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    Archive for August, 2009

    Ghana, West Africa!

    Monday, August 31st, 2009

    Wow!

    It’s been some crazily eventful days since I left Peter (and all the Western creature comforts) in Boston last Friday. This is primarily just a short notice to confirm that I (and more importantly, the bike too!) have arrived safe and sound in Accra, Ghana.

    Flights from Boston to Frankfurt and (after 5 hour stopover) Frankfurt to Accra went smoothly and hassle-free. At the immigrant office at the airport I was interrogated by some important Mr. Uniform about my travel plans etc. etc. in Ghana, and after 1 hour they finally gave me the stamp (after cashing out the expected 100 USD) and allowance to stay in Ghana for the next 30 days. Yeah!

    Luckily, Abigail – a 27 year old Ghanaian woman that’s invited me to her house just outside of Accra – was still there waiting for me outside the airport. Relief! I was absolutely stoked finally being here, in West Africa, with a new friend waiting for me.

    Ever since I set my foot on African soil 2 days ago, my mind has been beautifully raped (yes, such a thing DOES exist) by the radical change of environment, from the tidiness and orderliness of the USA and Canada to the chaotic noise and street life in the Ghanaian capital. Much as I really, really loved the last 4 months in North America, I do welcome the change of rhythm, the orchestration of the city (or lack hereof), the smells (not too sure about that one, though :-) ), the sights (it’s all black!), the sheer feeling of adventures from abroad.

    Even after a few days here in Ghana, the stories and anecdotes abound in my head, and I’ll do my best to share. But do expect long delays and periods of silence from me.

    Though Africa is no new calf in the cattle shed for me (this is my 6th visit to the continent – see more), I do feel like this is a brand new beginning in WT history, and I have a hard time retaining myself. Looking at my map of West Africa, knowing that it’s all waiting for me, and that I will travel all the way back to Denmark overland, human-powered (minus a ferry ride across the Gibraltar) gives me an enormous sense of joy and excitement, and the goosebumps know no end.

    My bike is patiently waiting for me in my room, all clean and equipped with the latest bells and whistles, and I fell pretty much the same (minus the bells and whistles, just the good old legs). This is my 6th and last continent, and I slowly begin to believe and realize that this is an amazing, epic journey, as people keep telling me.

    Thanks for the invaluable support out there!

    Nicolai (from an internet cafe in an Accra suburb, Ghana)

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    Day 1.240 – Equality (or: The Danish Legacy) (with photos)

    Monday, August 31st, 2009

    Come back for text soon…

    Stephen in his kung fu outfit

    Stephen at market in Accra.

    The Butcher cutting our meat...

    A legendary smile!

    Street vendors in Accra.

    Abigail and Nicolai in Accra, Ghana.

    Abi preparing another lovely stew!

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    WT & The Art of Bicycle Maintenance

    Sunday, August 30th, 2009

    After more than 55.000 km (3.635 km pre-WT in Morocco and Tenerife, Spain) on different surfaces of the world, my baby – The Koga Miyata Worldtraveller – has naturally seen some changes over the years. Below is a somewhat detailed list of these changes.

    I’ve been riding my wonderful bike through 6 continents now, and I strongly believe that it’ll serve me all the way back to Denmark in 2010. I treat it like a woman, and I guess that’s why she’s put up with me for so long without any breakdowns…

    Here goes…

    I. Wheels

    Rear:
    1. Mavic. Lasted 13.000 km (from Denmark to China). Small cracks in rim where spokes connect. Changed (to 2) in Kashgar, Western China.

    2. Giant (standard). Lasted 17.000 km (from China to Australia). 10 USD rim. Side walls totally worn. Changed (to 3) in Merimbula, Australia.

    3. No-name (double-walled from Taiwan). Lasted 23.000 km (from Australia to USA). New entire wheel, incl. Taiwanese hub. 110 AUD. Changed (to 4) in

    4. WTB. So far 1.000 km (from Canada to Ghana). New entire wheel, in Shimano Deore hub. 110 USD.

    Front:
    1. Mavic EX 721. Lasted 53.000 km (from Denmark to USA). Changed (to 2) in Wilmington, USA. Incredible durability.

    2. Sun Rim Rhyno Light. So far 3.000 km (from USA to…). New entire wheel, incl. Shimano Deore LX hub. 60 USD (special discount).

    II. Tyres

    Rear:

    1. Continental Travel Contact. Lasted 12.000 km (from Denmark to Uzbekistan).

    2. Schwalbe Marathon XR. Lasted 14.000 km (from Uzbekistan to Australia).

    3. Schwalbe Marathon XR. Lasted 8.500 km (from Australia to New New Zealand).

    4. Specialized. Lasted 7.500 km (from New Zealand to Ecuador).

    5. Schwalbe Marathon Extreme. Lasted 8.000 km (from Ecuador to USA).

    6. Bontrager. Lasted 1.500 km (from Florida to North Carolina, USA), but was changed before worn out, free of charge.

    7. Bontrager. So far 3.000 km (from NC, USA to Ghana)

    Front:

    1. Continental Travel Contact. Lasted 13.000 km (from Denmark to Kyrgyzstan)

    2. Schwalbe Marathon XR. Lasted 31.000 km (from Kyrgyzstan to Peru). Unbeatable durability.

    3. Schwalbe Marathon
    Extreme
    . So far 14.000 km (from Peru to Ghana). No flats until now. Knock-on-wood.

    III. Cables

    Gear cables:
    1. A welder in Turkey broke a gear cable trying to weld my (alu) bottle holder.
    2. Same cable changed in Chiang Rai, Thailand (not broken, but hard to use).
    3. Changed again in Santiago, Chile (not broken, but hard to use).

    Brake cables:
    No replacement.

    All cables have been cleaned and oiled a few times at bike shops when I had to make major repairs on the bike anyway.

    IV. Chains.

    All in all, after 56.500 km on the bike (3.500 km on pre-WT trips), I’m on my 9th chain.

    I’ve used Shimano HG93 (27 speed) several times, which is my favourite. This chain normally last 8.000-14.000 km.

    Due to lack of HG93-availability, I’ve used the weaker Shimano HG53 twice. They’ve lasted from 5.000-7.000 km.

    I’ve used a SRAM chain once. It lasted around 8.000 km.

