We eventually left Istanbul last Tuesday, crossing the Bosphorous into Europe (officially marking the beginning our our third continent). The departure marked the beginning of an 18 day non-stop cycle to Milan. Already conditions have changed drasticly with shorts and t – shirts being exchanged for thermals and rain gear as the days get progressively colder. Below is our planned route home. After crossing Greece, we will cycle from the heel of Italy to the Alps. Having climbed the famous region via Mont Blanc we will descend into Switzerland before travelling across France. England and Wales represent the last stage before catching the ferry to Dublin.
Carrying gear for fit only for an African summer we arrived in Turkey needing new clothes and equipment to take us through a cold European winter. Sleeping bags were provided by the Irish Defence Force and were posted along with thermal clothing to Istanbul, timed for our arrival. We planned on departing Istanbul on the 27th of December after a three day Christmas break, however, the Irish, English, Czech and Turkish Post contrived to delay us two weeks.