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Archive for April, 2006
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After long time pondering it was time to make a tough decision. My left knee hasn’t improve even after trying all kinds of things and I’m having too much pain to continue biking. So I decided to get back to Denmark and Copenhagen for at little while and get some treatment and hopefully get a good knee again.
Nicolai is biking solo for a while until I join him again as soon as possible.
It’s really horrible that something like this can happen but I guess there is not much else to do than hope for the best, get on with the work on making my knee stronger and get back on the bike again.
I’ll keep you updated..
Sorry, but this post is not available in English
Wow, wow, wow! What a day I’ve had. Just came back to Klozdko an hour ago after a remarkable day on the bike and on foot in a national park next to the border with the Czech Republic. It’s been a wonderful (yet hard) day and I still have this natural LSD in my body after all the experiences. Great mountain scenaries, tiny Polish houses with small rivers flowing through the backyard, labyrinths of great boulders in all formations. The national park is 800-900 m above sea level and was covered in snow in certain parts. It’s always a funny feeling to run around sweating in cycling shorts in the lazy winter snow that hasn’t had the guts to get on with its life and melt. Passed a small and closed border post to the Czech Republic.
My head is tired now. 92 km in great nature and some of the stretches were very steep and tough, tough, tough. Saw a swollen, dead wild boar on the way back to Klodzko. A really nasty, ugly animal with big teeth that I thought only belonged to the fantasy world of my childhood litterature…
Tune of the Day: The Smiths – Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Number of insects in my mouth today: 4 (swallowed:2)
Punctures after 736km: 0
Roadkill: Hedgehog, butterfly (just learned to fly, poor thing)
Ride 100km from Wroclaw to Klodzko today. The flat Polish landscape that we’ve become familiar with is slowly being replaced by rolling, pregnant hills which looks nice. I camp at a small camp site outside of town. Pabbe is now in Cracow in order to rest his knee.
The evening coffee is pure heaven and the birds go wild with their crazy sounds up in their happy tree top homes. This outdoor life is really a present that all people should have in their arms. I have double space in the tent and no one to say goodnight to
Tune of the Day: Voksne Mennesker – Peter Sommer (Denmark)
Take a day for myself on the bike today. For many years I had this fascination with cemeteries – I really don’t know why but I like the silence, timelessness and respect that always reign on the cemeteries that I’ve visited all over the world. This one is something special: absolutely the biggest I’ve seen and very beautifully decorated with flowers. A funeral ceremony passed me and I took a few shots without being noticed. Took a nap in the Szczytnicki Park in the afternoon. Gulasch and internet is on the evening menu…
The clip from show “Go’ morgen Danmark” (Good morning Denmark) is now on our website. You can watch it here. We haven’t been able to see it yet ourselves (can’t install Xvid on these internet-cafe machines..)
Today I ride to Wroclaw while Pablo go to Leszno and grab some public transport because his knee’s still bad. So frustrating and sad. Saw a garden fire quite out of control along the way today. The Cranberries follow me most of the day in the iPod. Have a fantastic day and 125 challenging kilometers on the bike. Feel some of the freedom that makes this hedonistic project worth it every penny and minute. We try and be optimistic about Pabbes knee and hope to get it fixed as soon as possible…
We camp at Camping Sleza east of the city centre right on the Odra River bank. The city seems great and is full of happy babes and babettes. I’m really exhausted after a wonderful day on the bike. Exit Fumil…
Pabbes knee has now had 4 resting days and we get on our bikes again. So good. We camp on a camp site right next to a peaceful lake. The owner of the site is happy to see some people and tell us stories in a mix of Polish, German and English that we hardly understand. Pabbe makes great pancakes on the stove while I enjoy fantastic iPod minutes on the lake side with the setting sun over the lake. The frogs go crazy in the twilight hour on the other side of the river. We share the pancakes with the owner of the place and he serves us a good cup of Polish style coffee.