    V. Cassette

    1. Lasted 5.000 km. Changed a little pre-mature in Hungary.

    2. Lasted 16.000 km. Changed in Singapore.

    3. Lasted 14.000 km. Changed in Santiago, Chile.

    4. Lasted 19.000 km. Changed in Wilmington, USA.

    5. So far just 1.000 km and still rolling.

    VI. Front chain rings.

    1. Middle ring changed in Singapore after 21.000 km.

    2. Middle ring changed again in Medellin, Colombia after 23.000 km.

    3. Small ring changed in Medellin, Colombia after 44.000 km.

    4. Big ring not changed (but sort of needs replacement)

    VII. Saddle

    1. My beloved Brooks leather saddle served me for 54.000 km. I changed it (slightly heart-broken) in Wilmington, USA ‘cos I got a great deal for a new one, and the leather had started tearing apart around the bolts. Never mind, it took more than 5.000 km to sort of mold the hard leather to the shape of my ass.

    2. The transition to my new saddle (a aerodynamic, non-leather one with an ergonomic whole in the center of the saddle. June 2009) has been acceptable, but not painless.

    VIII. Tubes + flat tyres.

    I’m not counting the number of tubes I’ve used, but I reckon around 20-25, in total.

    Likewise, I don’t know how many flat tyres I’ve had. Around 30, I guess. Mostly on the rear tyre where most of the weight is.

    At the moment I haven’t had a flat tyre in the front for a whopping 14.000 km, thanks to a) Schwalbe’s ironwall tyres, and – to a lesser degree – b) to my carefullness and near-constant visual nails-on-the-road scanning.

    IX. Bike Shoes.

    1. Diadora shoes. 60 USD. Lasted 52.000 km (minus a few thousand km of flip-flop cycling in Asia). They were a very trusty, if smelly and worn, set of friends to me. RIP in Wilmington, USA.

    2. New Specialized bike shoes. So far 3.000 km and feeling great.

    X. Brakes

    No replacement or problems whatsoever.

    XI. Brake pads.

    Naturally, I’ve changed the brake pads numerous times. Approx. 6-7 times on rear, 4-5 times on front. I remember a steep decent in heavy rain in Turkey near Posof and the Georgian border that almost wore out a set of front brake pads from all the braking in rain. Changing pads is a 5 minute operation.

    XII. Bottom Bracket.

    1. The original lasted 28.500 km and was changed in Melbourne, Australia.

    2. The second one lasted 26.000 km and was changed in Montreal, Canada.

    3. I don’t expect another chance of bb before I reach Denmark in 2010.

    XIII. Head set.

    Cleaned and re-greased in Singapore, after 22.000 km.

    XIV. Pedals.

    No replacement. Just occasional oil-drops.


    XV. Frame.

    No fiddling, welding or problems at all. It’s a Koga Miyata goddammit!

    The frame has some strange surface freckles around the holes where the bottles are attached, probably due to a lot of salty sweat from me dripping on those parts. It’s only cosmetical. But the Koga is still a beauty!


    XVI. Racks.

    The Tubus bike racks have done an amazing and impeccable job. No break-downs, weldings etc. Super strong and reliable.


    XVII. Handle bar

    Still the original butterfly multi-grip handle bar. I absolutely love it, not least because of the 5-6 layers of handle bar tape/duct tape/sports tape that I’ve put on it to get a super firm and fat grip. People are ofter astounded by the thickness of the handle bar. It’s my primary showing-off part on the bike.


    NB: This bike maintenance page was made on my laptop 11 kilometers above ground level, on my way from Boston, USA to Accra, Ghana in a Boeing 747, operated by Lufthansa.

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    Day 1.239 – West Africa on my lips…(w/ photos)

    Sunday, August 30th, 2009

    Diarrhea?

    The Bible

    Accra downtown.

    Accra downtown.

    Sugar Mummy!

    Toilet with a view...

    Accra's contact  with the Bay of Guinea...

    Nigerian church-goer in Accra...

    IMG_2174

    Washing time, boy!

    Smily Ghanaian kids

    Washing time, boy!

    Smily Ghanaian kids

    Soccer, the hard way. Accra, Ghana.

    Jamestown, Accra - Ghana.

    Fishing boats in Accra.

    Usher Town kids. Accra, Ghana.

    Usher Town. Accra, Ghana.

    Accra market.

    Accra market.

    Accra market.

    Accra market.

    Abigail at home. Accra suburbia, Ghana.

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    Day 1.238 – Ghanaaaa!!! (w/ photos)

    Saturday, August 29th, 2009

    Ready for Africa!

    The World from my seat 47A...

    The World from my seat 47A...

    Corsica (or was it Sardinia?) below...

    The World from my seat 47A...

    That car wasn't too big for the bike etc.

    Abigail, my host in Accra.

    A Tired Man, now in Africa.

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    Day 1.237 – Departure North America (w/ photos)

    Friday, August 28th, 2009

    The bike ready for take-off...

    Leaving Boston, leaving a friend.

    Tunnel on the way to Boston Int'l Logan Airport.

    Boston Int'l Logan Airport.

    Frankfurt airport by night

    Can you find my Accra flight?

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    Day 1.236 – The Inner Pressure (w/ photos)

    Thursday, August 27th, 2009

    English translation to come…

    The Boston JFK Library...

    Church in Boston.

    Nicolai in front of the Boston JFK Library...

    The huge Speed Dog...

    Peter and the talking quaker parrot...

    Enjoying the last supper withh Peter in Dorchester, Boston.

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    Day 1.235 – A Photogenic & Wordless Day In Boston

    Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

    Bailey, my favourite dog...

    Mr. Washington...

    Boston downtown.

    Prominent foyer in Boston...

    Familiar with this sign?

    Playing with water in Boston...

    Boston downtown.

    Boston downtown.

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    Log updated (UK)

    Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

    The log is now updated, with the latest (and last) bit of cycling in the Americas this time around. The next countries in Africa are listed too.

    Countdown has started. The day after tomorrow is the big day. Can’t wait…

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    Voice From Boston (now in English!)

    Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

    Click here for the latest sound bites from Camp WT…

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    Day 1.234 – The Architectural Melting Pot

    Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

    Peter's house (ground floor and basement)

    Solo sightseeing in downtown Boston is on the self-made agenda today…

    New England architecture in Boston.

    Boston soon turns out to be another interesting architectural melting pot of old and new.

    Quincy Market...

    Boston skyline

    North End, Boston.

    The troops are our heroes.

    North End, Boston.

    The USS Constitution battle ship...

    Inside the USS Constitution battle ship...

