For now, the only dates set in stone for us is our days in Istanbul: we have family visiting us for a week, so we have to arrive on schedule.

The catch was that we had to schedule the Istanbul dates before we have had started our trip. As we had no idea how our muscles would accommodate to the bike (and the weight!), we left a good six weeks for this leg of the journey. Two weeks in, we know that we could have completed it within half the time available for us.

So, what do we do with all this free time on our hands? We decided to take a few more detours and stop for a few days here-and-there to spend time with some good local people.

We have decided to visit Kosovo, and planning to spend 4-5 days there. We have also extended the Greece part of the journey, and instead the originally planned 2 days, we’ll spend over a week there. Seaside, yey! This happened because we have checked the elevation profile weather for south Bulgaria, and decided that Greece is more suitable for us.

Nevertheless, we don’t plan to stop for too long, since we both enjoy our time on the road more. Even one day off the saddle we are eager to get back on it and continue (which is a great sign, considering our plans for the next year). Being on the road is much more diverse than being in one place. All our senses are engaged along with our muscles. Such a great feeling! So we are only planning to stay for more than a day somewhere, if we have a lot to see/do there, or if we found exceptional company.

After Istanbul, we’ll probably speed up a bit, but for now we’ll try to make the most of our leisurely speed. For example, spending more time updating you here.