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tom73

Veteran
Location
Yorkshire
:okay: book marked look forward to reading more
 

IaninSheffield

Über Member
Location
Sheffield, UK
I’ve had confirmation that I cannot complete the Outer Banks route and I need to find a link to the mainland route south. That’ll take me by an alligator park but also through some pretty barren areas with a distinct lack of campsites, shops and other services.
That's a real shame. Looks like it would have been quite a ride, but doubtless you'll have other fascinating experiences when you resolve your alternative route.
Looking forward to reading your continuing posts. :okay:
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
[...] I toddled into the Tourist info offfice to be told tht there was a problem with one of thee ferries on the Outer Banks - the route I was planning to take. It seems that Hurricane Dorian has left his mark ina big way and the ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke is only carrrying locals with special permission. Since this is at the southern end, it looks like my journey down the O.B. is not going to go ahead.
They were kind enough to give me a map of North Carolina and I had a look for a while at alternative routes down. In any case, I decided to head on to my destination for today and headed off again through the swamp/park.
Using online maps over here, it looks like the obvious choices are to carry on to Ocracoke then take the Swanriver ferry if that's running (33 miles longer) or cross back to Manns Harbor (4 miles shorter but yes, across alligator reserve) and follow NC bike routes 2 (Mountains to Sea) and 3 (Ports of Call) to regain your route at Jacksonville NC. Which will you choose...? Good luck!

ETA: https://www.ncdot.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/2019/2019-10-01-ocracoke-emergency-routes-october.aspx says "The Hatteras-Ocracoke Silver Lake route is open only to high ground-clearance vehicles" too, so it seems access to Ocracoke from the north is also currently blocked for cycles. Good luck!
 
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HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
Hi folks, thanks for the comments. I imagine there will be many times in the coming months I'll be glad of a supportive word or two.

I'm trying to do all this on a phone and sometimes a tablet and, as I'm finding out internet/data/WiFi is not always easy to get in rural USA. All going well I'll try to update as often as possible while I'm on the road.

I've requested this thread from the mod team (and very grateful to them too) to try to keep the flow of the main travelogue complete & flowing. Trying to post updates and track comments all in the one thread on a mobile phone is not easy.

I appreciate your understanding & co-operation and I hope you enjoy the read.
 
OP
cosmicbike

cosmicbike

Perhaps This One.....
Moderator
Location
Egham
Thanks for the update today, a great read over breakfast for me. I don't know how you're dealing with those long straight roads, I think I'd go mad! A question, what made you decide to do it?
 

HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
Thanks for the update today, a great read over breakfast for me. I don't know how you're dealing with those long straight roads, I think I'd go mad! A question, what made you decide to do it?
Yes the roads are making me a little crazy! The thing is I know I'll be hitting long straight roads in places like Texas & Mexico, but it's like I'm expecting them. I wasn't expecting them in North Carolina! 😀

As to why?
Ha! Good question!
I'm not sure if you mean generally, or specifically so I'll try to answer both.

Generally, it started after a trip from NL to Spain and back. One evening, bored, I looked at the distance I had cycled (about 6500 km I think) and started looking at where else I could reach cycling that distance. I could go into Russia. I could go across Canada or the States. Once I realised I could do it, the ideas started to come. I had done that distance before, I could do it again, right?

Initially I wanted to try around the world going east, but that threw up logistical issues - one big factor was that a visa stamp from certain countries would deny access to the U.S. and Canada - two places I definitely wanted to bike through. Then there is the ongoing issues in the Middle East (I also wanted to go through Iran). So I started looking westwards and the idea of an American Continent(s) ride.

Every bit of reading was making the idea more solid, more real, more attainable.The problem with an idea like mine is that it becomes a worm, drilling into my head & refusing to leave.
They say at the end of your days you regret the things you don't do. This felt like one of those things I'd be regretting. So I planned to do it.

I have not considered the idea of doing similar in stages. Say one trip to the US. Another to Mexico. Another to Central America etc. This has always been the Big, Big Trip. Not the lots of little trips.

A couple of years ago I was about 3 months from doing similar, but involving a trans-Canada aspect as well as either the US west coast or the GDMBR. That fell through and to put it simply I was devastated.

A year later, I was back in the saddle making a trimmed down plan. Smaller budget meant less time in the US & no Canada at all, but the full Central & Southern America legs.

That's the inspirational side, if you like. The more practical side is that I'm single and have no kids. I used to be self employed and frankly, focused almost exclusively on work to the detriment of everything else. There's a balance in my life that needs to be reset and I hope that this adventure will help.
There's also the physical aspect. I'm not getting younger and I've neglected my body for years. The longer I leave this, for example as a nice retirement present for myself, the less chance there is of me succeeding - something is bound to go! ;-) Furthermore, I've no intention of growing old alone and finding female touring partners at any age is a challenge! :-)


If you're asking why I decided to do this when I could barely walk a few weeks before I left, the answer is simple.
I had very few other options. I had just sold my house, all my belongings were either sold or donated, I had finished with work. If I had stayed I would have had to find a place to live, either try to get my old job back (while on sick leave) or get a new one. And I knew that this was my last chance to do this.
I figured it was better to try & fail than not try at all.
 
I have to say, fantastic write up so far and congratulations on making the decision to up sticks and get off

Just the initial trip on the cargo ship is a wonderful way to go

I’m looking forward to hearing more about this

Bon voyage and stay safe
 

HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
Just the initial trip on the cargo ship is a wonderful way to go
Many thanks for the kind words.

The ship indeed, is a wonderful way to travel. Especially if you are interested in ships and how they operate.

It's not luxurious as on a cruise, but offers so much more.

There is also an amount of luck involved. Fellow passengers, and crew are all luck of the draw. For example, the Captain changed 3 days after I got on and the whole vibe from the officers changed - for the better.

I travelled with 2 ladies, one doing a round trip from the U.S., the other German lady boarded in Bremerhaven and sailed to New York. She was more like a big kid than I was and it was interesting (and a bit heartwarming) to see how all the officers & crew responded to her. The Captain even let her change the speed of the ship!

It costs anything from €80-120 per day, the lower end if you are sharing. Certainly not cheap, but then again, it's like a (basic) floating hotel that moves you from place to place.

Mine was a French company and that would be something to consider. Not all countries have the same standards.
 
80 - 120 a day doesn’t seem too bad, especially as it would probably be a tick on the to do list

Was the grub included and was it reasonably decent? If so, it makes it even more attractive
 

HobbesOnTour

Über Member
Location
The Netherlands
80 - 120 a day doesn’t seem too bad, especially as it would probably be a tick on the to do list

Was the grub included and was it reasonably decent? If so, it makes it even more attractive
Grub's included. Food was pretty good, although the chef changed same time as the Captain & I was told food improved then. What there wasn't was choice. There was a set menu same for officers as passengers.
Wine was included with lunch & dinner, but it's really not the environment for overindulging.😀

Again, I'm fairly sure the fact that my ship was French played a factor in that.

It is, however, vital to have a flexible approach to dates when travelling.
 
Grub's included. Food was pretty good, although the chef changed same time as the Captain & I was told food improved then. What there wasn't was choice. There was a set menu same for officers as passengers.
Wine was included with lunch & dinner, but it's really not the environment for overindulging.😀

Again, I'm fairly sure the fact that my ship was French played a factor in that.

It is, however, vital to have a flexible approach to dates when travelling.
that sounds like a decent deal to me.

I would imagine that one a tour like this, the flexibility regarding the times would be par for the course and part of the fun.

best of luck with the rest of the trip, i'm looking forward to reading about it
 
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