Regular readers of these posts will know that I quite often receive emails from people asking for information about cycling in Europe as occasionally I post my exchanges with such people on the website. In the case of Simon Ruddenklau, however, I didn’t. Perhaps it was a busy week back in February 2017 when he initially contacted me:
I am writing to gather information on the EuroVelo 8 route through Spain. I am currently cycling down the Atlantic coast of Morocco with my wife and 2 young daughters while we wait for Europe to warm up a bit. We plan to head back to Spain in a few weeks and then head east for as long as we can, hopefully to the end of EV 8 and beyond.
I emailed back with a few comments about my own experiences of cycling from Greece to Portugal along the EuroVelo 8 (as recounted in Along The Med on a Bike Called Reggie) and Simon in turn replied:
We had a great time in Morocco – we followed the coast as far as Essauoira before the gaps between towns got a little too long, so we headed back to Spain via bus and ferry to Almeria. We are now sitting out some bad weather in Lorcas, before we head back to the coast.
Having a couple of kids in tow has helped us make plenty of friends, but it does limit the distance we can cover in a day, especially if it is hilly. The condition of the roads in Spain are a nice change to those in Morocco, although we have managed to find a few more hills!
We’ll probably stick to the coast on our way to France, and see how we go from there. I’ve been doing a bit of research, and the Danube looks interesting, although it may still be a little cold when we get there.
This morning I have received another email from Simon:
We ended up bicycling 7,630 km through 14 countries. We began in Morocco in February 2017 and finished in Istanbul, Turkey at the end of October. It was an absolutely wonderful trip, – we saw many stunning sights, learned a lot about the history and culture of Europe, and met amazing people. Now that I have achieved my lifelong ambition of getting a tan on my legs (and it was getting cold…) we have headed back to New Zealand… If you happen to be in the area please call in.
I’m tempted. This is the route that Simon and his family took…
…and here is a snapshot of some of the wonderful photographs that he took along the way. There are more to see on Simon’s Flickr page. What an adventure!