Friday, November 9, 2007

Subject: "A Change of Pace"

This is a continuation of our experience in we said before we were repairing bikes and staying at the guide house for Trek Travel in the Provence area of France. While we were there we acted like we were in the Tour de France when we climbed Ventoux, 26km at 10% grade, 75kmh on the downhill (again no pacemaker necessary). The work was so done so onto the Loirre Valley, Beaugency France. We spent 10 days with family and friends at the hunting lodge...riding to castles during the day and enjoying time with family time at night. We took in the Paris to Tours Stage Race where Petacchi, the jet, thrilled the crowd with a sprint finish. Team Discovery looked good as well.

On to Paris for 2 days where we took in all the sites...Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, Arch de Triumph, Moulin Rouge and many more. The highlights were the World Rugby Finals in Paris and to be part of the country to country rivalry.

October 23, 2007 we were off to "stomp" in Switzerland, the bags were heavy from a week with family. The French Alps and the Swiss Alps take no prisoners (long and steep). We hit the perfect time, the leaves were as pretty as Northeast Iowa. A couple of days in the Geneva, Switzerland area and our budget said "Go to Spain!" Temperatures were getting cold also...fog and 34 degrees F in the Alps, even our morning coffee from the camp stove could not warm us. The rule of "not cylcing below 50 degrees" was broken, and broken and broken. A new guideline was instituted "no biking below 40 degrees F (this is just a guideline...NOT A RULE).

Spain welcomed us to a celebration in Gerona. It takes them all week to celebrate one "Saint"...and I'm not sure how much celebration actually had to do with "All Saints Day". What band starts playing at 11:30 pm??? And the same band is playing at 4:00 am??? ...Rock Star CEUs were obtained that night (CEUs = continuted education units).

From Merida, Spain gave us Spanish cultural and the largest desert in Europe. We then went from Merida to the route "Via de la Plata". We are following the Roman route to the silver. Temperatures are now around 80 during the day and 40 at night....still camping...snuggling closer.

We are heading to Seville to take in some flamenco music and to meet some of the other team members that are going to Rwanda.

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Adios everyone,
Jacky and Ward

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Italy, Mediterranean Sea, France

Before we were able to leave Slovenia we experienced the "Bora" winds. One night the winds blew at 80mph for 2 hours straight. We had to brace ourselves up against the inside of the tent to help support it and keep it from collapsing. Quite a scary night.

We finally made it to Italy. As stereotyped, they drive fast and aggressive, talk with their hands and like their wine. We've had many special experiences in Italy. One biker lead us to the town we needed to go to and then brought us to his favorite watering hole. A mailman invited us to his house for lunch. Neighbor campers brought us wine and then had us to their site for a homemade after dinner drink.

We toured... through beautiful (and romantic) Venice...biked the coast of the Mediterranean Sea with its magnificant hues of blues...and gambled at the Monte Carlo Casino (Monaco) in honor of our friend Dale and won 170 euros!

The temps are now in the 70-80s and we are in Bonnieux, France (south France). We are staying at the Trek Travel guide house while Ward works for them for 10-13 days (or whenever he runs out of work). We are enjoying France's scenery and the kind people.

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Bye for now. Ward and Jacky

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

travel pictures

Heading South into Austria, Hungary, Croatia,and Slovenia.

The Czech Republic was very interesting as were part of Rotary meetings and homestays. We headed south into Austria and then the Europe most of are familar came back to us. We started using the Euro again and prices were a bit higher.

We found more mountains in Austria and also that brought wine. Jacky liked that about Austria.

After Austria we headed into Hungary. We celebrated our 8th anniversary in Hungary. The terrain was flatter and things were very reasonbly priced.

Croatia was a pass through country. We had a beer and lunch there. Tim and Sue Broderick sponsored our time in Crotia. Very similar to Hungary and very friendly.

We have been in Slovenia for about five days. Two days of rain so we are getting caught up with computer time. The country is very beautiful and the roads are very steep. Super friendly people and they are very hospitable.

Tomorrow we hope to reach Italy.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

You don't experience this from a tour bus!

Baltic countries...they may be poor but they are rich in life! From the flat wooded land of Estonia to the mountains of Poland they have welcomed us in. Through their gratious hospitality we sang, danced, had "freshly made milk and cheese", got the low down on communistic life and the transitions since, shared coffee and pastries, wine, homebrew, shots of vodka, etc. As one of our new friends said, "payment is friendship".

