‘No Bad Days’ Apidura.
Beginning of Leg two Mumbai to Shanghai!
(Chinese Visa 👈🤞)
It's the day before cycling the 1,200 miles to Kolkata. My current location being a safe haven in a Starbucks cafe in Mumbai (don’t judge me). I’ve just been handed a sandwich bite in an expresso cup, my response, ‘Is it free?’ Anyway....
Just like day one I feel calm and excited about getting back on the road. I’ve actually been twitching to get my endorphin rush; this is the longest time I’ve spent off the bike since leaving home. However, it’s been necessary to get acclimatised, familiarise myself with the new traffic laws which are very complex and finally wait for a package to be delivered to my Hostel, ‘The Social Space Hostel’, an incredible location and outstanding staff. Plus, I thought I’d get the delhi belly thing out of my system which hasn’t occurred yet... keep you posted on that status.
Going back to Europe where earlier, before the end of Leg 1, I teamed up with another cyclist in Albania (Romain) who was cycling to Iran from Switzerland. Since both our routes headed to Istanbul we decided to ride together - from Albania we cycled 737 miles to Istanbul! We both felt Albania was the most spectacular! After a day of heavy rain we had a fantastic climb to see one of the most atmospheric sunsets before our torch lit descent into the city of Elbasan. From there we crossed into Macedonia, then sharply onto Greece (where I was given a stern warning for cycling past a checkpoint) and finally Turkey! Romain, who has 4 months off work for this trip, arrived in Istanbul in one month! This was the running joke throughout the trip especially since Romain was carrying a full kitchen whereas I barely carry a clean cloth. Quite comical! From Istanbul we parted our ways, for me it was a case of getting the bike packaged up and a flight over to Mumbai which was much easier than expected.
Clarification on my luxury bivvy choice...yes it looks like a coffin and feels like one too! But no changes, it keeps me hidden and is setup in five minutes. Every time I slide in I can’t help but laugh though - the perfect choice for a long legged fool!
Plan for this section is to start early! As it’s 30+degrees in the heat of the day I’ll be on the road 5/6 am, trying to get the miles in early. Speaking to Alex Clark (i.e Prestige WorldRide), who’s cycled across India too, his advice is clear: ‘Enjoy what you can of it because I don’t think you’ll ever want to do it again!’ There’s only one way to find out what he means by that and it’s to jump straight in. Wish me luck! Shall keep you all updated as much as I can.