From: Vienna, Austria (May 10, 2013)
Spring has finally arrived. I set out to paddle and pedal my way across Europe in the winter in the name of slow human-powered travel, but I’ve gone so slow Spring herself as overtook me. The winter was a challenge; I am rueful to see it go. Oh, selective amnesia, you put that rosy nostalgic glow on even the miserable times.
There are a few drawbacks to winter’s departure:
- Bugs: Insects and spiders have arrived. The joy of camping is undermined by the creepy scrambling of spiders over the forest floor where you’d like to roll out your bed.
- Food Spoilage: This caught me unaware. Turns out I was using the winter outdoors as a limitless, carbon-neutral refrigerator. All foods would remain tasty for days in my food sack stored outside my tent or strapped onto my bike/raft.Come spring time and now I can no longer carry much meat (love them campfire steaks!). Also, sticks of butter now have a nasty habit of going soft and gooing everywhere.
- Bugs: Did I mention spiders? shudder
Florent, Chloe, Colin, and Felice
Outside Vienna I met an amazing French couple cycling from France to the Black Sea with their two young boys, a journey of over four months. I encountered them on the Danube bike path while biking around a lock. We said a few nice words, Florent helped me with a bag that had come loose, then we parted ways. Curiosity go the better of me however, so I turned back and asked if I could follow them to the campground they were aiming for.
“Why?”, I asked, “How did you choose such a trip?”. Their response was simple, “we wanted to go on a family trip that was fun and cheap”.
We shared dinner near at the campground in Klosterneuburg, it was a lovely evening that I’m lucky to have shared with this sincerely awesome family.