    Bunker Hill, Charlestown.

    Looking up at the 200+ feet tall Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown.

    Boston skyline

    Work to be done!

    In "my" room in Dorchester...

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    Day 1.233 – Boston & The End of the Line

    Monday, August 24th, 2009

    York -> Boston (Dorchester)
    Distance (km) : 123
    Time on bike : 6h 27m
    Brutto time: 07.30 – 17.20
    Avg : 19.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 51.5
    Total (km) : 52.784
    Altitude: 10 m
    Difficulty: 3.5 of 5

    Back at the Atlantic Ocean. New Hampshire, USA

    Beach houses in New Hampshire.

    Tired and sweaty after 6 days and 700 km from Quebec – but getting closer to Boston!

    Tired and sweaty, but getting closer to Boston!

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    Boston downtown.

    A few notes on a napkin. This is how I found my way in to (and through!) big-city Boston on my way to Dorchester where Peter Macnamara has kindly invited me to stay, through God-blessed Couchsurfing (CS).

    Notes

    Meeting up with complete strangers (via CS) is always exciting to me (and to the hosts too, I guess). Peter (60, a former food critic and food magazine owner, among his many hats) meets me at the front door of his house in Dorchester, and I soon realize that I’ve come to the right place. I get along with Peter (and his three dogs, parrot, and cat!) from the first minute, and I can’t believe how lucky I am having my own, comfy room (w/ king-size bed, wifi, cable-TV, fan, A/C)…

    Peter and Bin (lodger) in the kitchen in Dorchester.

    One of many tasty dinners made by Peter...

    Peter and I spend to whole evening chatting and laughing, sharing stories from the world, and I just know that these next days in Boston until my flight on Friday will be spent in great company.

    Dinner on my arrival day with Peter and Bin...

    And boy was that hot shower a treat!

    My to-do list...

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    Day 1.232 – Whatever Happened To The Rain King

    Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

    S of Auburn -> Church lawn, York
    Distance (km) : 119
    Time on bike : 6h 08m
    Brutto time: 07.30 – 19.20
    Avg : 19.3 km/h
    Max.speed: 57.6
    Total (km) : 52.661
    Altitude: 5 m
    Difficulty: 3.5 of 5

    Historic park in Maine, USA.

    Carroll and I, a random road side meeting

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    Wild camp behind United Methodist Church in York, Maine.

    Behind this church, I find a hose (and Where’s Wally?) and had my first (sort of) proper shower in five days, 600 km. Meanwhile, there’s a hard rock band (think: Thin Lizzy and AC/DC) playing in a bar across the river close to my camp. It’s a weird evening at the camp. The rain starts again, name of the game these days, and so I crawl into my nylon refuge, watch an episode of The Long Way Down on my laptop, and goodnight Zülle.

    Yes, we do!

    Yes, we do! (said the Koga and I)…

    Come back soon.

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    Day 1.231 – David Greybeard

    Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

    N of Eustis -> Forest S of Auburn
    Distance (km) : 158
    Time on bike : 8h 23m
    Brutto time: 07.20 – 20.05
    Avg : 18.8 km/h
    Max.speed: 67.3
    Total (km) : 52.542
    Altitude: 50 m
    Difficulty: 4.5 of 5

    Morning at Flagstaff Lake, Maine.

    Eustis, Maine. A weird place.

    158 km and 8 hrs 23 min in the saddle today, despite another interrupting rain break in the afternoon, doesn’t leave much time for photographic whims or even snacks. It’s all focused pedaling today, and though my ass is complaining and sore, it feels good to really work my body through, and to feel the exhaustion slowly catching up with me as the day grows old.

    Shelter from the rain!

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    I saw a dead cat in the road side today. It always makes me sad. Presumably, the same kind of sadness that Jane Goodall, the Mother of Chimps, felt when David Greybeard died…

    Wild Camp south of Auburn.

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    Day 1.230 – Back In The USA

    Friday, August 21st, 2009

    N of Lac Megantic (CAN) -> N of Eustis (USA)
    Distance (km) : 103
    Time on bike : 5h 51m
    Brutto time: 07.20 – 20.00
    Avg : 17.6 km/h
    Max.speed: 49.6
    Total (km) : 52.384
    Altitude: 600 m
    Difficulty: 3 of 5

    The road to Lac Megantic, Quebec.

    First two hours today are tough and very hilly approaching Lac Megantic. Thank God I got 10.5 hrs of sleep last night in that pine forest. A great and not too mossie infested stealth camp spot.

    Canadian harvest

    Canada end/USA begin, 52.347 km. The crossing back to the US after 3 great and social weeks in Canada went swift and smooth. The guys at the border post (Maine, USA side) are all jovial and chatty and evidently impressed by the whole WT circus sideshow. I’m sure that my handing out WT business cards sped up the border crossing process, or at least increased my decency in the officers’ eyes. The officers’ German Shepherd Sniff Dog didn’t find anything particularly interesting in my bags (though my rancid and damp bike socks must have been a chock for that delicate canine nose!).

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    Cutting thru!

    Having another 3 months available in the USA is tempting for me, and if it wasn’t for the flight that I bought 3 days ago in Quebec (Boston to Accra, Ghana via Frankfurt, Germany), I’d have probably stayed another full 3 months here in the US – a country that has so, so much to offer. Like the northern neighbor that I will have to come back to one day. No doubt about that.

    Back in the USA!

    Yeah, bring on the moose!

    Yeah, bring on the moose!

    Sexy curves…

    Sexy curves.

    Bathing in the river, Maine/US.

    The rain started pouring down just after I had a refreshing bath in the river. Ironic, isn’t it, wiping yourself with a towel in the rain.

    I find shelter under a shed, and make use of the unwanted break by doing what most long-distance cyclists would do: eat, then dosing off, no time for counting sheep here, just dropping off, lying on the hard wooden table.

    Wild camp just north of Eustic, Maine.

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    Day 1.229 – The River

    Thursday, August 20th, 2009

    Sainte-Marie -> Field near Saint Gedeon
    Distance (km) : 102
    Time on bike : 6h 12m
    Brutto time: 06.25 – 19.30
    Avg : 16.4 km/h
    Max.speed: 49.6
    Total (km) : 52.280
    Altitude: 400 m
    Difficulty: 3 of 5

    Morning camp in Sainte-Marie, Quebec.

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    Morning mist on the lake (left)…

    Tune of the Day: Help I’m Alive – Metric (and thanks for the inspiration, Kélie!)

