With a whole month to do whatever we like, in a country with great public transport, there are any number of ways we can tackle this one. On our previous tours, facilities were much more limited, so we weren't quite used to the freedom that this one gave us.
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Bike tours are like children: the more you have, the less you worry about them. Or something like that.
Well, hot damn. It's been a while since we posted on here. With good reason - at the successful conclusion of our Northern Ireland tour back in September 2016, we rashly committed ourselves to getting married, so we've been quite busy making that happen. Happily, we made it to the aisle in one piece, give or take, and in August 2017, we were joined in holy matrimony by the best Fake Priest, supported by the Hand of the Bride and the Second Best Man (long story).
Unlike when we planned our route through Burma, we knew going into this trip that there really was only one path forward. Whilst the lakes of Berlin at least provide us with some water to stare out at, it isn't the same as sitting by the ocean and watching the waves crash against the shore, and we've missed that experience.
It's pretty much safe to say that we have not prepared for this trip at all.
This summer has been a complete whirlwind, what with a wriggly new puppy to care for, various business trips every week that barely sees one of us at home, and a move to a new flat to contend with.
Turns out that taking your newly minted bike on the tour in a country with no bike shops isn't the smartest idea in the world. So for our next trip, we'll be taking things a bit closer to home by spending two weeks cycling around the beauty that is Northern Ireland in September.
This timing chain has been a huge thorn in our backside.
It actually ended up not being the root of the problem at all, but rather, a bent chain ring that was the source of our woes. Because of its slight deviations, the chain would turn for a couple revolutions before hitting the contorted teeth and slipping right off.
This has been a very long week.
We were all set to leave Berlin on Wednesday, 20 January and arrive in Bangkok the next morning. That left two full days beforehand to prepare and cross-check everything thoroughly before departure.
Until we were both struck down with a bout of norovirus on Monday night.
Please take "Planned" with a grain of salt.
There is more than one way to skin this cat.
When coming up with a potential route for our trip, there have been many iteration upon iteration of our itinerary.
When we told people that we'd be cycling to Burma on a tandem for three weeks with only a sandwich bag and four panniers, they looked at us like we were mad.
Honestly, you learn to live on very little whilst on the road. When we did our Easter tour last year, we took our individual tourers with us (Neil on his Fuji Touring, Jess on her Dawes Galaxy) and had one pannier each. And even then, we overpacked.
The pieces are falling into place now. We picked up what has become known as the BattleTandem™ on Saturday, after two long months waiting for it to be built.
What a beast it is.