Setting off, first steps, first pedal

The days leading up to my departure were as hectic as they come. No matter how many trips I go on, I don’t seem to be able to escape the near panicked last minute packing and remembering of important things. It’s reassuring though when you reach a point where the last minute things you start remembering are tiny things like ‘needle and thread’ as you know things like that are easily sorted once you’re there.

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By the time you’re at the airport then you know it’s going to be OK, because short of you not bringing your passport, you’re going, and will just have to deal with it on the road.

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So began this trip, a dragging of bags to the tube station and a furtive push of the bike through the barrier, then a long ride to the airport. The mundane tube turned into a transport of adventure!

My arrival into Bucharest was unspectacular, and after a night slept in the airport, it was a taxi to the station, then a train to Constanta. This is the Black Sea resort town where my Eurovelo 6 bicycle trip had finished with two wheels in the Black Sea itself. Building a strange cargo bike on the platform of a Romanian train station is definitely not recommended for the shy of dispositions though, so after the assembled crowd had parted, it was a relief to pedal away from the station and towards the view point from which our victory photo had been taken last time.

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Surreal to be back there again, this time without five other cyclists though, and with a lot of unanswered questions about if the bike I was riding, and if I myself, was up to this 6500km journey.

With a wobble and the odd foot down on the road though I was off. Quickly leaving Constanta behind me and into the Romanian countryside once more, south this time, with Istanbul the twinkle in my eye.

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