Economy ex: minimum wage in Poland is 420 US dollars a month.

Slovakia is very poor and unkept. Czech Republic is richer with better infrastructure and friendlier people.

Weather is getting cold. Today is rain and 40s. Time to head south.

Thanks for being patient with the website. We have been having some problems downloading pictures.

Please see and sign up for the e-group for a more detailed description of our travels. If you are having problems receiving the e-group message please let us know by emailing

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweden and Estonia and latvia

Computer are not always so available. We have been averaging 50 to 60 miles per day and the hills have left us in western Sweden. A couple days in Stockholm and then into Estonia. Everything changed there. The countries are learning a capitalistic system and a free way of life. Very old cities and culture.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Into Norway and Sweden

We made it across the north sea and into Norway. Oslo and then to Lillihamar and now into Sweden. About 60 miles a day. Camping along side the road or in yards.
Two nights in Lillihamar at Maureen's house.

Some rain and lots of hills. Food and beverages expensive in Norway. Sweden is more reasonable.

pictures to come.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Berlin to Copenhagen

We traveled from Berlin to Copenhagen starting Friday, July 13 and arriving in Copenhagen on July 20. The weather started out rainy, then turned hot hitting high temps of 106 degrees F, then cooled off with strong winds and ended with sunny skies and a tailwind into Copenhagen. Our daily mileage has varied from 50-80 miles a day. It has been dependent on the weather. We have noticed alot of differences between East and West Germany and then of course, in Denmark. We are currently shacking up with our friend Tim Staton (from Madison) in Copenhagen. Lovely but very expensive city. Examples: gas $8 per gallon, Big Mac $15, 1# of ground beef $10, one night in a hostel $120. Needless to say we are not eating out. Please see the photo gallery for photos since we went overseas. They may not be available until Monday (we are emailing them to Kay and she's probably busy biking today - Sunday). Also, please sign up for the e-group and check past e-group messages where you will get a more detailed description of our adventures. The picture on the home page will be changing periodically. Try to guess where we are sitting.

Map our route!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Touring in Germany with Ross

We (Ward, Jacky and Ross) flew into Frankfurt Germany on Wednesday, July 4 and travelled to Aschaffenburg where Ward´s aunt lives. On July 5th we travelled to Munich and flew to London. We saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guards, Big Ben, the Parliament, Tower Bridge, the location of the Prime Minister's home, the London Eye, MI6 (security building for the city and, according to Ross…one of the locations for a James Bond film), Harrod's, the set up for the prologues and the Tour de France opening ceremony. It was very expensive: $2.19 US = 1.00 pounds. Then flew back to Munich. Visited the Hofbrau Haus, Eagles Nest (Hitler's Hideout) in Berchtesgaden, and the Congress Hall and Stadium in N├╝rnberg (where Hitler said his speeches, etc). It was very interesting and eery at the same time. Returned to Aschaffenburg. Ross flew home today. We plan on heading north on our bikes on Thursday (suppose to rain tomorrow). Please see the e-group for a more detailed description of our travels.

Monday, July 2, 2007

We survived the GRABAAWR

We finished the GRABAAWR on Saturday, June 30th. We rode ~500 miles through WI. The scenery was beautiful, the weather couldn't have been better and the company was a hoot. We had our last going away party Saturday night in Madison. It was called "How can we miss you if you won't go away." We are now in Minneapolis completing our final packing...or should I say "elimination process." We fly to Germany tomorrow. We are having a little problem downloading pictures but will hopefully have that problem rectified soon. Please bear with us. More to come. Please see the e-group for a more detailed description of our trip so far.

Monday, June 25, 2007

june 25 2007

Rode from Medford Wisconsin to Merril Wisconsin. Highway 64, 40 miles and very smooth. Average speed 12.7 85 degrees and the bags seemed heavy.

Stayed at Dick and Shirel's

Sunday, June 24, 2007

We're finally leaving!

Hi everyone, we are officially starting our trip at 3:00 p.m. today. We are biking to Merrill, Wisconsin to join the GRABAAWR (week long Wisconsin ride). More to come. Jacky