Easter is finally over which means open stores and life in the streets of Poznan. My restless legs get me on a nice 11km morning run around Lake Malta (2X). Sun is out and the sweat on my forehead. We spend all day at the internet café writing letters to our sponsors, answering emails, writing to the MetroXpress newspaper for whom we write about the expedition every week. 7 hours in front of the computer and my head felt wasted. Evening beer on a bench next to the Warna River that flows through Poznan.
Finally the internet shops opened again after easter and we found time to update our site a bit.
New newsletter here.
After the breakfast I get on the bike (yeah!) and go sightseeing in sunshine Poznan shooting photos. Go to the Citadel Park north of the city – a vast recreational area with lots of open spaces, young Polish families with their dogs and babies, tombstones for some of the many Polish soldiers who fell during WWII. Heaps of flowers (Easter time). Wrote my diary at a restaurant in the middle of the park. Lovely.
We hadn’t really thought of Easter time coming up – everything is closed here in Poznan so no internet until tuesday. Bummer. Stary Rynek, the main square in Poznan is huge and imressingly beautiful. Easter mess in the cathedral at noon today.
We went outside of Poznan to the village of Morasko to see the holes after giant meteors dropped down in the forest near Morasko ca. 10.000 years ago. Quite an experience to see the big holes (up to 100m in diamter and 10m deep). We’ve walked around town today (Pabbes knee’s still sore) and I miss the bikes already. During dinner the treasures of the Polish Okocim beer are revailed to us! A high scorer so far on my list of Polish beers (See Bits & Pieces in the main menu)
Today my left knee shut down. Not good We biked around 20 km and got to a middlesized town. At that point I had developed rather severe pain in my knee and decided to take the bus further on to Poznan and leave Nicolai to bike.
Going to take some resting days in Poznan and see what happens with the knee.
I met again with Nicolai in the afternoon. He was a bit tired after the extra 85 km but in good shape and spirit. We biked out to a perfect located campingsite out to a lake and pitched our tent. It was OK with a bit more civilized quaters again
When the sun is up it shines on me. If the rain’s falling I get wet. That’s what life as an outdoor cum cycle touring person is like – and we love it! After 5 active days in a row without a shower I really need to get washed!
Rode 100 kmm today. Lovely to be able to just work myself through all those kms and feel the body work. Meet up with Pablo at the Poznan Bus station and were filled with salty flakes when I got there. Storch nest in Sierakowko. Camped at the Lake Malta, a great recreational area just east of Poznan.. Afternoon sun was warm and lovely. Camping Malta is 25 zl (8 USD) for the 2 of us and the tent (bikes for free).
Tune of the Day: Et satanisk mestervaerk – C.V. Joergensen (Denmark)
Perfect facilities at the camp site. We take a stroll in the area and only the morning rain isn’t welcome. Lovely breakfast coffee on the MSR burner – quite a fantastic piece of equipment. All forests here in Poland seem to be deeply schizofrenic and behave very autumn-like with yellow leaves and a totally moist emvironment though we’re in April and the trees should be happy by now. Very weird.
Pabbe has sore knees today and we take it easy and enjoy the fresh forest feeling. Took a break in a little village that seemed to be totally deserted but slowly people showed up and we had a chat with the local youngsters who impressed me by name dropping Danish soccer players: “Groenkjaer, Soerensen” they constantly yelled after us when we left the village…We saw deers, foxes, a storch, frogs, woodpeckers and a coupple of small snakes looking like worms (poor thing!) today. Wild camped in complete darkness just outside Trzcianki. Quite pooky. If tonight was a outdoor life test we definitely passed!
My nose is getting more and more red by all the being outside all the time and I put on suncreme that best I’ve learned. In the middle of April – who would have thought?
We bike around 17 KM through the national park in lovely weather. Eat breakfast in a little town which on first sight looks completly like a ghosttown. After a while it wakes up a bit and we are joined by a group of small kids who excell with their knowledge of Danish footballplayers (knowing much more that I..) The boys also give one advide after another on how to get further on with our expedition and together with Nicolai they study the map with full concentration.
