Author: Chris and Gabs – November 31st, 2018

This month we’ve visited Italy and Sardinia!

The most beautiful area has been…

The Island of Sardinia was spectacular – great mountain and coastal views from high up in the mountains.

Views in Sardinia Chris & Gabs Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

Here is the link to the film we made about our time in Sardinia

The most bizarre experience has been…

1.We were in Pisa sat having a coffee and there were three English ladies sat at the opposite table to us, then one of the woman said are you Chris and Gabs the cyclists who came to Cambridge to see the Mayor and we said yes! It turned out she was the woman who met us and organised us going into the music festival with Right Said Fred, then we got chatting and they where staying in the same apartment that Gabs’ family had just stayed in.

2.Chris nearly got a dog – he had arranged to meet a Jack Russell breeder who had sent him photos of the last puppy they had called Uma, so we went to this lady’s home somewhere outside of Florence to meet her and the dog Uma. There where about ten Jack Russells all running around. So cutting a long story very short we arranged to have Uma and to collect her in a months time. Luckily after sleeping on it and lots more talking we came to the decision that it would not be far on Uma taking her from her family, having the risk of not getting her across borders and lots of other reasons. So Chris will have to wait for a dog.

Uma the Dog Chris and Gabs Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

3.It was getting late one night in Sardinia and we were trying to find somewhere to camp but finding it difficult and it was getting darker, so we pushed our bikes around a crash barrier into the bushes. We were all set up, Chris was cooking and I was in my dressing gown about to have a shower when we were disturbed by two policemen. A house above us in the hills saw a light and called the police, at first they thought we had come from a boat and climbed up the cliffs edge but we then gave them a flyer and showed them our bikes. They were really kind to us and laughed as they thought we were a bit mad for camping out in the cold. So we didn’t have to move on and we felt comfortable knowing we had permission from the police to camp the night.

Sardinia Fire to keep warm Chris and Gabs Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

The most challenging part has been…

On the island of Sardinia cycling to Tempio there were many steep mountain climbs to get to it. When we thought we had got to the town which is right at the top of a mountain, we were so relieved but then we turned the corner and the town center was up, yes another hill climb.

The weather has turned windy and wet and it doesn’t help when you have planned your route to avoid any mountain passes but the road you have planned to cycle on turns into a motorway and you cant go any further so you have to call it a day and try and find another route to cross back over to Olbia. The only way was the mountains as we were on a time scale to get back to Pisa to meet the family.

Some special highlights this month…

When we could not go any further because it was a motorway we had to find somewhere to camp for the night and the only place was a farm so we cycled up the long drive with four barking dogs following us to ask if we could put our tent up in the grounds – luckily they said yes. We had a great time with this family – they invited us in for coffee and we stayed for homemade pasta, sheep’s cheese that they make on their farm, home made biscuits. bread and much to Chris’s delight red wine! The next day we had homemade tiramisu for breakfast (delicious). We don’t speak Italian and they didn’t speak any English so we had to use google translate. They were a really caring family and they welcomed us into their home , we were sad to leave, we wanted to stay and help out on the sheep farm.

Sheep Farm Family Chris and Gabs Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

Where next…?

We are now heading back across Italy to Ancona as we are heading over to Split in the New Year. Croatia , Montenegro, Albania, Greece then into Turkey. We are aiming to get to Turkey for March as we want to get to Uzbekistan at the right time of the year for the good weather.

Thoughts and feelings?

November has been an emotional month for me (Gabs) with the build up of my mum may be coming to visit or not and then how fast the time went with the family when they did arrive in Pisa. We did so much whilst they were here, it was great to be with them all and have a laugh, It was really very emotional saying goodbye especially to my mum and with Christmas around the corner it is all so overwhelming. We are also getting further away from the UK so it is harder for my mum to visit because of the long haul flights so it is difficult not to think I might not see her for a long time.

Family Visiting Chris and Gabs Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

The weather has now turned and mentally we are preparing our selves for wet days and cold nights, waking up to a wet tent and trying to get things dry at night. We try to camp where we can make a fire but that is not always easy. It is now getting dark really early so we are having to stop cycling around 4pm to find some where to camp so our hours of cycling are cut shorter.

How’s it going Gabs?

Finding somewhere to camp every night is a challenge especially when you are tried, wet and hungry.

This is one of our favourite camp spots. No one around, we are in a forest, good fire, a washing line to dry the clothes and place to hang the shower. We stayed here two nights to make our Halloween Film “ The Sardinia Psycho “

Not a favourite camp spot – A very muddy field in Sardinia

How’s it going Chris?

The best part of traveling for us is all the amazing people we meet, we make contact with some truly inspirational people, we feel like we’ve known them forever, they are like family, but it doesn’t last for long, and then we have to say goodbye, and will probably never meet again, but as sad as it is, we are thankful to have had the honour of meeting them..

The hardest part is saying goodbye..but aren’t people amazing! There are so many interesting people around you, you just need to listen to them, as without them we wouldn’t have a story to tell.

Family Tower of Pisa Chris and Gabs Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

Chris & Gabs

Chris O’Hare and Gabriella Gratrix are no strangers to a challenge, but this year will see them face the biggest challenge of all, as they set off to cycle around the world for Prevent Breast Cancer.

This epic journey will see them cycle over 100,000 km across 7 continents, and will take around 7 years.

If just reading those figures leaves you breathless, pencil in the fact that many areas won’t have roads, and some mountain passes are almost impassable, even harder given the fact that their bikes will weigh over 55kg when loaded with kit! Now, that’s some going!