Izzy's Travels

Christmas 2003

The following is transcribed from Isabel's "JOURNEY JOURNAL", the diary she kept as she pedaled her bike "Richey" from Amsterdam to Barcelona:

12-24  So no peanut butter sold in France but I saw "nut" and "spread" and wondered how I could go wrong — woops — pure sugar chestnut spread. It is important that one must always be well rested so a dry sleeping spot seems to have soared high in my priorities— and when the sun begins to set — it sinks. I fore-see heavy rains this evening — so I am in an old bus/RV in a junk shed — the shed itself is rather moist. It also seems wise not to enter town at the end of the day which may result in a dumpster bed — as I have already said: after entering it is fifteen circles before escaping [note: Isabel tended to get lost in French towns]. It also works because I took time to look on the map and see that entering Bordeaux is not necessary — which is where I would have directed my route. It is very pleasant to take all the time I please — the only push being the weather — but to stop in the mountains to admire the scenery. All the time in the world — no hurry.

12-25  I was riding and it appeared to be getting dinner — first assumption: the sun is setting.  I stopped and made camp but I suppose it was just the clouds because I have been sitting here for some time now.  Asking direction from a gentleman today I was reminded that this planet celebrates a holiday so for the fun of it I had yet another banquet day.  Not long now before I cross the border— then what?—we shall see — maybe Barcelona — then Portugal to try and work my way on a sail boat....so many possibilities .... I have come to realize people's obsession with time ~ "I am riding my bike across France!" "Do you know how long that will take?"~ and so on.  I stop and watch people - eat - drink coffee (not in a few days ) - walk my way through towns—all to try and absorb to the best of my extent.  Hitch-hiking may have been a better French lesson though as opposed to riding alone gaping at the countryside then nestling in the woods for sleep. But still the beauty—a geography lesson.

France, December 2003

Izzy's Bike

"Richie", the bike that Isabel rode 1200 miles from Holland to Spain