We stop for the day pretty early – it’s supposed to be a rest day and it’s perfect! Sun and clouds are fighting a bit but it’s rather warm. The afternoon is spend reading, dozing off a bit and talking. The plan is to go to Poznan which among other things is know for having the great club in Poland in it’s vicinity. Of course the adventureboys are a little excited by this. Nicolai gather some firewood so we can have a bonfire in the evening.
Sudden a change of plans! We find out that it’s Friday and not Thursday as we though. Damn! The club is only open on Friday and Saturday and it’s not possible to bycycle all the way to Poznan in only one day. After a couple of minutes deliberation we decide to pack and continue towards Poznan.
It turns out to be a great trip in the evening. The kilometers are flying away and even if I feel the left knee a bit it’s nowhere bad. We bicycle 60 km and the plan is to take the remaining 85 the next day. We are driving on small roads with almost no traffic, flanked by forest and with roe deer running on our sides.
We never found the camp we where looking for in the evening and we crashed inside a forest where Nicolai pitched the tent while I was making a caloriestew with no match. It was all a bit spooky and certainly one of the more fishy places we have camped. It didn’t get less spooky when I discovered a boot laying in the forest floor and when I kicked it a bit I had already in my fantasy seen the leaves reveal the body of a person.
Of course in the daylight it looked much more harmless
Most of the day we’ve cycled on roads with nice and old trees along the way. Very impressing and a great service of the Polish authorities! Showers today which weren’t welcome to us. Later we past some nice forest roads in the Drawienski National Park. The Wolf surprises me with his wild appetite. 10 pieces of rye bread this afternoon in the forest! Saw an eagle in the trees along Highway 10.
We are now in our tent at a cam site called Biwak Bogdanka. Two rivers meet just outside the tent creating the perfect conditions for the adventure guys. Very moist forest climate. We are the only ones here. Peace in Poland…
This day didn’t start the best way and wasn’t the funnist bicycleday. I don’t think I was in complete balance. E.g. I lost the hat I got from my mum and sister before I went on the trip
In addition I got pain in my left knee and that took a lot of my focus. Instead of enjoying the landscape and the lovely challange bicycling is my thoughs kept going back to the painfull left knee. I made an agreement with myself that the next day we had to rest so that I didn’t develop some kind of injury.
Other than that my body feel fine! No pain other place – not even behind
It feels like all Polish people are having a dog. Everywhere we go we are met by barking dogs and many times it’s the last thing we hear on the way out of a village. I saw the biggest st. bernards dog I’ve ever seen. Laying on top of it’s dog house (which is something I see quite oftens. Funny thing..)
We are biking through a great landscape. Forest, small brooks and rivers. It almost feel like Tolkien’s Middle Earth. We finda place to camp and pitch our tent. Completely alone again. It’s right in a place where 3 rivers meet and after we take a few pictures we make dinner and enjoy a few Polish beers (again).
The weather is fine during the day. In contrast to the other days where we basically bicycle with all the layers of clothes we have we could cut down a little bit today. It rains a little now and then but it’s nothing our great equipment can’t handle. I’m looking forward to the summer – but we are biking towards it.
The forest seems a bit schizophrenic. It looks and feels like a autumn forest – right in the middle of spring. Wierd.
At a gas station I make the zlothy saving trick of the day: In stead of buying the relatively expensive bottled water (as a full time touring cyclist you need at least 2-4 litres of water a day in this Polish spring time climate), we now just fill up the bottles (3 each) at gas stations, restaurrants and wherever we have the chance. So far no problems with our stomacs – they need to get used to a whole range of different things during the next months
In Stargard we buy some beers and leave the town in order to find a place to pitch the tent. It’s dark, Pablo has gone low on energy and swallows chocolate and other sweets to get rid of the trance like feeling. Pitch the tent at the end of a dirt track off the main road. The birdy sounds and the view over a little lake was super with the great Polish beers.
