Tuesday, 23 February 2016

It's been over a year since I posted anything here it seems.  It must be because I've been so busy thinking about, and planning for, what we're calling 'Bike Back Home' - a 15,000km cycle from South Korea to Ireland.  We're going home after four years of living in Korea, and we leave tomorrow!

It's going to take us somewhere between 7 and 9 months to do, all going well, so it will probably be another year before I post anything else here again! In the meantime, we (Nick and I) will be posting on our biking blog at Bike Back Home as often as we can for anyone that's interested in our journey home the long way!

Monday, 9 March 2015

A little bit of Friluftsliv of a Monday!

After watching ‘Wild’ last night, a movie that shows Reece Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, walking 1600miles solo along the Pacific Crest Trail, and a really great run this morning, I am reminded of an article I read on an in-flight magazine a little over three weeks ago.

I was flying from Ireland to South Korea, after an amazing nine weeks at home with family and friends, during which time I got married.  It was a very teary goodbye on my behalf.  I can be a bit of an emotional eejit at times and this was the longest time I’d spent with my family since I graduated college almost 6 years ago.  When I said goodbye I was facing into the longest stint away yet without a visit home - it will be close to 21 months before I’m home again.  But with each passing day, home is one day closer and I’ve a whole lot of adventuring to do in the mean time.  The goodbyes were hard, they always are, but with them said and behind me, I am firmly looking to the future.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Everyone needs some Kefir in their life!

If you’re not sure what I’m on about, kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains, which are a bacteria-yeast symbiosis that looks a little like slimey cauliflower! It digests the sugars in milk to form a sour tasting, thin, yogurt-like drink rich in probiotics.

Milk Kefir Grains

We’ve had kefir grains for a while now and they take some looking after, much like any living thing really! We call ours Kevin! Kevin the Kefir and ‘he’ is as much a pet as we’re ever going to have while living in South Korea.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Hokkaido by Bike

The last time I posted anything was at the end of June, just as we'd boxed up our touring bikes and we were about to head off to Hokkaido, Japan for 3 weeks.  It all seems like a distant memory at this stage, I suppose it is really!

It was hands down, one of the best trips I've ever been on.  It was exhausting and exhilarating but so enjoyable and I'm egging to do it all again.  We covered just over 1250km in 20 days, and according to my speedometer we offset 189kg of CO2 doing it.

Re-assembled, loaded up and ready to go!

It took us a bit longer than expected to leave the hostel the first morning, checking and double checking that we'd re-assembled the bikes properly and that we had everything, and were actually ready to get going on our Hokkaido adventure!  We finally hit the road a little before 1:30 but we'd only planned a short first day of about 40km to get to Atsuta campsite on the west coast so we weren't under any real pressure.  Once we left the city, we also left city conveniences behind us and had our eyes peeled for a petrol station to get fuel for our stove and hopefully something to cook for dinner.  The kilometres stretched on and we didn't actualy arrive to the campsite until almost 5:30 at which stage we'd done just under 60km and not the 40km expected.  That in itself wasn't too bad, but we hadnt managed to get fuel so we had a very hearty dinner, and breakfast the next morning, of bananas and bread!  As starts go, it could've gone better, but I'm not sure either of us noticed, or even cared.  We were delighted with ourselves! The campsite was free,  the toilets were spotlessly clean and had an ample supply of toilet paper, and best of all, we had it entirely to ourselves! We scoffed down our banana sandwiches, popped the tent up, and snuggeld up in our amazngly cosy new sleeping bags and got an early night!

Friday, 27 June 2014

We're all..


There are a few last minute things to sort out still (like how we're going to carry the boxes to the airport bus!) but otherwise it's time for a celebratory glass of wine to get the holiday started!

Here's a rough outline of our planned route.  It's a total of about 1700km, starting and ending in Sapporo. The excitement is too much!

Monday, 2 June 2014

We are now officially cycle tourists!

We’ve recently bought ourselves brand new touring bikes and we’re absolutely delighted with ourselves!  Why did we need new bikes when we already have two each I hear you say? Well, strictly speaking, we probably didn’t but I suppose it could be traced back to the summer of 2012.  We were living in Daejeon (South Korea) and we only had one week to take for our summer holidays.  Not wanting to lose too much of that time spent in airports etc. we decided we’d stay in Korea and that we’d go to Jeju Island with our bikes.

The bikes we had at the time were far from touring bikes.  We got them free when we signed up to a smart phone contract when we first arrived in Korea,  but we weren’t put off! We didn’t have panniers or anything like that and to be honest, I’m not sure if they even crossed our minds.  We just put what we thought we’d need into our rucksacks and off we went!

Our free bikes, plus 5kg of rice and 30 toilet rolls! What else would you expect when signing a new phone contract!!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The 22nd of October was quite a while ago.  A very long time ago, especially in blogging terms.  I have no real excuse for the silence, a few reasons but no real excuse.  Sometimes it's hard to find the inspiration to write, especially when you think nothing all that noteworthy has happened.  Little things get in the way, and after a few weeks I seem to forget that I actually like writing and that updating my blog isn't a chore, it's something I enjoy doing.

Anyway since the last time I posted, here's what I've been up to in a nutshell:

On November 3rd Nick, four other friends and I, competed in a Spartan Race in Seoul.  An obstacle course not known for its ease, I was quite happy to complete the course, albeit with a penalty of 90 burpees due to three failed obstacles!  Apart from Nick who had to do none, we all had to do 90 which provided a nice amount of solidarity on the day!

Pre-race wanna be Spartans!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Inner Mongolia...in China!

Yup! Inner Mongolia is in China!  This had us somewhat confused as we walked along the Great Wall (which granted was just over three months ago now) only three hours outside Beijing and were told "China's on this side of the wall, and Mongolia's on the other".  How far had the bus just taken us? Were we really at the China-Mongolia border?  And if so, why the hell were we going back to Beijing after the wall-walk to get a bus from there to the Mongolian border??  Seeing the looks of confusion on our faces, the next sentence was "Not real Mongolian, China Mongolia".....Ah right, that clarifies it alright!  So there you have it, Inner Mongolia is in China!