Archive for the ‘the uk’ Category

A Time of Gifts

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Daniel Coward rides through Dodford on the road that is a river, through the village once former home of Patrick Leigh Fermor

Fairport Convention’s ‘Meet on the Ledge’ rings out across the air. It is the perfect accompaniment to the grey drizzle that is clouding London. The view from the top floor flat of Anna and Tom’s sky rise home is not quite so inspiring this morning. Nearby Finsbury Park and Highbury have vanished within the thick mist. The usually green tree tops and red roof tops that sweep down to the Thames have even absorbed the monochrome. The air is still, and the dripping trees beside the wet, grey slate and fading brickwork call us down to start the first morning of this journey:

Navigate London, onto Harwich for a night crossing to the Hook of Holland.

Yesterday we stalked St. Katherine’s Dock dreaming, hoping that the arriving London barges or luxury yachts would turn East again, offering us to sail with them to Harwich. No such luck!

Patrick Leigh Fermor, however, did manage to secure a ride on a beautiful barge from the Thames across the North Sea to the Hook of Holland, in 1933. After being given a copy of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s book ‘A Time of Gifts’, we have realised an abundance of coincidences… and so the start of our journey will follow the path he stepped.

When aged 18, he left London, bound for Constantinople (Istanbul), on foot. Over the next four years, Patrick Leigh Fermor walked, sailed and hitched his way across 1930’s Europe. As well as his route being similar to ours, both Krista and I have shared the towns, villages and countryside where he grew up. As a child, he lived and played in the Northamptonshire village of Dodford, just near Daventry where I grew up. Amused by ‘the street that was a river’, he played there as I did when I was a boy. He later lived and studied in Canterbury, where Krista lived for a large part of her childhood.

I expect his account of Europe, as he walked its breadth, will be different to ours, but as we start our journey, we are inspired by his adventure.

Posted by Dan

Loaded up

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Krista and Dan weigh about 100 kilos each

(35 kilos of luggage + daily water ration + 15 kilos of bike + 60 kilos of person) x 2 = slowly,slowly

Posted by Krista

The time is now!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Well, the last day of preparation is over and all that remains is to make some sandwiches for the first day on the road!

Finally I am about to slip into bed for my last sleep before rolling away tomorrow morning on the first ride of our journey, my first fully laden journey, the maiden voyage you could say! The open road beckons and i hope my dreams are sweet tonight in a golden slumber… The time is now!

Posted by Daniel


Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Krista Bernard and Daniel Coward of RideHimalaya planning their trip across the world, from London to Lhasa

This is how we spent the last few months … hunching over computers, liasing with Rainforest Rescue, writing emails and sponsorship proposals, contacting media, building this website,,, I also even managed to finish the last draft of my book that I’ve been writing for 6 years!

Phew, thank goodness we’re getting on our bikes!

Posted by Krista

Ready to roll

Friday, May 30th, 2008

We’re leaving Daventry on Sunday 1 June,,, and aboard the ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland on Tuesday for a dark moon ferry ride!

I am very much looking forward to the adventure ahead, but hope that the sea doesn’t lollop and roll too much during our crossing.

Posted by Krista

Camping is so much fun

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Krista Bernard of RideHimalaya sleeping in her new Macpac sleeping bag

You may be thinking that this smiling photo was taken in Belgium, or Germany,,, or perhaps you are thinking that we have cycled as far as Romania already? But no! We are still delayed and have taken to camping in the back garden while we wait for the last piece of kit to arrive.

It’s been an incredibly long but brilliant delay as it has given us the chance to spend loads of time with Julian, Karen and Lee – Dan’s lovely family.

p.s. We’re happy to report that our new Hilleberg tent is large enough to house Dan and I – plus both of our bicycles!

Posted by Krista

Coming a cropper…

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Krista Bernard rides on this Koga-Miyata bicycle across the world from London to Lhasa for Rainforest Rescue

It’s the first time that I have worn SPDs (clip-in pedals) and I came a cropper on the way to Cropredy! Thankfully though, *friend bicycle* had a soft landing!

By the way, I’ve posted a new article, just published in the Daventry Express newspaper. You can find it if you scroll down to the bottom of our media page.

Posted by Krista

Leaving the old bikes behind!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Krista and Dan from RideHimalaya leave their old bikes behind

From our Daventry base we’ve been enjoying cycling through the local countryside that surrounds us here, while we make our final preparations ahead of travelling down to London from where we will commence our expedition.

We’ve been spoilt for choice of quiet back roads and gated farm tracks to test our new bikes out on. It’s been great for me riding round to all the old villages that I used to cycle out to when I was a kid with my brother and all my friends – with the added benefit that I can now enjoy a cheeky drink in a country pub. But I will be sad to leave my old bike behind, as will Krista.

Posted by Dan

Travelling light?

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

We’re due to leave very soon. I’m a bit scared – the unknown opens before us like a huge black hole – yet at the same time I feel incredible excitement.

We had a go at packing up earlier today to see how (and if) our luggage fitted onto our bikes,,, hmm,,, I have always been an advocate for travelling light, but seem not to have taken my own advice. I am sure that Dan and I will be shedding superflous stuff very soon (that may have to include the fishing rod, saw, radio, fold-up plates, stationary set, massage oils, but don’t fear outdoor enthusiasts – we’ll still be taking the barbeque and the sink!).

Posted by Krista

Bikes have arrived

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Krista Bernard of RideHimalaya tests out her new Koga Miyata bicycle

They are graceful and I am suddenly being reaquainted with my calf and thigh muscles.

Posted by Krista