Rise and shine! Starting the day with coffee and bread! Perfect! It’s not some small cup of coffee either. A typical WT coffee consist of 400-500 ml. good black coffee in a big thermocup.
It’s wonderful to bicycle through the small Polish villages. You start by smelling the burning firewood then you hear the dogs barking and first then you see the first couple of houses in the distance or around a curve. The villages themselves are not the prettiest – but they are cosy. It seems like time is going at another speed than what I’m used too back home in Copenhagen.
We take a break by a like to drink some coffee and consider just to call it a day and pitch the tent here. It’s hard to imagine that we would find a better place. However, something drives us on and we keep going toward Stargard Szczecinski (cool name!)
I wanted to let people back home know that we were OK and rather late in the evening we found a small internet place where we use a couple of minutes to send a few mails home. It felt good to have that done!
It was now already beginning to get dark and we hurried out of town to find a place to camp. We drove out of the highvej and ended with just turning left and down a small gravel road. Where that road ended we pitched our tent. Right beside a small lake. At that time I was incredible hungry and ate all the chocolade I could find in order not to black out before we had dinner
We also had some rather nice Polish beers that evening!
On the first real bicycling day we start out with 20 KM before breakfast! It went nice and easy and it was great to finally be out on the bike. The trip went to Swinoujscie and the 20 KM was a bit of a detour – but no harm done – we had to test the bikes anyway In the city we had some coffee and bought breakfast in a supermarked and eat it in the parking lot.
Not the veteran bike traveller yet I forgot my chainlock on the ferry after we had packed out the bikes and put on the panniers. That was bad but I bought a new one in the city and also got an extra drinking bottle installed on the bike so it now holds 3 of them. At the same time we also changed into some warmer clothes since it had been quite cold to cycle around in the morning. I soon found out it’s less than fun to bicycle around when you are freezing.
The rest of the day we were cycling. It was nice and effortless. We were cycling in extension of eachother, side by side – sometimes talking and sometimes silent. Lunch was eating in a forest and the tent also pitched in a forest after we ate dinner consisting of noodles and bread.
To celebrate that we were underway we lit up a cuban cigar I received as a goodbye present from my good friend Tage.
I slept very well on the Pomerania ferry in our big luxury cabin with shower, mini-lounge, closets and beds. Fantastic feeling to finally roll off the ferry and on to Polish ground. The temperature was near freezing and we were both quite cold. Not too funny. Nice forests with some fine resting places. Lots of rivers, lakes and bridges in the landscape near Swinoujscie. It’s just so cool to be going and it’s actually hard to understand that the WT-expedition is up and running! Wow! This is and will be an unforgettable time. We camped in the wild tonight and enjoyed the simplicity and efficiency of the MSR multifuel burner and of the great MSR Wind 2 tent. Pablo lighted a cigar from the goodbye party we held just before we left and it was rather special to lie there in the deep forest with a cigar i my mouth and feel the first rush of freedom. The moon was fat and happy. The iPod and James Blunt played the Tune of the Day: Goodbye My Lover…
Then it finally came – the day, April 10th 2006, that we’ve been waiting for for months and the day when the Worldtravellers.dk project was started. Great parts of the emotional scale was used when we stood there on the ferry terminal in Copenhagen with the fully loaded bikes ready for Poland and the adventure. The last months before this kick-off have been really busy and turbulent and heaps of preparations have all taken a lot of human ressources on us. Though we’ve both been pushed to the limits especially in the last few days, everything worked out in the end and we’ve met a very impressing support among our friends, family, our sponsors and from unknown people from Denmark and from abroard who via e-mails pour happiness down on us, from waving Danes with happy faces and honking cars in the streets of Copenhagen who just wanted to wish us good luck when we rolled through the city for the last time. A very special and emotional situation. The final goodbyes at the ferry terminal were just as hard as expected. Thanks to everyone who was there. And still it was a great relief to leave Copenhagen because the first step had been taken – the step that virtually all my thoughts have been focusing on during the last months and that felt just so right even with those salty cheeks of mine…The tiredness was easily felt and that night on the ferry I really didn’t know what was real and when the dreams took over…
The departure day was a blur…
There was still a million things that had to be done in the last minute. The last stuff in the apartment had to be packed down, packing things for the expedition, last minute shopping etc. etc. Everything went well – if a little chaotic and even if goodbyes never are fun I was really happy that so many came to say their last goddbye to us at the ferry.
