Iraq war Baghdad hostages

Long Drive Through A Short War

A couple days ago I met a man from the land of plenty, I said to the man you look ...
Read More
Amsterdam cycling ghost bike holiday cycling 11.jpg

Amsterdam to Larnaca

As I left the immigration desk I checked the board. Flight still there, no red writing anywhere and no panicked ...
Read More
Ghost bike cycling holiday in Amsterdam Holland Red Indian

Amsterdam Red Indian

Turns out the American is a sixteen year veteran of the male stripper industry in the US with graphic stories ...
Read More
Amsterdam cycling ghost bike holiday cycling 11.jpg

Amsterdam – Centraal to Schipol

The trip from Centraal to Schipol is worth a mention. I depart camp at about 10. I’m kicking and screaming ...
Read More
Amsterdam cycling holiday travel departure schipol airport

Amsterdam Departure

Yesterday was tense. I decided to fly to Cyprus, Plan A, the way I came. Flight at 2.45. I couldn’t ...
Read More
Amsterdam cycling Holland holiday camping

Amsterdam Feeding

Today before breakfast the prayer group were congregated at the kitchen and were packing to leave. There was a picture ...
Read More
Amsterdam cycling ghost bike holiday cycling 12.jpg

Amsterdam Agent Orange

Operation Agent Orange is not coming along nicely. There is a line of communications so tenuous, so elusive and slippery, ...
Read More
Amsterdam cycling holiday travel departure schipol airport

Amsterdam Spirituality

I’ve been feeling more spiritual these days, no doubt a result of the administrations of that nice Romanian masseuse that ...
Read More
Food, Spain paella lobster Valencia gastronomy

Amsterdam Valencia – Australian

There a quiet guy here from Australia with a perpetual grin and a look on his face that always seems ...
Read More
Amsterdam, cycling, camping, holiday, travel

Amsterdam Electrician

A couple of days ago I get to the café and this guy’s installing a string of lights.   He ...
Read More

Rocky Men’s 8 Inch Retraction 800G Hunting Boot

Leather and textile Synthetic sole Shaft approximately 8" from sole Gunuine thick full-grain leather and nylon upper Mossy Oak Country, ...
Read More
how many pollacks does it take to change a lightbulb

How Many People Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? No, really.

Right, so last week I woke up before dawn as usual and went to do my thing(s) in the toilet ...
Read More

Drone Camera View of the World

Drone cameras are awesome. They have opened up a whole new world of photography and given us a new bird’s ...
Read More

The SR-71 Blackbird in the Ultimate Aviation Troll

A great story from one of the pilots of the legendary SR-71 Blackbird, (nicknamed "The Sled" by those who flew it) ...
Read More
Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera Sensor Size

Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera | A wicked Little Piece of Kit

Now this here Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera is a wicked little piece of gear because it has no mirror ...
Read More
Cycling-Iran-Dubai-abu-DHabi--to-Oman Abu Dhabi, vu du haut de la tour où on m'a hébergé.

Postcards from the Road | Yves | De Dubaï à l’Océan Indien (Oman)

De Dubaï à l'Océan Indien (Oman) Bonjour à tous, La courte traversée du Golfe Persique en bateau depuis Bander Abbas en ...
Read More

Amsterdam to Larnaca

As I left the immigration desk I checked the board. Flight still there, no red writing anywhere and no panicked last calls to late passengers on the PA.

I’m not getting it. It’s 2.50 pm. Plane should have taken off.

Then I get it. My watch has been Cyprus time all along and somehow, perhaps with all that’s been going on – or is it just perception overload – forgot to do the math and deduct an hour.

The time now it 1.50 and I have at least 30 minutes to spare.

Gate D7 is 11 minutes walk away. I could do that it in 5 – OK so 25 minutes for beer.

There’s a Heineken bar along along the way and near the smokers room and you’re allowed to take your beer into the smoking room, and the smoking room looks out airside to the planes and I like planes. Civilised Amsterdam.

AT the bar I ask the girl with the glasses, defined jaw, slight eye-make-up, and pretty eyes for a beer and a coffee. She leans over to hear again. I said yes both, I need both.

Irish guy strikes up conversation. He’s a sailor out of Alicante. We talk Spain, I bum cigarettes (fed up of rolling) and order another beer.

I ask her, so are you from Amsterdam? Smiles says no. She’s from a village north, its very quiet and peaceful, surrounded by farms but she can be in Amsterdam in 15 minutes day or night.

I tell her it must be very pretty.

