Very belated Fat Kid Diaries: Week(s) 88-109. Istanbul to Berlin Euro adventures!

Contrary to popular belief, the Fat Kid is still alive and at it, and making the most of the once in a lifetime opportunity of gently cycling across Europe in the summer (now at least, after a cold start to the leg in the Balkans!), and closing in rapidly on Brighton and the start of the Rugby World Cup!

After the rigours and ‘classic’ adventure that was cycling 21 months through 45 countries in Africa, Europe has been somewhat different to say the least…gone are the hassle of visas, the feeling of being the freak in a circus show, the continuous obsession with finding (clean) water and edible and varied food, avoiding Ebola and various skirmishes, not showering for weeks on end, relying completely on sign language and having no meaningful conversations for weeks on end, plotting routes on non existent roads through deserts and jungles, and in general continually having to make a plan and dig into seemingly endless (fortunately) reserves of resourcefulness.

Europe on the other hand has been amazing in so many other ways…from the classic tourist sights, to mind blowing history, the anonymity of being just another touring cyclist, the ‘ruralness’ of parts of the Balkans that makes one feel like you’ve caught a time machine and gone back 200 years, the unspoilt beauty of vast swathes of both coastal and inland areas, bumping daily into other touring cyclists and sharing stories from the road, the cycling friendly cities (Lagos take note!), rural cycling paths 100s of Km’s long, the wonderful and varied cuisine, and barring the strength of the Euro, and some blizzards earlier on, the relative ease and chilled nature of cycling Europe in general!

And of course some things haven’t changed at all – the goodness of people, the hospitality and kindness of both strangers and friends, and friends of friends, and the support of so many people in so many ways continues to humble me beyond measure. Thank you everyone.

Due to my complete laziness on keeping the Fat Kid diaries updated, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the post expedition book for more details from the last few months, but in very short summary…

Week(s): 88-109

Staring: Sat 6th March 2015, Istanbul, Turkey
Ending: Sat 1st Aug 2015, Berlin, Germany – country 72 (via Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland)
Km’s covered: 3,902km.

Otherwise, when off the bike, the Fat Kid, along with some amazing support and help from Matt, Cam, the Laureus teams in London and Cape Town, Adventure Café, Ian Styles and others, has been working very hard on putting together final plans for what promises to be, other than the Boks winning the World Cup, the most incredible finale to Lettie’s Ride I could have ever imagined…the Paris to Brighton fun(d)raising ride to the Rugby World Cup.
What could be better than spending 5 days with the most amazing human beings cycling through the French countryside, crossing the channel to Brighton and watching the Boks begin their successful World Cup campaign against Japan (a team they have never played by the way as far as I know), with 5 fun nights of unique functions in between all this? Exactly, nothing!
So (unashamed punt coming up), if this is of any interest, please drop me a line for a last chance to get involved – and see the attached picture and this link for more information…all welcome!
And on the subject of ‘all welcome’, there are a couple of sponsorship opportunities available to corporates who may be interested in getting involved, so please let me know if you have any interest in finding out more information. (Amongst other categories, beer is one vital one that springs to mind!)

I do hereby commit to being more regular with the Fat Kid Diaries between now and the start of the World Cup, and also during the tournament when I look forward to following the Boks around England by bike from Brighton right up until they run onto Twickenham for the final on the 31st October…when I will finally be able to say, Lettie’s Ride is over, and what a ride it was!

Finally, for those interested and who have Facebook and Twitter (Fat Kid acc details below), I have been getting a little nostalgic recently, and been posting a few pictures most days from my adventures through the different African countries I travelled, so please feel free to relieve those memories with me online.

Otherwise, it’s great to back in touch, please always free to reply to these mails and say hello, and speak to you again soon.

(The other picture by the way is from my visit to the SA embassy here in Berlin this last #BokFriday – what an awesome vibe, and so much heart and gees, and once again an incredible example of the magnificent people representing us South Africans abroad in the various consulates and embassies all around the world. Our ambassador to Germany by the way is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary – H E Mr M A Stofile (Reverend) – or “Sir” to me. Anyway I had the privilege of enjoying a short meeting with Mr Stofile, and not only was he great rugby player in his own right in the day, and a madly passionate Springbok supporter, he’s also a previous Sport’s Minister when we won the Rugby World Cup – a good sign for sure!)



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