It was with mixed feelings that I rode onboard the ferry. Happy about being in the dream, confusion over all the contradicting feelings a departure induct and greif about leaving so much behind in Denmark.
The ferry trip itself went fine. Nicolai and I got a few beers in the evening but basically we were dead-tired and went to sleep pretty quickly.
The final countdown has begun. A wonderful take-off party was held last night (08APR2006) with all our close friends (more info to come). For now, a big thank you to everyone who came – a thank for helping with the preparation for the party (and all the things that Pablo and I just didn’t have time for because of an immense and constant pressure during the last days), a thank for the time, the company, the presents, the food, the smiles, and for being there at the party taking part in giving Pablo and I a memorable night! Vindrose Rejser has kindly given us the ferry ticket and tomorrow, on Monday April 10th, we leave Denmark onboard the ferry named Pomerania at 20.00 from the DFDS-Terminal, Dampfærgevej 30, 2100 Copenhagen Ø. We hope to say the final goodbyes and drop the last salty tears on Danish territory around 17.30 at the ferry before we go and seek the adventure…
Please leave your comment in the box below…
On Monday April 10th – the departure day that we’ve been waiting for for ages (so it seems) – we’ll show up on the TV-programme “Go’ morgen Danmark” at around 8.40AM on TV2 (a Danish TV-channel) and tell about the expedition
Have a look at the new entries on the Media page…
Now there is only a one-digit number of days left to takeoff. It’s unreal. I still feel there is so many things left to do. Yesterday (Friday) I had my last day at work and of course it flew away without me feeling that I had time to come around to say a proper goodbye to all. I had to go home right after lunch to go out buying packing cases and start to pack down my apartment before my father would arrive at 15.00 to help move my stuff to Funen and Jutland.
Puh! The day developed quite chaotic!
Suddenly my apartment seemed twice as big as before. Just packing down my booka took up 12 (very heavy!) packing cases! The whole thing didn’t get less choatic by my father getting stuck in the elevator (Nicolai completely failed to deliver proper crisishelp with the outbust: “If it was me I would panic completely!!” ) and at 16.00 I had to hurry back to work to drink a beer with my co-workers at a Friday-bar arrangement. Even if it was right in the middle of everything it was really nice to get a chance to say goodbye to everybody and I even got a present! A fancy blue leatherman which I’m sure will come in handy on the trip!
Back to the apartment and the moving mess. Packing, packing, packing. Yank, load, pulling and pushing! I’m sure my arms are at least 2 cm longer today! Poor Nicolai had to go through the exact same thing the day before with his own place and had to get up in the morning to paint and clean the place after only 4 hours of sleep! Then he was more or less forced to help me packing and move aswell. He was “well done” after that! Luckily my good friend Jack came to help aswell.
Anyway – the apartment got packed down and off we went to Funen at 23.00 – arrived to Middelfart at 02.00, unloaded the stuff and my father had to drive further to Viborg where he arrive at 04.30 – only to begin work at 05.00. Poor man!
It was really a long and chaotic day but I’m deeply grateful that it’s finally done and I owe the people helping me bigtime!
I’m now spending the weekend in Middelfart and Viborg with my family and then it’s back to Copenhagen on Monday to fix the remaining things before takeoff.
9 days left..