Our maps have arrived!!
Great news in this last week. We have acquired the maps that we will use to guide us across Europe to Athens, up the Nile, through the Horn of Africa, around the north shore of Lake Victoria and finally on to the Capital of Rwanda, Kigali.
As you can imagine it isn’t such a well trodden route Bury St Edmunds – Kigali. As such we couldn’t just buy one map that covered the whole route!! Our route has changed several times over the last 12 months. First we were going through Libya, then Syria (No prizes for guessing why we have decided to avoid these places), and then we thought that we could sail across the med via Cyprus. Sadly there isn’t a commercial ferry that operates between Cyprus and Egypt, in fact there doesn’t seem to be any ferry that operates between the north shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the southern shore. Actually that technically isn’t true as you can get from Marseille to Tunisia but from there we would be faced with a short 900 mile bike ride through Libya (Again no prizes for guessing why we aren’t doing that) So after lots of searching on the internet, much debate and deliberation we are flying from Athens to Cairo. We aren’t crazy about using a plane but in the absence of any realistic alternatives we have to fly at some point to get across the Mediterranean Sea and Athens seemed like a good idea for number of reasons.
In total we have bought 12 maps to get us to our final destination. Where did we buy them from? The only place anyone would visit to try and source maps for 6000 miles cycle ride – STANFORD MAPS. As a town planner with a Geography degree I am a real sucker for a good map. They have two stores but I have only ever been to 12-14 Long Acre just off Covent Garden. If you haven’t been and like maps or travelling then this is the shop for you. It isn’t so much shopping when you visit the store more letting your imagination run riot on what possibilities the world contains.
Our maps range in publisher and scale. The hardest countries to navigate across will be Holland and Germany as they are such densely populated places with so many roads. Gladly the maps for these countries are at the smallest scale. In fact the Germans in there infinite wisdom produce really good cycling maps for the whole country. As a general rule the larger in scale the map the further from home we get. This probably directly relates to the counties progressively have a less dense population.
Although we have plenty of things that we still need before we leave on the 28th April. For me, the maps really help in making the trip feel real. Only 99 days until we leave.