    The happy duo heading southeast...

    Narrow bridge...

    Houston, we have a problem! The road workers on the bridge wouldn’t let me pass their site (without helmet, without insurance, without safety shoes or whatever the guys told me). I could’ve easily passed without the need for all their safety issues. But what can you do.

    Houston, we've got a problem.

    I can choose to a) go back some 10 km and cross another bridge, but my body and mind just cannot do that, so I opt for b) the shorter, wetter route… (It wasn’t too deep, and it made for a decent footage).

    Scenery along the river...

    My friend/host Kélie gave me some iPod inspiration in Quebec, and most day I’m listening to these Canadian bands and I really like what I hear. Mickey 3D, Metric, Damien Saez, Patrick Watson. Check them out! The Canadian music scene is so much more than Cohen, Adams, and Dion.

    Panini break at the Van Houtte Cafe in St. Georges, Quebec...

    Gas station owner Nicolas

    I turn off highway 204 near Saint Gedeon and set up camp just 50 meters up a grassy dirt track. Mosquitoes go crazy as I go nuts.

    Wild camp near Saint Gedeon, Quebec.

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    Newsletter from Canada

    Thursday, August 20th, 2009

    It’s exactly 1 year ago since I – with my heart beating – left the Santiago suburb Peñalolen and started the long climb up the snow-covered, Andean giants, that I’d been gazing at with both horror and excitement for days from the Chilean capital.

    Over the last year I’ve cycled through 15 countries, a total of 20,000 km across the two American continents. As the previous WT-years, the last one has been a long, uninterrupted chain of events, places, faces, that I could never forget.

    However, I’m running out of asphalt here in North America. Fortunately, I know that there is new, unexplored asphalt on the other side of the Atlantic. I just received the happy news that my flight over the Atlantic – from Boston, U.S. to Accra, Ghana via Frankfurt (so close to home!) – is confirmed. Thus, it’s a pleasure to announce that on next Friday, 28AUG2009, I’ll leave North America for Africa, my 6th and last continent.

    Breakfast on the curb!

    It gives me the shivers (the good kind) all over knowing that very shortly I’ll be landing in the Ghanaian capital, more-than-ready to explore West Africa. I expect the changes (social (big, black fellas! :-) ), cultural (no Subway restaurants, lots of dirt roads), from comfortable USA/Canada to the Dark Continent to be very tangible, and I must admit that although I have swallowed the last 4 months in the USA/Canada and could’ve easily continued my North American, bike nomadic escapades, I am incredibly excited for the next WT-chapter. The little adventure troll sitting inside of me is extremely stoked we going to Africa.

    I am now 50 km north of the Canadian/US border and will arrive in Boston on August 24th. Accommodation is sorted already. I do look forward to Boston, but Africa is written all over my mental whiteboard now.

    From Accra, Ghana I plan to go up through Ghana to Burkina Faso, and on to Mali. Then either to Senegal and further up North-West Africa to Spain, or to Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, etc.

    The WT-adventure continues and I need all the support that can be mustered.

    Love, Nicolai

    Parc de la Montmorency (falls) just outside Quebec City.

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    Day 1.228 – Reflections on Inner vs. Outer World

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

    Quebec City -> E of Sainte-Marie
    Distance (km) : 70
    Time on bike : 4h 13m
    Brutto time: 11.20 – 18.00
    Avg : 16.6 km/h
    Max.speed: 41.7
    Total (km) : 52.178
    Altitude: 20 m
    Difficulty: 2 of 5

    Leaving Quebec city...

    Rural cycling in Quebec...

    Colors of Quebec.

    Near Sainte-Marie, Quebec.

    Most days on the expedition are (naturally) full of events, faces, small incidents, encounters with the locals, bursts of joy and happiness, memorable sunsets, forgettable canned dinners, impulses, outlooks etcetera that make this travelling bike life invaluable to me.

    To me it’s often quite unsatisfying that what ends up in WT World, right here on the site, is so often just a fraction – and often a fairly bland one at that, I feel – of what the real deal is all about. Of course there are lots of things that are better off untold (believe me on this one), but because I feel an urge to share (and thereby mentally digest and store) this dream of mine with you, it’s a compromise that I have a hard time accepting, not being able to (or having the resources (= time)) to represent the world as it is/seems on a 1:1 scale.

    Sometimes it feels a bit pointless to share all these pictorial memories, when there are so many stories, emotions, and reflections that will never see the daylight. The visual, physical part of this odyssey is astonishing to me, but the real nuggets, the real adventure, the fruits of the long haul are to be found inside of me, in my mental attic, in the dark (and not so dark) corners where words are worthless and incomprehensible, where emotions and feeling rule supreme, where mute sense impressions are king.

    A Frog's Take on Life.

    Did I mention it was a beautiful day in Quebec? And that I left Quebec with the social batteries totally recharged? Well, it was. I did.

    Dinner near Sainte-Marie, Quebec.

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

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    New WT Guestbook

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

    I’ve just implemented a new feature, a WT Guestbook in the main menu to the left. Feel free to leave a comment or a buzz…

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    Puzzle of the Day!

    Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

    It’s not too hard. Difficulty Level: Easy

    Lufthansa 423: Boston, MA, USA – Frankfurt, Germany
    Boeing 747-400 Fri, Aug 28 4:35 PM – E 5:35 AM (next day) – 1
    STOPS: 0 7.00 hrs Economy 3660 mi

    Lufthansa 566: Frankfurt, Germany – Accra, Ghana
    Airbus A340-600 Sat, Aug 29 11:00 AM – 1 3:30 PM
    STOPS: 0 6.30 hrs Economy 3130 mi

    Wish me good luck! I’m thrilled like never before…

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    Day 1.227 – Parc de la Chute Montmorency

    Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

    As if the colonial beauty of Quebec wasn’t enough, the area is blessed with the Parc de la Chute Montmorency just 10 km outside of town that boasts the highest waterfall (a whopping 84 m – 30 m higher than Niagara Falls, FYI) in the Quebec Province. Bike paths go all the way from downtown making it an obvious and enjoyable little dayride for me and Le Koga.

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    As usual, I do my best to pamper ye’ all – who else is going to do that after all? - and naturally you get to see (almost) all the action from (almost) all angles…

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    …including this last one from the Princess’ Lookout…

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    Montmorency Falls Park, Quebec.

    The Quebec Gang

    …though it was a fairly long day, I wasn’t nearly as tired or spaced-out as you might think.

