My long way down started

I finally took off! What a crazy feeling. First, I want to thank everyone who was part of such a special good bye for me. On Saturday I celebrated with close friends at home and on Tuesday, when I was about to take off, my Mom surprised me with around 35 friends and family for a last goodbye-hug

I couldn’t have imagined a better good bye! thank you everyone!

On the first day I cycled from Oetwil to Flüelen where I had the last lunch with my Mother and her good friend Doris. Distance wise I covered 120km on the first day until Andermatt. Shortly before Flüelen, my knee startet to hurt again like I experienced last year after a roadcycling race. Sjoerd, my physical therapist told me that it has to do with my kidneys being cramped up. I am trying to loosen it up again 2-3 times a day by stretching. The pain still follows me through out the day, but as it seemed yesterday, my knee is getting used to it and it hurts less. I hope it will go away soon and not become any worse. It is not only slowing me down, but als tough on my feelings… I know my first couple of days were long, maybe I overdid myself a bit, now I just need to deal with the consequences. Other than that, I am doing good, still getting used to be traveling again, especially with a bicycle, since I haven’t done any cycle travels yet.

Andermatt has a nice, small campground where I spent my first night. On my way up, shortly after Flüelen, I met Kabilan, I guy from Bern cycling to India. See, in the beginning you might think you are alone, but on a daily basis you will meet people who do similar travels

Being on top of the Gotthard pass on the second day felt great! I thought, now it is only going down again. However, the way down was tough, I had really strong headwind which used up a lot of energy and my knee felt terrible.

At around 8 PM I finally made it to the Campofelice Campground in Tenero. I took the next day of to relax and give my knee some time to recover! All the other body parts are doing great, I feel fit with lots of power! Many probably ask themself how my butt is feeling… I am so happy I bought the Brooks B17 Imperial Saddle. Eventhough I only did around 50km on it before my trip, my butt feels great! Once I am back I will def. put that saddle on my road bike as well! Furthermore, I did not experience any numb nuts at all, which never happened to me on my roadbike! Brooks for the win!

On Saturday before my departure, I realized that the Visa for Egypt has a 0 in front of my Passport number. I got the Visa two days earlier, since it is only valid for 90 days after application. Additionally, the mesh inner tent (an inner tent with no isolation, for hot climates,only to protect from mosquitos) I ordered for my Hilleberg Nammatj 2 arrived with the wrong content. What a hustle that was, in the end it all worked out well. A big thanks goes to my aunt Didi, who delivered me the Passport, as well as to Transa Outdoor Store, who organized the correct Mesh inner tent from Sweeden within 3 days.

My next stop was in Somazzo, a small village above Mendrisio! I found the place on Couchsurfing and Nathalie invited me to sleep on her couch for the night! Couchsurfing is so great to meet knew, amazing people! try it out as well, it’s great!

Yesterday I did my first bordercrossing in Chiasso! Italy here I am! What a long day it was, I cycled around 115 kilometers and spent more than 7 hours in the saddle. The landscapes are breathtaking and the roads are mostly really good! It is just super annoying that almost every town has speedbumps every 50 meter.

Now I am in Iseo, enjoying my Sunday off at the lake. Tomorrow I will head towards Verona (Romeo & Juliette) and the day after I hope to arrive in Venice.