Another Update

July 3, 2016:

I’m sorry for the long radio silence. Each blog entry takes several hours of work to prepare, plus a really strong internet connection to post.

Bicycle touring is such an all-consuming endeavor that I struggle to find the mental or physical energy to devote to the blog. Add to that ongoing internet/wifi challenges, and it’s been nearly impossible to post anything new for a while.

So, here is a quick, down and dirty, update:

After leaving the Picardy region of France we continued north along the coast towards Belgium. We got word that Mark’s interview and medical exam with the French immigration services (for his visa) was scheduled in Strasbourg much earlier than we anticipated. So, just as we were about to enter Belgium, we had to put the brakes on our trip and catch a train to Strasbourg, on the French/German border (the opposite side of France from where we were).

We spent a wonderful week with friends in the beautiful city of Strasbourg and Mark was officially issued his visa. He is now a legal, long-term visitor to the EU!

After Strasbourg, we rode west a bit to Nancy, France, where we picked up the Moselle River. We rode up the Moselle into the country of Luxembourg, and then peeled west, off the Moselle to continue into Luxembourg City – a surprisingly picturesque city.

After spending a day visiting Luxembourg City, we continued northwest into Belgium. We are currently sitting in the Ardennes (hills!) about 100 miles southeast of Brussels.

My butt has finally healed, giving me only twinges now and again. We are averaging 50 km per day, including animal miles, so we’re still not moving very fast as the crow flies, but we’re getting to see and experience a lot, which is what matters.

Next, we will be cycling to Brussels, where we will stay with a friend of a friend (thanks Hans!) and try to sort out some gear and equipment issues. Then, we will head to Utrecht, Netherlands, where Mark will have a follow-up scan of his thyroid.

After that, we’re not quite sure what we’ll do. We may continue to Denmark, or we may start heading south. It’s hard to believe it’s July here. It’s a rare golden day when temperatures hit the 70s. While the rains aren’t nearly as bad as they were when we first arrived in France, showers and cool weather continue to follow us everywhere we go. (Do we have our own personal little storm cloud?)

Holland and Denmark are renowned for their spectacular cycling, but will it be good enough to entice us to stay north or will promises of sea and sun lure us south? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’ll do what I can to go back and fill in the gaps in the blog whenever I have a chance.

In case I don’t get anything else out before tomorrow, Happy Independence Day to all the Americans out there!


12 thoughts on “Another Update”

  1. It’s so great to read your update. YAY that Mark got his visa! Post as you can, but as you said, focus on the experience at hand. Your faithful supporters will be here.

  2. Hi, guys!
    Sorry you are having such cool weather! It is warm in Italy, but it seems to rain every day…. come here to Spain, sunny and 86 degrees…. We have been here for about a week, leaving for Milano on Tuesday, getting back to Pratola the 10th.
    Hope you get to celebrate a bit tomorrow, have a happy 4th!!
    Hugs from
    Bente and Carlo.

    1. 86 degrees! A dream! Actually, we’ve been enjoying some lovely weather in Brussels, where we’ve been staying for a few days. We still haven’t decided if, after Mark’s scan, we’ll continue with our original plan to go to Denmark or instead head south.

  3. We were wondering what had happened to you two, after no blogs for a while ,but do keep it up.

    Julie and I are really looking forward to Argentina. We will meet Damian and Matthew there, go to a friends wedding and then do some touring. We do plan to get on bikes and use the trails. Still working on this.
    All is well in NZ but it is winter and very cold at the moment.
    You both take care.
    Love Chris and Julie NZ

    1. Snow! Eek! Much as we love you, I’m so glad we’re not in NZ at the moment! Riding the trails in Argentina sounds great! We’ll have to compare notes: Argentina trails vs. French farmers’ fields. 😉

  4. We know how hard it must be for you to post but we are grateful for anything that appears. The Tour de France has started and we can see the beautiful countryside as well as the cool temperatures and rain you have been experiencing.

    We’re so glad that Mark’s visa was approved and hope for good news with his medical appointment. Keep pedaling,

  5. Sounds like an epic trip so far. Your house is still there. I’ve been following your blog even though I haven’t written. Glad the rain finally stopped for you. Just keep peddlin’.

    1. Thanks Steve! It is very comforting to us to know we have friends and neighbors looking out for us back home so we can focus all our energies here.

  6. Great to hear that all is well and that Mark is finally legal for an extended stay! Sounds like you have seen some beautiful towns and countryside on your way to ??? Also great to hear that your butt is finally cooperating and being in the saddle is a joy instead of a pain. I’m off to Switzerland in a week so we will be on the same continent for a month 🙂 I’m putting my order in for cool, dry weather and am hoping the same for you. Continue to have fun!

    1. Thanks Kathy! Enjoy your epic trip! You’ll have to tell us all about it when we see each other again. We, too, wish you perfect weather for your adventure!

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