On the continent. 25th May

leaving england

looking east to the continent

Well the cycling gods have been smiling on us since we left England. After leaving Tims (and once again our thanks to the remote safety coordinator for an awsome weekend) we cycled to Dover ready cross the channel to Dunkirk. and as it turns out, dunkirk port isnt in Dunkirk, which we found out pretty quickly after a bit of confusion whilst jostiling for space between a convoy of lorries and trucks. but we found our way after a few wrong turns and a bit of dual carrage way cycling.

From there we headed north up the coast into Belgium along the Nortzee route. which by all acounts was a fairly boring cycle into a monster head wind through french suburbia, high rise flemish beach resorts,  boring flat with grumpy flemish onlookers. in fact our only positive dealings with the flesmish was when our camp was discoverd by the polite (police). We found a (what we thought was a secluded camping) spot in the dunes, set up camp and retired for the evening. Only to be woken by bright torch light and calls of halo….police. On opening the tent a bit bleary eyed I saw 4 police men all curious as to why we were camping in a forbidden area. We quickly explained we were only there for the night and our plan was to cycle to China, making sure to put a bit more empahsis on the charity aspect, i think it makes us a little more credible. They seemed pretty friendly (unlike our prevous perception of the flemish) and told us they would make an exception…result.

 

matt, proud of his home for the night

matt, proud of his home for the night

As much as the nortzee route has been a pain and fairly boring, it has totally redemed itself to us after an amazing day cycling between Den Haag and Amsterdam. It was beautiful, and we were far from the only people enjoying it. I think the Dutch must be the fittest peoples in the world, so many runners and and ultra competative cyclists in florecent lycra and spangly racing bikes, needless to say we stuck out like sore thumbs. The route took us through a massive sand dune system that was just amazing.

the road heading east

the road heading east

Now we are in amsterdam, staying with Matts family (thanks again). we spent a couple of days in the city enjoying the sights and sounds, I think we have had enough of the hectic city. All those who have been to Amsterdam I think will understand. its a beautiful city but a classic brit abroad haven not realy mine or matt scene, definantly worth the detour though.

So from here we head south and on towards the Danube.

thanks to everyone who has left messages of support, they really mean alot.

love to you all

jack

7 Comments »

  1. Han said,

    Hey guys, cant beleive you have done so well, you have got so far already and you have only been gone a couple of weeks. We all miss you, especailly Charlie, he sends a big wet kiss, cant wait to hear more! Take lots of care and lots of love to you. XxX

  2. Tim said,

    Good work boys!

    I’m impressed. As your remote saftey co-ordinator i have to advise you that there are no ATMs in Syria. I realise your no going there, but just incase you change your minds.
    x

  3. Tom said,

    Hey guys! Glad to hear youve got off to a good start. Keep up with the blog, its a good read!

    Safe journey
    Tom

  4. James Zhang said,

    What a pleasure to hear what you’ve achieved so far !! and yes the Dutch people are very friendly and sporty with lots of love and respect to the nature ( well they did claim some land out of the sea ..:-) .Every time I went to Holland I had the plan of cycling around but never fulfilled .Next time there I will.Just a thought maybe you can collect some soil or water sample and label them ,eventually you might be able to make a map of your route with them .But how will you carry all of them ? hehe …
    Best luck all the way and enjoy the sunshine :-)!
    lots and lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Richard Clarke said,

    Hey there guys, first off, WAY TO GO!! second, Matt,your family here in the States is behind you guys all the way, and I will do all I can to make people aware of your goal. Stephanie told us about your Trip, and we are all blown away here! Well, we will keep an eye on this site for any updates.

    Take care for now, Richard(your cousin) Lisa, Nolan, Callum & the rest of our extended family here in Billings, Montana.

  6. Stephanie said,

    Hi Guys,
    Just a note to say it was great seeing you both and having you staying with us for a few days..I am glad you enjoyed the stay with us and got fatted up by Erwin’s cooking and Mum’s too..It was a pleasure to help you with a sleeping place showers and not to mention a washing machine to wash your undies..Seeing as you told us you only had a few pairs of them hahaha..
    We still not can believe you are ridings your bikes to China and are very proud of you both and knowing that we helped on a little bit on your great journey..
    All I can say is all the best to you guys take care of yourselves and be safe.. We will be following you on your trip on your weblog..

    Lots of love from the whole gang in Purmerend and Oostzaan
    xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. kerry said,

    miss yooooooouuu! LOL x


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