Summer Update 2018
I’ve neglected this blog a little over the past 6 months, mainly because I haven’t been out and about as much as I would have liked – but that’s going to change!
The downside of the Baltic Sea bicycle tour last summer was that I completely missed the annual recruitment drive for IT graduate schemes. The early companies start in April time, with peak recruitment running from May to September. This is when the huge companies (GSK, IBM, HP, Any Acronym inc, etc) are finding top graduates to steal straight from university. A lot of students finish university and start looking at these graduate schemes for a job.
I did the opposite and instead was thinking about how far I could cycle over the summer. The end result was that I cycled 5000 miles and completely missed getting a graduate job. I started applying to non-graduate jobs when I got back but didn’t get anywhere, I had a few interviews but nothing came of them. Then April came around and I started applying to graduate jobs again, I had a few interviews early on and then three over the course of a week. The wait payed off and I was offered a place on a graduate scheme in Warwick. The bad news is that it starts in September, but this does mean that I have another summer to travel through Europe!
Similar to last year, this summer has two phases. The first phase I’ve just completed – I went backpacking for three weeks in the Pyrenees, following the GR10 hiking route. The second phase is flying out to Romania and taking a brief look at the Black Sea before following EuroVelo 6 back across Europe.
Phase 1: Pyrenees
For the backpacking holiday, I flew out to Toulouse and caught a train to near St Engrace. I then walked the red/yellow dashed bit on the map below and finished at Bagneres-de-Luchon. The entire GR10 hiking path is 600 miles and this year I did about 1/4 of it. My father is doing all of it! Read about it in my pyrenees posts: Walking to the top of the world.
Phase 2: Black Sea to Atlantic Cycle Tour
The second phase is flying to Constanta, Romania, and following the Danube River to it’s source in Germany, from there we either follow the Rhine back through Germany or the Loire to the French coastline. The bit after the Danube depends entirely on time and what we feel like.
The entire route is called The Rivers Route or EuroVelo 6. It meanders through 10 countries, is 2230 miles in length and goes through 3 capital cities. I’m not entirely convinced we will do this exact route as it seems a tad flat. We may choose to leave the river and go for the mountains or somewhere that looks more interesting.
I need to be back home by the 20th September to get ready for my job, so that gives us 53 days to do the entire thing. Which roughly translates to 42 miles a day – easily done!
Like last year I will try and post holiday updates as we go along. If nothing appears here you can always check my Instagram page – The Exploration Journal