    I just have my moments of extreme photogenicity…

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    Day 1.226 – Vieux Québec

    Monday, August 17th, 2009

    Fleur

    Gare du Palais, Quebec.

    Fruit of the Loom

    Staying with Kélie here in Quebec is a much-needed home-away-from-home for me. Kélie is rightly a very popular couchsurfer host, and every night is a new social constellation in the apartment. Swiss Ludovic, French Isabelle and Matthieu, me, and Kélie herself is the crew at the moment, and it’s a damn fine crew…

    Old Market, Quebec.

    Old Market, Quebec.

    Daytime view of the biggest public screen in the world...

    Lower Old Quebec.

    Mural in Quebec...

    Vieux Quebec.

    Vieux Quebec...

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    Top 20 Songs That Make Me Wild

    Monday, August 17th, 2009

    I probably have my iPod plugged firmly in to my ears around 70-80% of the time I’m riding. That’s a lot of songs over the last 1.225 days of traveling.

    Some songs make me absolutely wild! (yes, wild!) in the saddle no matter how many times I listen to them. No doctor could ever prescribe any better medicine for my well-being than these tunes.

    Here is my Top 20 Songs That Make Me Wild: (click links to listen – comments/suggestions welcome)…

    1. We Don’t Need Nobody Else – Whipping Boy
    2. City of Delusion – Muse
    3. Wicked Gil – Band of Horses
    4. Ragoo – Kings of Leon
    5. No I In Threesome – Interpol
    6. Time Bomb – Dave Matthews Band
    7. O Valencia! – The Decemberists
    8. Origin of The Species – U2
    9. Suck My Kiss – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    10. Bombtrack – Rage Against The Machine
    11. Neighborhoods #3 (Power Out) – Arcade Fire
    12. Den Bedste Tid – One Two (DK)
    13. Socker – Kent
    14. Missed The Boat – Modest Mouse
    15. Ett Slag För Dig – Tomas Andersson Wij
    16. Don’t Go – Hothouse Flowers
    17. Et satanisk mesterværk – C.V. Jørgensen (DK)
    18. King Kong Five – Mano Negra
    19. Until It Sleeps – Metallica
    20. 156 – Mew (DK)

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    WT Stats Updated

    Sunday, August 16th, 2009

    Click the link below for the latest WT stats…

    WT Stats, as per 18AUG2009

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    Day 1.225 – Le Moulin à Images

    Sunday, August 16th, 2009

    Keena and I chatting in the summerhouse.

    Kélie, Matt, Amelie, Keena, and I.

    Back in Quebec city (I could’ve stayed in that summerhouse for weeks!), the sun’s out and so am I, all geared-up for a self-appointed photo tour of Vieux Quebec…

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Cafe de la Paix, Quebec.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Sliding shadows.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Street musicians, Quebec.

    Summer in Quebec City.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec city wall...

    Quebec downtown.

    Quebec by night...

    The undisputed cultural highlight of the day (the month?, the year?) is the incredible visual project, Le Moulin à Images that displays 5 nights a week during the summer months on a huge 600 meter long screen (making it the biggest in the world!) projected on grain silos in lower Quebec City. It’s a world-class, visual spectacle…

    Le Moulin à Images

    …and thanks to Keena for the free VIP tickets, incl. uninterrupted views of the harbour front and the projected images. As a tourist destination Quebec’s really got it going these days. To be seen in real life. Just stunning!

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    Day 1.224 – A Day To Remember

    Saturday, August 15th, 2009

    Couchsurfing host Kelie, and Spanish Eva and Ricardo.

    Kélie has invited me to come with her and friends to a summerhouse on a lake in the forests some 100 km northeast of Quebec City. A great opportunity for socializing that no one would turn down. At least not a solitary cycling nomad.

    Kélie and Matt...

    Good times in Quebec.

    It’s going to be an unforgettable weekend with a bunch of great, new friends and too many funny incidents to start recounting. Feeling happily lucky and luckily happy.

    Keena and the sun...

    Good times in Quebec.

    At the summerhouse with Quebecan friends...

    Having a midnight stroll with our black baby...

    Bonfire time!

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    Day 1.223 – Couchsurfing in Quebec

    Friday, August 14th, 2009

    Dayride: 14 km (total 52.083 km), from Sainte Foy to downtown Quebec, incl. fumbling around.

    Jean-Michel, Jean-Baptiste, and Annick in Sainte Foy, Quebec.

    Breakfast with Jean-Baptiste and his kind parents, Jean-Michel and Annick, and then I’m off. To downtown Quebec, 7 km down the road, where I plug in to www for a few hours, and hang out in the sunny park, Les Champs de Bataille (Battlefield Park), and have a first peek of the historic downtown Quebec.

    The Koga in Quebec City.

    The Parliament building in Quebec.

    Chilling in Quebec.

    Vieux Quebec...

    Quebec cathedral.

    In the arvo I meet up with Kelie, a wonderful couchsurfer-host that makes me feel at home in her apartment right from the start. Also couchsurfing with Kelie is the Spanish travelers, Ricardo and Eva with whom I share a nice evening, on the roof top terrace with Canadian ales ad libitum and the Quebecan skyline rising above us.

    Couchsurfing host Kelie, and Spanish Eva and Ricardo.

    Nicolai in Quebec.

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    Day 1.222 – The Lucky Coincidence

    Thursday, August 13th, 2009

    Trois-Riviere -> Quebec City
    Distance (km) : 156
    Time on bike : 8h 07m
    Brutto time: 7.07 – 20.00
    Avg : 19.2 km/h
    Max.speed: 46.0
    Total (km) : 52.069
    Altitude: 30 m
    Difficulty: 4.5 of 5

    Morning camp near Trois-Riviere, Quebec.

    Conditions are perfect again this morning. How lucky we are, the Koga and I. And the luck strikes back later on today…

    Breakfast on the curb!

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    Trois-Riviere, Quebec.

    St. Laurent River

    River crossing in Quebec.

    Village church, Quebec.

    52.000 km. Near Pontneuf, Quebec, Canada.

    (See all milestone photos)

    Quebec countryside...

    That I don’t feel tired after 7 hours and 140 km in the saddle under the merciless, Canadian late-summer sun, is both a fact and a mystery to me.

    Village church, Quebec.

