• My First Impressions of the Georgian Language

    February 1, 2008

    The women I work with at the Georgian school chirp away in the interesting-sounding language that is Georgian. The unusual bold combinations of sounds evoke in me the characteristics of delight, a child complaining about not getting what they want and highly social chitchat. It sounds, to me, sweet at times, ugly at others and has a bouncing rhythm with a very distinct pattern of intonation. Most Georgians I met seemed to be the loveliest, happiest and helpful people I’d ever met.

    Tags: Georgialanguage


  • Why Was Tbilisi Such a Beautiful City in Deep Winter?

    January 23, 2008

    When Sylvester, the Polish cyclist we met on Christmas Day in Batumi was explaining that conditions were difficult for local people in Georgia, coping with the cold midwinter, I thought: people in places with extreme weather conditions are obviously tough, live and learn to deal with it. I also remember thinking, is what we are doing, trying to cycle round the world equally difficult. In hindsight I suppose I was comparing the life of staying in one place to a life on the road which seemed a much more abstract concept.

    Tags: WinterSnowVagabondTbilisiTravelEnvironmentGeorgiaclimate-changeWWF


  • Cold Nights and Notes from Sinop

    November 16, 2007

    I smell pretty terrible but I’ve got a fishing boat to sleep on tonight and I have just bought a new blanket which I hope will keep me warm. The nights have been uncomfortably chilly recently. Normally camping is a perfectly fine option for our sleeping arrangements but I’ve been dubious recently. I’ve been cold in my thin sleeping bag, no matter what combination of clothing and headwear that I adorn.

    Tags: HospitalityTrampingVagabondFishing boatSinopTurkeyCycle touringTravelCycling


  • Cycling the Black Sea Coastline of Turkey in the Dark

    November 15, 2007

    The other day I was cycling towards Trabzon. We cycled in a number of dark, ominous looking tunnels. I’m cycling along, and then there it is, another black hole. My blood pressure rises, the hard shoulder thins and squeezes me off onto the road to share it with the multi-tonne trucks flying past, spraying me with muddy water. I check over my shoulder, hopefully I will make it through, before being chased by the next vehicle.

    Tags: TurkeyCoastlineKaradenizBlack seaCycling


  • How I Ending Up Staying on the Turkish National Skin-Diving Instructors Fishing Boat

    November 13, 2007

    Although people are helpful and friendly, we often get looked at like we have three heads. I find it funny, and it’s completely harmless and utterly understandable. Two bearded English men turn up. One is wearing a fluorescent sock on his head and looks like a traffic cone; the other is wearing a ridiculous helmet with go-faster-stripes, and Klingon-esque air vents. Why would someone on a bicycle want to wear a helmet anyway?

    Tags: TurkeyBlack seaCycle touringCycling