The roads we climb

Hello from Prague!

Nine straight days and almost one thousand kilometres has brought us here from Cologne, Germany. We are so thankful to be staying at a friends apartment right in the heart of the city. A much needed couple days filled with rest and a few errands (plus two Euro Cup matches on TV). Life has reluctantly slowed down – temporarily.

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Brad on top of a war torn hilltop monastery in central Germany.

We left Cologne knowing we had a long rough stretch to push through. Our first few days we dealt with some minor navigation problems. It would have been so nice to just hop on the Autobahn and cruise to the next city. We did attempt that earlier in the trip, only to be honked at by every passing vehicle. So we resorted back to winding through the hills using our trusty GPS to guide us. Even that proved to be half helpful most of the time. Once we got through two days of up and down country hills, we managed to finally figure out how the signs worked for the cycling paths in Germany. This made our days flow much more smoothly because we didn’t have to stop every other turn on the road to see if we were still on route. It was smooth sailing for the rest of Germany.

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Instead of looking excited for flat roads, Joel looks confused.

At this point we have both gotten used to eating much of the same food everyday. Fruit and muesli for breakfast, sandwiches or pasta for lunch and pasta for dinner. Throughout the day we are munching on granola, nuts and protein bars. We make an effort every day to find a cool place to cook lunch. Whether that’s at the top of a big hill overlooking a town or on a picnic bench beside a cool river. Dinner usually ends up being after we post up for the night – usually under a bridge or overpass. By that time we are pretty tired. If it rained all all, we make an effort to set up a line to hang our wet stuff on. Then it’s time to read and sleep.

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Post-lunch blueberry field munch.

About four hundred kilometres outside of Prague we ran into these two young Czech guys who were headed back home. As friendly Canadians, we began talking with them about life on the road. We decided it would be a great idea to ride together since we both were bound for the big city. Thankfully for us, they had Czech crown. Our lack of research made us assume the Czech Republic used Euros. So we had to borrow a bit from them until we were able to exchange currencies. They treated us to a fantastic traditional Czech meal in a small village and filled our bellies with Czech sweets for four days. They were two of the friendliest guys we’ve met so far. Even helped us with a few spoke repairs in the middle of remote mountain trails. Not a bad introduction to the Czech Republic.

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Cooking lunch lakeside with our Czech mates, Vladimir and Lukas.

We arrived in Prague at lunch on Tuesday. We wished our new friends well on the rest of their journey and we parted ways. By this time, Joel and I were both eager to shower, eat and prop our feet up and watch a footy game. Nine days is likely going to be our longest stretch between real showers and beds while we are in Europe. It hasn’t taken long for either of us to appreciate a cozy bed, clean clothes or a nice warm shower. When you pack you’re lives into eight 20L saddle bags, food and shelter take priority. Clothing, comfort and cleanliness become luxury. You learn how easily we take those things for granted.

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We hit 1,000kms!

As we move onto the next leg of our journey this evening, we both want to thank everyone for keeping us in their prayers. God has been good and has provided us with what we need thus far. Putting the right people in our path and keeping our minds focused on why we’re doing this. We often do have to remind each other why we chose to do what we’re doing. It’s not about us, or the money, or the photos, or the travelling. We do this because we genuinely want to see a change in the way people are viewed and treated around the world.

We love you all and are so thankful for each person reading

“The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Brad and Joel

 

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