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Author: Sam Pougher (page 3 of 4)

Cabin Fever

I met a few overlanders in a hostel once and we had a conversation about when people describe something as – ‘An experience.’

This generally means it was shit, but it makes for a decent story somewhere down the line.

The Baku – Aktau ferry was an experience.

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The Idiot

You can’t truly call yourself an idiot until you’ve tried to sleep through a six hour thunderstorm in nothing but bivvi bag as thick as a binliner.

I am an idiot.

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As a fifteen year old, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be when I grew up. Who does?

That sounds a bit like the narration from The Wonder Years.

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I was done with Istanbul, four days was enough. That meant it was time to leave Pierre and Cyril, their trip finished here (along with their bikes), and Christof was taking a ferry south to Bursa, then cycling towards war.

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Christof was pretty eager to see if anything had changed on this border crossing. Twenty something years had passed since he last saw it, he recalled a badly kept road, a bridge over the dividing the river with armed Greek and Turkish soldiers on each side respectively. It was exactly the same.

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Yannis Pass?

Never pick a fight with a mountain. There’ll only be one winner. It took me around 4000km to realise this, and that effin’ and jeffin’ doesn’t get you up an ascent. Pick your gear, spin your pedals, get your head up and look around. The view gets better the further you climb, enjoy it.

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I’m the pirate that doesn’t touch anything.

English media would have you believe Greece is up shit creek with a turd for a paddle at the minute. It’s all bollocks of course. It’s business as usual. Granted I got there about a week after the bailout had been reached, but the news pretty much painted a picture of mass hysteria. People told me to take all the Euros I’d need with me, turning me into some kind of rolling cash machine for unsavoury types. In reality, if I’d have pedalled in with my head stuck up my arse I’d have never have known the difference. Obviously in five years time, when all the problems have time to take effect, it’ll be a different story.

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Tirana — The home of reckless driving. There are no rules, just get your car from A to B. It feels as though you’re cycling through traffic that’s inches away from being a destruction derby, with most cars bearing the scars from previous battles. Overzealous use of hazard lights, beeping horns and lack of awareness is commonplace in this free-for-all. I found this out first hand, as one guy stopped in the middle of the road and reversed right into me. In Tirana, cyclists are invisible.

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Highway for All

More than a month and a half cycling alone, regularly having complete conversations with myself, well versed in singing a diverse repertoire of tunes, whistling more than a boiling kettle, it was high-time I found some cyclists pedalling in my direction.

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The Pathway of Kings

Bosnia. My first stamp in my new passport, and first impressions are; it’s hot, and it’s brown.

The North East of Bosnia is a pretty industrial place, not much fun for a cyclist really and if I’m honest, I was kind of questioning Robert’s judgement in telling me to head through the entire stretch. Was this a prime example of someone’s heritage impairing their judgement?

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