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  1. Broken tissue and nervous beginnings in the Emerald Isle

    posted by Colm Hanratty | 0 Comments

    Broken tissue and nervous beginnings in the Emerald Isle

    May312010

    I hate flying, but I love finding myself in far flung places and I’ll be the first to admit that this is not a winning combination. Sometimes I find myself looking for some sort of underhanded, cunning method to avoid any form of aviation yet still find adventure, and this summer I think I might have hit the nail on the head.

    While pouring over some maps and drinking a few beers with the lads one evening, I discovered that we would probably be mad not to cycle from my house to Athens over the course of six weeks, and to then safely at sea level continue by ferry to the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. So after managing to convince a few good men to come with me, one of whom has a boarder-line sordid love affair with maps, and acquiring a few bikes we were set to go.

    Two months later, and with collectively about twelve hours cycling experience between us, we set off from my house in Blackrock. Waving goodbye to family and friends, we broke through a makeshift starting line made of toilet paper to drag 50kg of bike and bags the 2,000 kilometres to the Athenian port of Pireaus.


    In the coming weeks we would find ourselves cycling through Paris and down the beautiful West coast of France, traversing mountain ranges in the Pyrenees, stopping only briefly to get chased down the streets of Pamplona by severely pissed off bulls, drinking moonshine in the Adriatic with unnervingly friendly Turkish truck drivers, examining very closely the fascinating driving styles adopted by the Italians... along with the odd other experience or two. It was with unsteady legs and a quiet confidence that we left home and into the biggest adventure of our lives.

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