2012 update !

First update indeed since a reaallly long time, a LOT of things happened in my life since that miserable time in Romania, after the Rosia montana camp, and the loss of our bikes…
We first started to do some Woofing in the eastern Transylvania, at an English lady’s place, trying to set up a forest garden in a gorgeous area, off all grid, in a forest packed with bears… From there it has been possible to do a a few other very different woof experience in both, more traditional, and more organic/activist orientated. Great and cold time, till december 2011.
We then went back to Vienna for a while, I felt very comfy there, so I stayed for a couple of weeks, sort of organising a bit my future long in advance… and Ana wanted to get quickly back home, so she hopped on a bus straight to Grenoble… I left Vienna with an interrail ticket in the pocket, and started to travel by train for a month; I visited some friends in Germany, before heading home for Christmas through Basel. A week with family and friends, and then I left again to be in Prague for the new year. From there, I went for a few days in Warszawa then to Berlin, and ending my interrail in Paris, for a crazy week along with the velorution crew !

End of January we experienced a strong cold wave, and meeting my best friend who cycled to Africa the year before made us very quickly decide to buy a cheap (very cheap) van stuff it with an awful lot of stuffs of all sorts, pack it with tools, spare parts, wheels and top it with bikes plus 2 mid tall bikes. Direction: Africa. Mid february, We started the trip by a tour of a few bike workshops in southern France (Marseille, friends in Montpellier, Pamiers and Perpignan) to give away some parts from the Ptit vElo danS la Tete.Then we drove through Spain, and arriving near Murcia in the middle of the night, the gearbox broke… A damn pain in the ass for a renault trafic… it took us 2 week, and more than the price of the van to fix it… we even had to hitchhike back to France to buy one that would fit… 40 types of gearboxes released in 5 years for these vans…  The one we found was not even quite the same, gears were a bit different, and a cable sticked out the floor to engage the reverse 🙂

Later on, the 9th of March, we arrived in Morocco. We started to sell a couple of stuff to get lighter, to give a go to street business, and to finance our local needs… we then had a good break at some friends in the countryside, very traditional, were people speak Arabic only.   great time. crazy people. amazing experiences.  We heard there that although the selling of old vehicle is prohibited in this country, that you can sell them in the spanish cities included in Marocco (Ceuta and Melilla). We were running a bit late on the climate time, Sylvain thought a lot to his girlfriend in France, the van was in condition always poorer (lost 2 indicators, stuck the diesel filter, broke 2 wheels, had a petrol leak, started warm with more and more difficulties) so engaging for the desert cross was probably not the best idea; it was also hot time in Mali. So we got rid of everything in a couple of weeks, went to Ceuta, didn’t manage a sale good enough, went to Melilla through the Rif (!!!) and sold the van there for the glorious amount of 270€

That was the end of a great month in an incredible country, incredible people.

We split up our path in Malaga, where I started a new bike trip on a tall bike. I stayed for some days at friends doing helpX beside Malaga, went for a week back home for the death of my grandma’,  and then really started an amazing bike trip. I went through Andalucia, to an occupied farm, trying to support lovely people who claim the access to the land, in a region with heavy unemployement, and land not being used appart as a reason to get europeean subsidies…

I then went to Portugal, to experience my first Rainbow gathering. Wonderfull week despite daily rain. Very peacefull and full of energy place and people. I enjoyed it, stayed a bit longer than the plans was, in order to be on time at the Pucelona, the Spanish national Crtical Mass this year in Valladolid; and visit on the way OpenEland. I’ve done it all ! Tough cycling there because of the moutains all over the place, but very enjoyable, and sustained with the help of lors of Cana and Tapas !

After the Pucelona, the next bike freaks event set up as a goal was the Ciemonna in Roma, Italy. So from Valladolid, I cycled to Barcelona, along with Marlene from Lyon/Nantes, very involved in Bike networks. Great country cross, almost all the time with west winds !

In Barcelona, we met many other friends that just cycled from home through south France and Catalunya (to avoid having to cross the Alp) to reach Barcelona, so we took all together a 24h ferry to go to Roma, and arrived perfectly on time to celebrate a very long WE of partys and critical masses ! Amazing Ciemonna !

From Roma to go back home well, to Grenoble for the Cyclocamp, I preferred to go to Sardegna in order to avoid northern Italy. So did 7 other mates. A first group went there quickly after the Ciemonna, I went there alone for 2 or 3 days, and then 3 friends joined me on a tiny island, just off the south western Sardegnan’s coast, called Isola di San Pietro. Amazing place, amazing experiences. we then cycled all along the coast from south to north. I went alone again for the end, and especially for the Alps crossing. From Genova, I took a train to Cuneo, to win a day for the cyclocamp, I was a bit late, and from there, I cycled in a straight line, passing by the Col d’Agnel (2744m, second highest pass in Europe) incredibly long, steep, and wild then col de l’Izoard (2360m) and then col du Lautaret (2060m). all that in 2,5 days, including the way down to Grenoble campus

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