    Through God-blessed Couchsurfing.com I have a place to stay in Quebec City. But the thing is that I’m one day ahead of schedule, and Kelie, my Quebec host, doesn’t expect me until tomorrow. It’s late in the afternoon when I reach the western suburbs of Quebec, and I don’t feel like asking if I can drop by with such a short notice, so I keep riding towards the city center, figuring that I might just find a park to camp or whatever.

    New day, new location, new bed.

    All of a sudden, a guy on his bike comes riding up next to me, points at me, saying I know you!, smilingly and surprised. I can’t believe this is true! It’s Jean-Baptiste that I shared a room with for a week in the Casa de Ciclistas in Trujillo, Peru, last December! (Remember my Salsa Trauma?)

    None of us can fathom the coincidence (and writing this, 3 days later, I count this as maybe the biggest chance meeting ever in my life). And I thought I knew no one in this city!

    Me and Jean-Baptiste in Quebec.

    Jean-Baptiste asks me where I’m going to sleep tonight (in my roofless situation, a very welcome question), I say I don’t know, and then the doors are all open. JB lives with his parents and siblings in a Quebecois suburb, Sainte Foy west of downtown Quebec, and together (and still amazed at the freak encounter) we ride to his house.

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    Day 1.221 – Sunshine (external + internal)

    Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

    Montréal -> Trois-Riviere
    Distance (km) : 129
    Time on bike : 7h 13m
    Brutto time: 11.15 – 21.00
    Avg : 17.8 km/h
    Max.speed: 35.2
    Total (km) : 51.913
    Altitude: 1 m
    Difficulty: 3.5 of 5

    Goodbye note in Montreal...

    The last 10 days in Montreal have been amazing! Nothing less, and though I know that it’s getting crowded on my Top 10 Cities of The World (see all Top XX hit lists), Montreal is on the list. Staying with my friend Sara in the center of town has been very comfortable and has given me lots of time to explore the city, new friendships, and the next steps in Camp WT.

    Moulin...

    Leaving Montreal Island...

    The climate in and around me is ideal today. Sunny, hot, no wind at all, and a surprisingly pleasant feast for the eye along the Quebecois countryside.

    Quebec countryside...

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    Cycling in to the Quebecan sunset...

    Yamachiche town sign...

    Cycling in to the Quebecan sunset...

    Cycling in to the Quebecan sunset...

    The sunset light wraps the landscape into warm hues, and I really don’t want to stop riding tonight. Thus, at 9PM, long after sunset and darkness, I still haven’t found a spot for the tent. Stomach feels completely empty though, so I stop for my standard canned spaghetti meat sauce dinner, and have a little chat with an old, local guy that tells me that I can put up my tent just a little further down the road, in a grassy area next to the river. Sounds (and turns out to be) like the right plan. I’m crazily tired after 7 hours of riding…

    Railroad crossing in Quebec...

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    Day 1.220 – The Fix

    Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

    Stade Uniprix in Montreal.

    It’ all about tennis today. The Roger Cup features 19 of the 20 best tennis players on the ATP tour, and naturally I’m keen on seeing some of the heroes on center court, getting my tennis fix of the month.

    Andy Murray on Stade Uniprix in Montreal.

    Stade Uniprix in Montreal.

    Stade Uniprix in Montreal.

    The Beauty!

    Back at the My Bicyclette bike shop, I get a brand new rear wheel on my baby. The new rim looks bomb-proof, and with strong, Swiss made DT-spokes and a Deore hub, I feel confident on behalf of my petit Koga princess going to Africa.

    Alex at the My Bicyclette bike shop in Montreal.

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    Day 1.219 – Meeting With A WT-Follower

    Monday, August 10th, 2009

    After a relaxing, yet productive day in front of the laptop at home on Aylmer Street, I meet up for dinner with Julien and his girlfriend Veronique. Julien has been following my trip since August last year, and after the random meeting in the street the other day, they’ve invited me out for dinner.

    Heavy-loaded smoked meat sandwich!

    Julien and Veronique are going on a longer bike trip in Asia and Oceania next year, so naturally, they have a lot of questions for me, and there’s never a silent moment during that smoked meat sandwichh dinner. Besides being a really pleasant couple, they (espec. Julien) is incredibly well-informed in the world of WT, and at times Julien seems to know more about the expedition than I do!

    Julien, Veronique, Nicolai, and Sara in Montreal.

    It’s a funny and kind if novel experience for me to meet the fan/WT-follower, so to speak. We all have a great night out, good laughs, and lots of looking back in the WT mirror…

    Thanks, Julien et Veronique, for the evening and happy planning!

    Veronique, Julien, and I in Montreal.

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    Day 1.218 – Tam Tam in Montreal

    Sunday, August 9th, 2009

    Tam-tam gathering in Parc Mont Royal, Montreal.

    Tam-tam gathering in Parc Mont Royal, Montreal.

    Action in the forest!

    Fairmont Bakery, Montreal.

    Fairmont Bakery, Montreal.

    Sara in the shop...

    Tam-tam gathering in Parc Mont Royal, Montreal.

    Oh no!

    Dinner with Sara and friends in Montreal.

    Dinner in Montreal.

    The Slug, part 1.

    The Slug.

    The Slug, part 2.

    The Slug.

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    Day 1.217 – Stade Olympique 1976

    Saturday, August 8th, 2009

    Me on my couch in Montreal.

    1976 wasn’t only a remarkable year because of the birth of yours truly. Other interesting events happened that year

    Olympic Park in Montreal.

    Denmark was on the list too!

    While I’m at it, I turn this afternoon into a little sightseeing-on-bike tour around the eastern regions of Montreal…

    Old market building.

    Montreal scene.

    Church in Montreal

    So insignificant, yet so expensive, and so important: The BB

    New bottom bracket!

    Montreal by night...

    I’m quite stunned at the outcome of these night shots from Montreal downtown.

    Montreal by night...

    Just because I’m on a tight budget, doesn’t mean I can’t take part of the nocturnal fun, so tonight I grab a 6-pack of the cheapest canned beer available at the local kiosque run by Mr. India, and walk aimlessly around the busy streets of Montreal, near the Rue Crescent bar area, and later in the Rue Saint Laurent area, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, listening to Kings of Leon.

    oh la la!

    Le Disco

    Le Disco

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    Day 1.216 – My Bicyclette + My Luck

    Friday, August 7th, 2009

    Tune of the Day: The Build Up – Kings of Convenience feat. Feist

    The Parc du Mont-Royal is on the agenda today. It’s a huge, forested rock right in the center of Montreal, and it serves as a giant green lung that provides Montrealers with a very impressive and natural recreational green-space.

