So, you may be wondering, where are they going exactly? Well! Here’s the plan so far. We are going to fly into Amsterdam on August 1, with our bikes. We will then tour the Netherlands for about 3 weeks, doing loop tours around the Netherlands and then following the North Sea Cycle Route into France. On the way to France we’ll bike on the fabulous car-free bike routes through the cycling heaven that is Belgium, stopping in Bruges and Ghent. We will hopefully visit Vimy Ridge as well. In France, generally we’ll follow the Atlantic Coast, cycling through Normandy on the Historical Trail, which takes in the D-Day beaches. We will also take a jog into Paris, either by jumping a train or by biking the Avenue Verte, another car-free bike route that connects London and Paris. We will also of course go into Dieppe in Northern France. This part of the voyage I have researched heavily, and have a really good idea of where we are going to go. Kathleen and I have also already cycled between Amsterdam and Bruges, so we now that area well.
From Normandy, we will head south via either the Velodyssey route along the Atlantic Coast or another route, generally heading towards Spain. In the city of Biarritz, on the Atlantic Coast, we will pause to either A: Learn how to surf or B: Go hiking in the Pyrenees for a few weeks — probably B, because we will have ample opportunity to surf in Cuba! From Biarritz, we will head into Spain, probably to either hike or bike the Camino Santiago. Here plans start to get less concrete… From Spain, we will fly into Havana, Cuba, sometime around October 28. We will then spend about a month learning Spanish (Kathleen and I both speak passable Spanish), and then we will cycle the island, visiting turtle sanctuaries, possibly doing some volunteer work, learning about Cuba, and learning to surf! Sometime in February, we will head to either A: Yucatan (if we deem it safe enough to bike) for a few weeks and then option B — or B: Tucson, Arizona to start our northern trek through the Rocky Mountains and Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington — hitting the major national parks on the way — such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, King’s Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowknife, Glacier, etc. This part we’ll see about how we get around, it may involve a lot of public transit. The goal is to take Jasper to Jasper! And then, train back home for August 1, 2016. Phew! That’s a mouthful!
So this is a very rough plan, guided by the following:
1. It has to be safe enough, or we change our plans. Our bikes are folding bikes, so we can jump public transit if we need to.
2. Camping if necessary, but not necessarily camping (who am I copying there, oh history buffs?) — We’ll camp as much as possible, but not if the weather’s miserable.
3. The plan is very fluid, and we have nothing to prove — if we get tired, we’ll stop. If we like a place, we’ll stay, if we want to ride 150 km, we will! We’re not on a mission.
So that sums it up! Anyone have any suggestions of places to see along the way? People to visit and stay with 😉 ?