A couple of Warmshowers visitors have passed this way over the last few days; first there was Bob, a novice touring cyclists in his 60s and then there was Wade, a novice touring cyclist in his 20s. I’m a novice touring cyclist somewhere in the middle!
Bob is an Australian by birth but has spent most of his life in New Zealand working as a civil engineer. He has many, many daughters and one of them now lives in France. He decided to pay her a visit and is heading in her direction after a cycle tour that takes in England before heading onto the European continent. He brought the good weather with him to Reading and we shared a beer while chatting about his life in New Zealand. I have yet to meet a Warmshowers guest whose lifestyle I didn’t envy in some way (probably because most of them live in far off places that are a few notches above Reading on the great scale of exciting places to live) and that was certainly the case with Bob. He painted a picture of spending his hopefully long retirement tending his land in a more-or-less self-sufficient manner, bartering with his neighbours and generally living the Good Life in northern New Zealand. Good luck to him!
Next up was Wade from California. Wade arrived in Europe a couple of months ago and started his tour in Oslo. To begin with, he was cycling with his brother and a friend but as the trip went on they managed to go off in their own directions; the brother is now in Verona learning Italian & the friend (following some passport issues) is in Prague. Verona? Prague? Reading? Which would you choose? Well Wade made the right decision and spent last night in Reading. He has ticked off quite a few countries on his travels; as well as Norway (“expensive”), he has cycled through Denmark (“windy”), Germany, Italy, France, Spain & Ireland. You can read up on what he got up to in those various places by visiting his own blog, Tour de Tramps which also has contributions from his brother, Keegan & his friend, Ben. I said good-bye to Wade earlier today; he is heading for London and a flight home at the end of the month. I may catch up with him at the weekend during his stay in the capital.