Getting to 7000 on foot.
I am back; it’s been a while since the last post, but quite a bit has happened. First I took ten days off to recover from not sleeping in a proper bed. I got back to Italy to find that my dad was still in hospital but all the signs were that his treatment was going in the right direction. Moving from the late autumn of Australia to the early summer of Italy was a bit of a temperature shock but, in the end, one I had to endure only for a short period as I was quickly off to a whistle blow tour of the UK.
While the pretext of the trip to the UK was the collection of a whole lot of new eqipment, the truth was that I was really looking forward to catch up with some of the people that had been my dicital travling companions. The only regret was that in three weeks I could not fit everyone in.
Catching up with friends and family both in Italy and the UK was great but I was concious that every day stationary was a threat to both my physical and mental form especially as I set in motion the path which will, hopefully take me to the 7000 miles milestone by the end of the autumn.
The reason I am a bit apprehensive about this next leg of the X19loupe endeavour is that the mode of transport will change and I’ll replace the bike for a pair of hiking boots. Tomorrow I’ll be setting off and get myself to Bocca Trebaria, a mountain location just 25 miles east of Sansepolcro in northers Italy, and will start a walk that in 20 days or so will take me to the mountains south of Parma after having hiked and camped for roughly 240 miles on the watershed between the regions of Emilia Romagna ad Tuscany in the north of Italy.
While this is in fact plan B, plan A was to get more experience as a crew on board a sailing ship in the Med, I have grown quite excited about the thing especially as I see it as as the perfect training exercise for the hike I’m planning for later in the year which will see me walk the length of Israel along the Israel National Trail.
More on that to follow but let me tell you a bit about the exciting stuff that I collected in my UK trip. First I got a new bike that I’ll be using starting from next November to tackle South America in the next bike leg of the tour. This is not any old bike, it’s a customised Brompton folding bike with a Rohloff gear-hub and disk breaks. Time will tell if this is a wise move, but it looks and feels real good.
Then I got myself a new tent, new sleeping bag and a new goose down top. The top will replace my fleece and the main benefit is, as well as being real warm, to compact to near nothing. The sleeping bag also is goose down and compacts to nothing but it’s three season rated so I should be ok to -10º C. The tent is lighter than my one man tent but it’s a two people tent instead. This will allow me to have all my kit in it with me and some spare space to move in case of prolonged tent living.
Hopefully all these things will help with the future rides and hikes and indeed some of them will be rolled out on the Appennini mountains from tomorrow. The final change I’m making to my set up is the reduction of the technology to just the mobile phone for all the photographic and computing needs. Not too sure how well that will work but I’ll have just to give it a go. Anyway, off to bed now, tomorrow it’s going to be the first early rise for a while and will mark the start of a new mini adventure.