I bought a bike! After 99 days on foot, I will start the 100th and with that the second part of my adventure, on bike tomorrow. I’ve looked forward to this for a long time. In Regensburg, I cannot see what day it was from here, I bought new insoles for my shoes since my feet hurted too much. From that day I’ve not walked a day pain-free. It took me a long time to accept this situation. At first I thought about splitting the adventure into two. But now I see I cannot go home before reaching Istanbul. Something or someone is still awaiting my presence somewhere, I feel.

This way I can continue my trip towards my goal. It feels realistic again. I’ve had my doubts about reaching Istanbul ever since I set out and now feel more confident then ever that I will reach this city. On bike it will take me around six weeks, which is still quite some time. Enough for me at least to feel this trip is not over yet. I know I will be cursing this bike many and more times, wishing I was still on foot. But the opposite has been true as well. Many a day I walked, wishing I had a bike and could just sit back on my way down. The adventure continues!

It will have a whole different dimension actually. The planning of the route, the roads I take, taking part in traffic, the stuff I buy, the places where I stay the night. I am now sitting in a pizzeria celebrating my new bike whereas I would have been walking to find a place to sleep yesterday. I didn’t just by a bike, I bought time, a huge amount of time. I suddenly can make trice the distance on a day. I do not fully comprehend what this will mean, but that will come in the next days. Saturday I will be crossing the Serbian border already! I thought I needed two more weeks! In a week I’ll be in Belgrade and three weeks later in Bucharest. I’ll be traveling with the speed of the light! It does scare me as well. I’m not used to the speed anymore and with this backpack on my back, I’m not so flexible as I hoped to be. I’ll be on the lookout for a cart the coming days.

Just a quick update on my stats to close this one. I have been on the road now for 99 days. On 58 of them I spend the night in my tent. 41 of them I spend in a different place, and for 17 nights did I pay. I walked 2.164,6 km so far and took 22 days of rest. That makes an average walking distance per day of  21,9 km. Not including the rest days, a full day of walking was on average 28.1 km. The last couple of days I killed a mosquito for every km I walked. It made me feel bad, but I think its time they understood the message. “Don’t bother me.” I lace my shoes three times a day, which made it 297 times on my whole trip. Never did one break. My pole wore 3 cm down, but will have some rest the coming weeks, its tied to my bike.