The 90 day buzzkill

A blessing here in Europe allows a person 90 days to roam seemingly borderless from one country to the next with not so much as a nod from within it’s 26 Schengen countries…. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area  And life is good until day 90 when ya better have a plan cause they want you gone – hence the birth of what’s commonly called ‘”The 90 Day Buzzkill” – game over.  With this in mind we’re cutting to the chase and heading south to Toulouse, France to spend the next 2 months exploring the Pyrenees, Portugal and Spain. While there we’ll do what we can to get a long stay visa, but all reports say it’s very difficult.  So, goodbye Holland, goodbye friends and hello Southern France and Spain!!!!  We’re psyched.

Which brings me to introduce our new best friend.

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Yup, that’s right.  It’s McDonalds.

A trip takes a lot of planning and that means a lot of internet time.  It was easy in the Denmark libraries and cafes.  It was nothing short of agonizing where we were in Germany as its hard to get on anywhere at all – drove Gary into buying his first SIM card.  Then there was Holland, love Holland.  Love Holland McDonalds.  Free WiFi, no major sign-in hoops and sad to say, but before 11:00 AM a euro 95 buys you an egg McMuffin, a fruit smoothie, a cup a Joe and all the internet and charging plugs a person could want.  Thanks Mickey D.  We take back at least some of the smack we’ve talked about you for the last 40 years.

So, we leave Holland, but will miss Holland.  Our friend, William, said that Holland is a very “feminine culture” – so true, the evidence is deeply felt.   And with that said we share a few pictures that can’t even begin to thank Holland properly for all she is.

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Gary has heard of Pederson bicycles http://www.pedersenbicycles.com  this is the first one he’s actually seen.  They are Danish and have a cult following.  Honestly, it’s the strangest looking bike I’ve ever seen, by far. We also saw hundreds of these very cool front load cargo bikes http://bakfiets.nl/nl/

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Camping just 4 miles north of The Hague on my birthday. One of the best camping sites so far!!

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I’m not kidding…Gary loved these – I don’t even know what to call them.  Seriously.

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A quiet Sunday morning in The Hague.

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In Delft, the village in which Vermeer lived and painted…

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…….the most famous girl in the world.

Sadly, she was off fundraising in the USA. We did see other Vermeer paintings, however, so it wasn’t a complete wash.

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Until France.. Cheers!

Patti

By the time we get to post this we’ll be in Toulouse, France working on putting a route together over the Pyrenees-hopefully dirt- into Spain. If any of you have route suggestions we’d love to hear them.
This post was done through the WordPress Android app and it doesn’t give me the option to add hyperlinks.

Gary

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24 thoughts on “The 90 day buzzkill

  1. Eat and ride, yes! That Pederson seat looks like it might hurt. Great photos. Enjoy France and Spain! Steve B.

    1. Thanks Steve… You have no idea how much we would LOVE to have your positive, strong, happy self with us for this journey. Love to Joanne and the girls!! Miss all of you!

  2. yup, the frinkendel in Bonaire (dutch island) are fun. have never asked what is in them, don’t want to know.
    wish you could have snuck in the haigue and watched the Australia vs japan whaling court this week. sea shepherd was denied access for some reason which is scary to think about. what is japan up to??? keep your ears open!
    love,sarah

    1. EB and Sarah, thanks for the approval on the frikendel. PK won’t touch it. She will eat hard salami though… go figure?

    2. Hey you guys… Oh, man – Gary loved those finkendels!! I’m pretty sure they were made out of recycled cardboard :-). Thanks for the comments. Always fun to hear from you! Patti

  3. Guys, we have some close friends that live in a beautiful little village (Pibrac) just 20 minutes north of Toulouse. An American women and a Frenchman. She used to live in Pagosa. They spend a couple of months a year in the Durango area. We house-traded with them a couple of years ago. They hosted our neighbors last year when they rode from Barcelona to Toulouse. I’m sure they would love to meet you and show you around. Let me know if you would like to connect.

  4. Hi! I had been wondering if another post might appear soon, and when I opened my mail, there it was. If, indeed, you made it all the way to Toulouse before this last post, my suggestions will have come too late. A few years ago, Carol and I cycled southern France for a week. Two villages stand out in my memory: Figeac and Rocamadour. Both are off the beaten track and lie somewhere between Brive-la Gaillard and Toulouse. However, I don’t see how you could go wrong wherever you end up in that neck of the woods.

    1. Hi Paul, yes, we’re already in Toulouse, via the train. We’ll be starting to head into the Pyrenees tomorrow. Are you and Carol in Del Norte?

      1. With the Pyrenees ahead of you, I’m guessing some carb loading might be in order. I’m on my way to Del Norte. Spent last night in Fort Collins. Will make my usual Costco run on the way thru Colorado Springs and should get to Del Norte by late afternoon today. Carol has to work… poor thang. Have fun for all of us!

      2. Carbs? Yeah. We’re eating crap here that we, or at least I would never eat at home!! Can’t read the ingredients so what’s a person to do? Patti

    1. Jay, thanks for the link. We’ve been considering the “Camino”. We feel like we should be heading more towards Barcelona, thinking maybe that’s where we should tend to the visa issue. Also, check out this link -http://francistapon.com/Travels/Spain-Trails/10-Reasons-Why-El-Camino-Santiago-Sucks

    2. Thanks jane. Well probably be crossing that path from time to time over the next two months. Take care! Hi to Jay.

    1. Hi Nancy, world traveler. We’re trying to follow your motto – postpone nothing!! Say hi to everyone at home

  5. The McDonalds is hard to believe!!! Ha! Hey, the price we will pay for wifi!!! I am truly enjoying your ride!!! Thank for the posts!

  6. There’s a long dirt road bike route in Southern Spain. But TOO HOT this time of the year, so I don’t recommend it for you. We a route last spring that overlapped part of it, and I think it would be good cycling in cooler months: http://www.transandalus.org/
    We hiked in the Pyrenees and LOVED it there, and I’m sure you will too. We love your blog posts and hope you continue to put in the effort to write them. A&J

    1. Hi Amy, we know about the MTB route in southern Spain and we’d hoped to ride it this fall. Unfortunately, we may have been booted out by then.

      I saved the link to your hike in So. Spain but I don’t remember your hiking the Pyrenees. Do you have a photo or trip report link? I hope to do some hiking here.

      Are you still in Scotland? Any photos or trip reports yet?

      As always, thanks for the info and advice.

      Gary

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