She knows I’m not talking about the village. She laughs in acceptance.

Irish tells me there’s only five minutes left. I say it’s five minutes to boarding, 20 minutes to closing. He thinks I’m crazy.

I’m just stretching. Stretching Amsterdam and my experience of being in it – even the airport has its charms like no other.

Boarding is straight forward. I’m in 11c, Steward with big red beard greeting passengers at door says is it could be better and it it could be worse. Could have a beer? That could make it better he answers with Dutch cheer..

I’ll post a letter to Transavia which has quickly become my favorite airline. I get the tapas plate and the guy gives me a free beer and chocolate for desert. I sleep and wake the 4.5 hour trip.

They carry the Amsterdam cool with them on board these people. I remember the minute I walked on board about five weeks ago on Cyprus to Amsterdam flight. I saw the Amsterdam cool immediately.

Cyprus immigration is a breeze, two young and very nicely made up lady agents in attendace.

A guy uses his plastic key chain to release a trolley for me without a two euro coin. Good trick that.

Through customs someone motions me to the desk asks what’s in the box. I gather they’re looking for a description but it’s not me. After all, this flight originated Amsterdam.

The box has been partially opened along one side by a sharp instrument. Everyone assumes airport security has taken a peek inside. The customs agent tells me please sir, go right ahead – Sir, no need to stop.

I’m getting called sir from more unusual places these days. Must be my age. Or maybe the bicycle.

There’s something very authentic, very truthful, about travelling with/on a on a bicycle.

Everywhere you go people treat you with just a little more attention and courtesy. Your fed, given things people think you might need, asked if there’s anything you need. Even the occasional asshole at a bar capitulates as soon as they hear you’ve come by bicycle.

You first, Sir. There you go, Sir. Do you know where you’re going, Sir? Do you need anything else, Sir.

Even the aloof guys working in coffee shops have been doing it.

Coffee shops. There’s a piece of business that I let slip by. Yesterday I didn’t know the guys working the shift at Central café and today because I didn’t have the time to visit. I’ll see if my antics remain alive in their memories for next time I visit. They were good, the antics, I’m confident they’ll remember me. I’ll pick up where I left off with that.

Agent Orange bugs me. It’s shown a resiliency that I did not see. It still seems to be a go.

I arrive outside Larnaca airport at about 8.50 pm, bus departing to Limassol in 30.

AN epic battle ensues as I try get the massive box into the baggage compartment of the bus. The box, on its wide side, is an acre wide and I can’t get it to go in more than six inches. I try a spot of brute force but nothing works. Meantime, because it had been cut, the box starts to fall apart. I yank the bike frame and wheels out and put them in the hold – along with panniers, mattress, tent, and sleeping bag (?) without the box.

Still five minutes to go. I haven’t eaten anything except that half eaten sandwich I left on the pavement in order to get the bike it. I use the five minutes to take the empty box and dispose of it as neatly as possible.

The bus driver, who was watching my epic struggle in his rear view mirror came out and ignored the empty box as if to say just leave it here, it’s not yours, I never seen that box before in my life – I’ve been watching you, you’ve done enough.

Still, I move it away, put it under an olive tree, and jump on the bus as it’s about to start the hour long trip to Limassol.

I’ll have to go to the last stop because my gear is on the side of the bus that opens to the road. I can only open it at the station, not the stops he makes along the way.

The last couple of nights catch with me on the bus, perhaps as I started to settle down, or maybe the perspective of motion that I’m getting from outside. I trip all the way.

We arrive the last stop of the Airport bus in Limassol about 10.15 pm.

I’ve now been in constant motion under time pressure and handling variables for 12 hours.

Gear out of bus, no hurry here. I’m home. I decide to spend 30 minutes around bus station catching up on water and coffee and putting the bike together. No less than 30 minutes to slow down and avoid a crash landing and rebuild reserves.

And for the first time today I can set my pace.

By eleven I’m ready to roll down the gentle slope of a lazy eastern Mediterranean city all the way to the old town centre that I like so much and cycle gently to one hotel or the other.

Peaceful, breezy, and familiar.

There’s live Greek music in the center and my little bar looks packed. I park outside, go in for a beer or three. Can’t charge my camera because I lost the adapter.

Few beers and a souflaki later I ride towards the hotel district.

I pass the eucalyptus forest in which I’d told someone I’d slept when I hadn’t (but it fit nicely into the narrative).

I sleep in the forest in order to set that straight.

Posted by | View Post | View Group