    Amazing view from a lookout in Parc Mont Royal, Montreal.

    Parc Mont Royal, Montreal.

    Amazingly, it has a certain degree of wilderness as soon as you venture off the well-maintained tracks and trails that criss-cross the park. As a city park it is absolutely world-class.

    Parc Mont Royal with Montreal skyline in the background.

    Hearing that the photos that Asep took of me, his wife and kid back then is hanging on the wall in their house in Tasikmalaya, Java, Indonesia makes my heart smile and makes so much sense cosmically.

    Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal.

    Fleur

    Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal.

    Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal.

    The Burden.

    Montreal metro.

    Back at the My Bicyclette bike shop, I get shocked twice.

    First, because of the bad news that the bike part supplier has sent the wrong wheel for my bike (front instead of rear). It’s a slap in my face, but the guys assure me that we’d work something out.
    The next bike part delivery will be on Tuesday, but Alex, the bike mechanic, suggests he build a new wheel that’d be ready on Sunday. Hmm, tough decisions.

    While I sit down in front of the shop, thinking about what to do with the rear wheel dilemma, Alex replaces the worn bottom bracket and takes care of the brakes, brake pads, cables etc. thus making the bike ready for the adventures to come. I finally opt for a new rear wheel, Sun Rims Rhyno Lite that’ll be here on Tuesday…

    This is when the second shock hits me…

    My Bicyclette bike shop in Montreal.

    I have a chat with the other bike guys, mostly about my expedition, and at some point David, the owner of the newly-opened bike shop, shake my hand and tells me that it’s all on the house, that he’s a traveller himself and knows what it’s like, and that he just wants me to have a great journey in Africa.

    I seriously can’t believe what’s happening, but the kind look in David’s eyes shows me he’s not kidding. I’m surprised like never before, am goosey all over, and try to express my sincere gratitude.

    How lucky am I, and what a jolly good job those angels up there are doing!

    Again, thank you so much, David (and Alex and Nick and the other guys at My Bicyclette) for your super-kind help. Will never forget.

    Montreal harbour front...

    Dinner with Sara in Montreal.

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    Voice/Sound Recordings from Camp WT

    Friday, August 7th, 2009

    I’m happy to inform I’ve made a new entry on the menu (to the left on front-page), called Sounds, where I’ll put voice diary bits and greetings (in Danish or English), and odd sounds from the expedition once in a while.

    I hope you enjoy and do come back now and then…

    Go to Sound section…

    Nicolai

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    Day 1.215 – Bottom Bracket Worn-Out

    Thursday, August 6th, 2009

    It’s time for a Koga tune-up before I take my lady to West Africa. The bottom bracket is done after 26.000 km since the last replacement in Melbourne, January 2008. I ride down to the bike shop My Bicyclette, on St. Patrick’s Street on the Lachine Canal a little west of the city center, where Alex, a bike mechanic, immediately starts inspecting the bike.

    My Bicyclette bike shop in Montreal.

    Apart from the bottom bracket, I decide to get a new rear wheel too, since the spokes are all kind of loose and the rim wall might crack any time soon. Better safe than sorry. Burkina Faso might not be the right timing for a cracked rear wheel, and these guys really seem to know what they are doing.

    My Koga at My Bicyclette bike shop...

    I leave my honey at the operation table and am promised she’ll be all fine by tomorrow late afternoon.
    Trust is a sacred thing.

    Habitat 67.

    Park on Rue Saint-Laurent...

    Park on Rue Saint-Laurent...

    Rue Saint-Laurent...

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    License Plates Update…

    Thursday, August 6th, 2009

    Have a poke!

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    Day 1.214 – Visual Nuggets

    Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

    All my stuff got terribly wet during the rains that fell on me on my way from New York to Montreal. All my clothes got drenched (don’t know what happened to the water-proofiness of my Ortlieb bike bags)
    and, subsequently, very foul smelling (right, Sara?). The bad smells reminded me of this day in Singapore, 2007.

    Washing my smelly bike bags, tub style.

    Washing my Ortlieb bike bags...

    Then it’s time for some serious 50D action in Montreal.

    Complexe Desjardins, Montreal.

    Local diner/burger bar...

    Café Cléopâtre, Montreal.

    Nicolai at the Thai Express restaurant...

    Clever city bike system in Montreal.

    Le Village, Montreal.

    Le Village, Montreal.

    Le Village, Montreal.

    Les Francofolies de Montreal.

    Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montreal Old Town.

    Weather is warm and sunny, and the visual nuggets of North America’s 7th largest city are countless…

    Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montreal Old Town.

    Nicolai on the penny farthing...

    Turkish performance in downtown Montreal.

    Turkish performance in downtown Montreal.

    I guess I don’t really have to say that I love Montréal. Sometimes I feel that my photos have more to say than I do. Funny, that.

    Montreal downtown.

    Painter on Rue des Artistes, Montreal.

    Horse cart in Montreal.

    Shop front

    Rue de L'Hôpital, Montréal.

    Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal Old Town.

    Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal Old Town.

    Rambutan delights...

    Montreal downtown.

    Basilique Marie Reine Du Monde in Montreal.

    Basilique in Montreal.

    Inside Basilique Marie Reine Du Monde in Montreal.

    Inside Basilique Marie Reine Du Monde in Montreal.

    Emilie and Sara preparing dinner...

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    Day 1.213 – Dinosaurs

    Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

    Having a comfortable base here on Aylmer Street with Sara (and roomies Grace and Kristina) is invaluable for me and gives me time and space to do some of the research that’s needed for my next leg of the journey.

    The bike needs a helping hand, the flight across the Atlantic needs attention, the beautiful city of Montreal at my feet needs more exploring, my mail box needs love, WT needs love, you need love, I need love, we all need love…

    Redpath Museum, McGill University, Montreal.

    I’m a fairly (very! some might say…) organized person, and you don’t want to go to West Africa off the cuff. Thus, I spend a lot of hours here in Montreal checking up on this and that from my wireless laptop. It’s times like these when I feel that a WT-assistant would come in very handy…

    Avenue du Parc...

    The afternoon is spent with Sara at the Redpath Museum on the property of the McGill University, having a filling thali lunch at an Indian restaurant in the cool-vibe ‘hood Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, followed by a much-needed cat nap in the grassy Parc du Mont Royal.

    My first Canadian beer...

