This coming summer I will be taking a 90 day Solo bike tour to at least twenty two countries in mainly Central to Eastern Europe. I will fly into Copenhagen then head North to Norway before crossing Sweden to meet my old college teammate Svante in Uppsala where I will spend a night. From there I will catch a ferry to Finland and ride over to Helsinki and follow the countries in the order of the flags above. On my way, I hope to visit Belarus before continuing to Auschwitz in Poland, cross over to Ukraine and onto Moldova and finally head south to Turkey and Greece , now going North I will travel the 7 countries which were the former Yugoslavia and finally ride into Milan where I will fly out on 26th of August.
When I was in High School I would tell my parents that I wanted to go to England and get around by riding my bike, my mother would always laugh at me and tell me that I was crazy. She would say "¿Coño Robertico estás loco?"
My love and desire to travel I think goes back even further. As a pre-teen I collected stamps, every few weeks I would get a few more stamps to put into my stamp album my parents bought me. The stamps came from a company where you could pre-order the stamps from a list or they would send you stamps and which ever ones you did not want you would send back.
Today, I love Geography, I know places, I can picture such places and names that would be on the stamps. There are names of places that I want to go, names that I choke up as I began to pronounce them, far off places that I imagine being at.
First time I was on an airplane I was 9 years old, my family flew from La Havana to Miami. I remember both airports, especially the lounges or waiting areas we had to wait in, more so in Miami, the waiting for hours in the rooms watching a small Black and White TV while my parents did the process for us to stay in the USA - I recall having my first stick of gum. It was a like a secret to have gum that all of the sudden I was let in on.
On this trip I am asked, where will I stay? 90 nights on the road, that must be expensive.
My answer is I will camp out on some night, warmshowers as well, SERVAS hopefully and I'm sure some hotels when I need a good clean up.
When I was maybe 12 or so, my brothers and I in the summer time would get on our bikes and ride out away from the end of Carrollton, we were on our bikes, we packed sardines, crackers and maybe some drinks and rode out away from the houses and past the railroad tracks were we would stop and have our lunch. These days, I would say were my first taste of bike adventures, we would only go for a couple of hours and have an adventure.
I still have my stamp collection in a sealed box,I thought about taking them out of that sealed box up in the attic and seeing the stamps from places I will soon travel to. Maybe my grand children will be interested in them one day and they will have the same gusto to travel as I have had all my life.