too much wind. Which was motivating as we had to work hard till the last meters. The day of arrival we went through our longest tunnel yet, 8 km long and going 212 meters deep under the ocean (very long, cold, dark and steep). We had major hills for the 30 last kilometers, from Honningsvåg to Nordkapp, plus the 30km back (North cape is at the end of the road)

We had our first tire blow up at 5000km, it was Philippe's rear. Quite surprising as we were expecting the tires to let us down at 3500km. Also Philippe is having problems with his free wheel that doesn't lock properly anymore. His bike barely made it to North Cape, so we somehow need to find a way to fix the problem as he will certainly not be able to bike more than a few days with his bicycle in this condition.

We'll be spending a few days here in Honningsvåg waiting for our flight to Reykjavik (Iceland) on the 29th.

Our photocamera has been causing us some problems as it doesn't want to work some days. Thankfully we can take pictures with our videocamera, but unfortunately we do not have the proper cable with us to upload the pictures from the videocamera to the computer. Because of this problem we can not show you all of our pictures, but at least a good idea of what we have been seeing

Bodo to Sortland

Posted on June 15, 2009 at 10:29 AM

June 15, 2009

Bodø - Sortland

 

4700km in 46 days

 

Just after writing the last news, we took the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes, Lofoten Islands. The Lofoten Islands have even more dramatic landscapes than the western fjords thanks to sharper and higher mountains.

We have caught up with the time and are now certain that we will make it to Northcape in time. Therefore we can now take it a bit easier. This morning we woke up to pooring rain, we decided to take the day off so we can rest a bit and spend some time on the website.

We have about 2-3 days to Tromsø, here we will pick up the new gear shifter for Leandra, that should be there on Thursday.

We are also preparing our trip around Iceland, which is to come after reaching Northcape.

Tynset to Bodo

Posted on June 12, 2009 at 10:28 AM

June 12, 2009

Tynset - Bodø

 

We have pedalled 4500km in 43 days.

As much as we were supposed to have rain, we were totally not prepared for snow! 3 days in a row we had cold weather with lots of snow. Reaching the coast the snow turned into rain and thankfully stopped once we arrived in Trondheim. Even though it was snowy and rainy, from underneath our hoods, the scenery was still very nice.

In Trondheim we got some spare parts for the bicycles, we both got new chains and cassettes, Philippe a new front derailleur and Leandra a new front plate.

From Trondheim, we were now on the western coast lined up with fjords and inlets dotted with many islands. We were using a combination of small roads and the former main road, the rv17 (http://www.rv17.no/), a scenic winding road going along the coast. The road isn't continious and there are many short ferry rides, as many as 3 per day.

We are spoiled with all the fjords, inlets and islands forming a complex water maze protected from the wind, that must be a dream for kayakers. We see more and more snowpatches on the mountains around us, giving us the sign that they are getting higher and higher as we progress northbound. Most of the mountains are rounded by glaciers that nowadays are gone. Some mountains still have razorsharp edges, these must have been sticking out of the late icefields. We often try to imagine how big the icefields must have been.

As a little surprise we saw a samoyede! On our last trip we saw a 'Nanook' in Switzerland, and now we came across another one. Of course we stopped for some hugs and kisses.

For campsites we have been very very lucky as well, finding mountain lake shores, deserted fjord beaches, or mountain passes with breathtaking views.

Leandra's gear shifter quit on us and the puzzle of springs and tiny parts was impossible to put back together. As we were trying to fix this problem, a friendly fellow named Karsteinh invited us for some coffee and cake. he is a pilot who flies in Northern Norway. He usually flies the flight we will be taking on June 29th.

Leandra has been riding on 3 speeds for almost a week now. She is realizing that you can do quite some amazing stuff with only 3 speeds, which is good because we have to wait until Tromsø untill she gets a new one!

We meet many people driving this road with their RV's, one evening we have been invited by a French couple for a drink.

We are now in Bodø, above the arctic circle. We have sunlight 24 hours a day

Halmstad to Tynset

Posted on June 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM

June 2, 2009

Halmstad (Sweden) - Tynset (Norway)

 

We have pedalled a total of 3472km in 32 days.

 

We cycled southwestern Sweden, more or less following the coast. We reached the Norwegian border about 100km east of Oslo and since then have been cycling northbound in the central mountains aiming for Trondheim and the western fjords.

Though Sweden is the size of France and has only 9 million inhabitants, the roads are still well travelled. The hills became higher and higher and we were riding along many lakes. Often surrounded by glacier carved hills and rocks we travelled back in time along Copper age burial mounds and other historical sights. We have had the opportunity to camp on lakeshores, and along fresh mountain creeks.

Our flights from Northcape to Iceland are booked for June 29. The day we booked these plane tickets we were counting on the cycling distance from southern France to Northcape to be about 4500km. With the time we have learned that we underestimated the distance, and it might just be more than 5500km total. We are and have been biking against the clock, making a minimum distance of 120km a day, 7 days a week. We needed to catch up with the mileage of the first weeks in France, where we couldn`t make much mileage due to pains in knees and Mountains. We have now made enough mileage to bring our total average per day of all 32 days to 110km.

Just a few days ago as we were doing random maintenance on the bikes, we noticed a crack in Philippe's rear rim. Taking a closer look, we actually ended up finding 3 half inch size cracks. This was quite a shocking discovery! We are expecting our bikes to do much more mileage! We both didn't sleep too good that night, wondering how we could fix this problem.

We decided to switch rims, Philippe's rear rim went on Leandra's rear. We took off the cassettes so each of us would keep the same drivetrain. Of all wheels, Philippe's rear wheel is the one dealing with the most stress: pulling the trailer, carrying the food, and carrying Philippe. The bikes have ridden a total of 11000km by now and we expect them to double this distance before the end of the year so they better behave! haha.

We have stopped counting pimples and abscesses on our butts, crotch and groins. Since day one we have been rubbing an antiseptic solution on eachother every night. but all of this loving work does not seem to do much so far. Some days Philippe has to bike the entire day in standing position, not able to sit. Funny because on our previous trip, we didn't suffer any of these sort of things.

The heat has been having it's effects as well. Leandra with her blonde hair and fair skin, got sunburned on her left leg and left shoulder (we always go the same direction so the sun is always shining on the same spot). Thanks to her sunburns she was forced to wear full pants and a long sleeved shirt. Half way through a mountaineous day, Leandra (who is dealing with Raynaud's syndrome in her daily life) started a heatstroke that we stopped with the icecold water from mountaincreeks around us.

As we are now in higher elevation, the temperature has cooled down. The weatherforecast is predicting us a mix of sun and rain for the next days.

We should be reaching Trondheim, and thereby the mid-Northwestern coast in a day or two.


Rss_feed