    Paradoxically, I feel much more tired off than on the bike. It’s not a new thing to me, but it’s hard for me to accept. Am still tired through my bones today.

    It’s hard mentally to deal with the fact of being exhausted when you’re in a new, big city, eager to explore at large, but not really having the energy that big-city life demands. Oh, well…

    Sara made a delicious salmon dinner tonight, served with my first Canadian beer, and life’s still treating me very fine.

    At "home" on Aylmer Street, avec Sara.

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    Day 1.212 – The Classic Hair

    Monday, August 3rd, 2009

    Loaded with my new EOS 50D camera, voice recorder, iPod – and a slight impatience for exploring Montreal – I go for a massive multi-hour sightseeing-on-foot crusade around town after a few hours of laptop research “at home”…

    Welcome to Montreal! (Mouse on photo = text box pop-up)

    Montreal Business Distrct.

    Backstreet Bike

    Windsor Station, Montreal.

    Le 1250 Boulevard René Lévesque, Montreal.

    Palais des congrès de Montreal.

    Banque de Montreal.

    Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal.

    Vieux-Port, Montreal

    Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montreal Old Town.

    Pierre Du Calvet, anno 1725

    Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montreal Old town.

    Bienvenue!

    Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal Old Town.

    Champ de Mars and Hôtel de ville, Montreal.

    Montreal is real love at first sight. Enough said.

    Church on Saint-Denis Street.

    Groovy Saint-Denis Street.

    After a long and exciting, home-made Tour de Montreal, I’m back on Aylmer Street. Suddenly, a voice behind me goes:

    -Heey, are you Mr. Bangsgaard?
    -Uhhh, yeah, that’s me (thinking: Who are you?)
    -I’m Julien!

    Some weeks ago I got an email from a guy, Canadian Julien, who’s been following my trip since Chile last year. Realizing I was coming his way, he recently invited me (via email) to come and stay with him and his girlfriend here in Montreal.

    Julien and me on Aylmer Street,  Montreal.

    -I recognized your classic hair, Julien tells me, smilingly.

    I, too, laugh out loud.

    It’s such a coincidence! Being spotted in the center of Montreal that has some 3.3 mio. inhabitants. None of us can actually believe it. We have a nice little chat in the street and decide to meet up later.

    Montreal at dusk.

    Mesdemoiselles Emilie and Sara in Montreal.

    Rue Côté, Chinatown, Montreal.

    Montreal from below...

    Les Francofolies de Montreal.

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    Day 1.211 – Montreal 2009

    Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

    Saint Valentin -> Montréal
    Distance (km) : 82
    Time on bike : 4h 42m
    Brutto time: 08.10 – 15.45
    Avg : 17.4 km/h
    Max.speed: 36.2
    Total (km) : 51.712
    Altitude: 10 m
    Difficulty: 3 of 5

    First rays of light on my gear, first morning in Canada...

    Mosquitoes notwithstanding, it’s a beautiful first morning in Canada. Temperature’s cool, air fresh in the grassy park where I set up camp last night, after a little chat (in very, very broken French combined with less broken sign language) with a cute, elderly couple sitting on their veranda watching life go by, immediately giving me green lights to camp in the park.

    WE GET WET!

    Then the rain starts. It’s rained a lot in eastern Canada this summer, and today is absolutely no exception. So much for that beautiful, tranquil morning. Rain, rain, rain…and no, I’m not lovin’ it…

    I'm NOT lovin' it!

    Crossing the Pont Jacques Cartier in Montreal...

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    As planned, I meet up with Sara in front of her apartment in downtown Montreal in the afternoon. It’s our 7th meeting – half of them coincidental – since we met in Tibet 2006, and it’s really good catching up again, and the familiar face make me feel a little like being at home…

    Mexican dinner in Montreal with Francine, Olivier, and Sara...

    On tonight’s program is a Mexican dinner at the Tamale Restaurant with Sara’s friend Olivier and his mother Francine, with whom I have an interesting conversation as she gives me a quick rundown of the cultural distinctions between Quebec and Canada, and cunningly (yet seriously) lets me know that this is Francophone Quebec, and what goes on in Anglophile Canada is not really her business. “I’m just doing promotion for Quebec, you know…”

    They've had a lot of rain this year in Montreal.

    It’s a cheery evening despite the rain that falls heavily on Montreal.

    Penis chocolates in a sex toy shop, Montreal.

    Summer time means festival time in Montreal, and tonight Algerian singer Khaled (the guy with the catchy tune Aisha) is performing live (and free) at the Les Spectacles Arena as part of the Francofolies de Montreal festival…

    Algerian singer Khaled live in Montreal.

    It’s a mental full-on kick-start for me here in Montreal, and though I feel utterly exhausted after the last 7 days on the road since I left New York, there’s happiness around my inner organs…

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    Day 1.210 – Bienvenue à Canada!

    Saturday, August 1st, 2009

    North Burlington (USA) -> Saint Valentin (Canada!)
    Distance (km) : 102
    Time on bike : 5h 21m
    Brutto time: 08.00 – 19.30
    Avg : 19.1 km/h
    Max.speed: 47.9
    Total (km) : 51.630
    Altitude: 10 m
    Difficulty: 2.5 of 5

    Wild camp north of Burlington, Vermont.

    Vermont countryside...

    Note:

    The best follow-up album to an album that was already world-class has got to be Radiohead’s OK Computer (1997) following the 1995-release The Bends.

    Lake Champlain, Vermont.

    Alburg village, Vermont...

    Bridge on Hwy 2 that separates Vermont from New York state...

    After nearly 3 months in the US, it’s time to cross borders again (it’s 6PM at the border post). The formalities at the Canadian border are exemplary. The officer simply asks me where I’m going tonight, and how long I’m going to spend in Canada. I don’t know the answer to either of these questions, but the officer doesn’t seem to care at all and just gives me my stamp that – he tells me – allows me to stay in Canada for 6 months. Yihaa! Quebec, Canada, and country #39 within the framework of WT. Feeling good and fists in the air…

    Last right turn before Canada!

    My bike computer says 51.614 km as I leave the US and enter Canada. That means a total of 5.071 km in God’s Own Country.

    Francaise, SVP!

    Buy this day – and become part of the WT Hall of Fame :-)

    I’m super-excited being in Canada, and it’s a very pretty and quiet evening along narrow-ish country roads through corn fields and quaint Quebecan farm houses, birds humming, me humming, and a splendid sunset.

    Canadian corn...

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