Monday, 21 September 2009

Switzerland & the beginning of Italy

We have been kindly sponsored and supported by:


Mayo Wynne Baxter
01273 477071
Mayo Wynne Baxter is one of the leading law firms
in the South East with offices throughout Sussex.


&





Gossypium is a leading brand in Fairtrade-certified organic cotton fashion:
  • All our products are Fairtrade & organic - we're the real thing
  • We only use good quality cotton; organic, pure & strong
  • We are responsible for how our products are made
  • The eco-system & environment are never far from our thoughts
  • We're independent: working together as a family - in business
www.gossypium.co.uk

&



(click image to expand)


&



Located in the south lanes close to the seafront Terre à Terre is one of Brighton's leading
restaurants and continuously retaining the prestigious AA Two Rosettes and Michelin: ” Bib Gourmand” awards.

www.terreaterre.co.uk




IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR US, YOU STILL CAN!

We are obviously trying to raise as much money as possible for the Red Cross, and the default sponsorship donation goes 50/50 for the Red Cross and towards the costs of the trip (Visas, Food, Internet Cafes, Maps etc). We are budgeting as much as possible but it is still difficult to keep the costs down because we cannot control the majority of our spending which is not on food or any other variable but on things like VISAS (It costs £95 for Iranian VISA alone) and maps and unexpected repairs such as my front pannier rack which has given way. Any excess sponsorship cost covering money will go to the Red Cross once we have finished the trip if there is any too.
If you would still like to sponsor us you can by:

Emailing me the amount you have sponsored us, your name, and the amount you want to go to the Red Cross and amount you want to put towards covering the costs of the trip, if any.
The bank account I have set up for the sponsorship money is:

Nationwide
Mr Mohan Everett
account no: 72433983
sort code: 07 00 30

You can pay money into that bank account via phone banking, online banking, cash (in bank) or by cheque.
I'm set up with online banking and will be basing my budgets and checking balance/transferring money with it throughout the whole trip, whenever I'm near a computer.

You can also pay via Paypal to:
Moohan13@gmail.com

Thankyou!

Blog update:
Switzerland was a lot tougher than we expected, and also a lot prettier.
The first day we entered switzerland, we didnt have a map and thought about doing it without one at all. We asked some locals directions to the first town we knew was in the right direction and they could speak a bit of english and pointed towards a big downhill. It wasnt a normal downhill, it was a gate with no path let alone road... we asked if they were sure and they said yes. so we slowly rolled down the grass, which led down a roughly 400m hill. Very steep and very bumpy. as we were going down the hill, mohans front pannier rack gave way despite going very slowly and carefully. it was the rack which had previously bent and been bent back so had obviously been weakened. It bent into the spokes and bent some of them and took us about 15min to bend back out without damaging more spokes. We then wheeled the bikes down the rest of the hill and looked for somewhere to sleep. at this point it had got very cold and we couldnt find anywhere suitable as everywhere appeared to be in use and not suitable for randomly sticking our tent on. It was starting to get dark and we were going down a road when we saw a cave about 5m above the road. We questioned the idea of sleeping there, but eventually thought why not. It was full of mozzies and spiders but served us well. despite waking up damp and cold.
The next day we spend a good few hours fixing my front wheel and replacing some spokes which we luckily bought the day before in a french bike shop for spares.
We also got a bicycle computer which means we can update our cycle stats on here.

We found that what we thought was the alps turned out to be a the foothills, and it wasn't until we were close to Italy that the mountins got really big. Finn regretted his cheap sleeping bag after two nights sleeping in tent at 2000 metre altitude. Has also been tricky to dry out clothes and tent in icy conditions. Was also an amazing feeling reaching the final pass of the alps the nufenen pass just outside Italy. This mountin was the highest we had climbed at 2500m and it was definately an amazing moment reaching its peak. We were annoyed at the lack of downhill throughout switzerland until we reached this pass. From there onwards we enjoyed around 70km of downhill all the way into italy. This gave our legs a much needed rest and we eventually got down into warmer weather.
It was strange how as soon as we left this final mountin everything was in italian rather than swiss, even though we were still in switzerland for another 100km.
Switzerland has been very expensive in comparison to france, especially in larger towns.
Overall the people of switzerland have been very kind, we randomly met a man called Roberto who jumped out infront of us in the street. We told him about our travels and he just randomly gave us 10 franks to go and get ourselves a beer each. What a nice guy. That night we bought four beers for the first time since england. We found a nice place to camp next to an ice cold stream in a valley between mountins. We put our beers in the stream to chill while we set up camp. We were shocked by how drunk we got off two beers each was embarrasing. This cycling is definately doing something. The following morning at 6am we went for a refreshing swim in the stream and had a shower under the waterfall, was extremely cold.
One good thing about switzerland is the abundance of beautiful lakes such as the one we discovered called Lagurn. It was bright turquoise colour, positioned in the middle of huge mountains, we enjoyed another swim here before cycling onwards.
I think the worst moment of switzerland was the day we cycled the Grimsel pass. It took us the entire day of cycling to reach the top, it was extremely hot and we were not used to the sun. The slope wasn't particularly steep but it went on for such a long time. It was around 55km of constant uphill before we reached the top. Our legs took a long time to recover, and perhaps the worst thing was the fact we reached the top at about 7.30pm, it was freezing and the only option was to camp at the top or risk going down the mountain in the dark. Mohans sleeping bag was wet and Finn's has holes in it so it wasn't a nice nights sleep.
The next day paid off though. Despite the rain, we had amazing views of snow topped mountains and lots of downhill.
We are now enjoying the warm valleys of Italy. And are both looking forward to getting to the coast as we are missing the sea and are getting sick of insect filled lakes (especially finn as he gets eaten alive by mozzies) we plan to follow the sea all the way down to Brindisi where we will get the ferry to Greece
:)

We will update this post with a few more france pics (from finns camera, as the current ones are just from mohans). And all the photos since.
video



PS WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO UPDATE BLOG MORE FREQUENTLY NOW, AND SORRY FOR LACK OF CURRENT PHOTOS. THEY WILL BE UP WITHIN NEXT FEW DAYS video

A friendly Australian Journalist has taken interest in us and written a good article about us, the link is http://www.northernstar.com.au/story/2009/09/22/uk-boys-set-out-on-long-journey






































1 comment:

dom feain said...

Ah, mad dogs and Englishmen! You guys are nuts, but we love what you're doing. Great video!