A little update.

Its been a while since i last wrote anything here, so here comes a quick update. I cycled through Germany from North to South along the Elberadweg, a cycleroute following the river all the way down to the Czech border. I arrived In Dresden on the 12th of march and learned in the evening that the Czech republic will close its borders the morning after at 11 am due to the Pandemic. So after a 180 km day to Dresden i left again at 6 in the morning to make it to the border 65 km away in good time before it closed. I Made it to the border at 9:30 very pleased to have made it across but also worried about the uncertainty the next weeks would bring. 

Crossing the Elbe by ferry. The wide river once separated east (DDR) and west Germany. The differnces can still be seen and felt by crossing the river.

It took me another day to reach Prague where i had a Airbnb lined up for a week to monitor how the situation would develop. One week turned into two and i finally had to accept that waiting is not going get me back on the road anytime soon. So i made the tough choice of starting to the journey back home. I cycled the same way back to Dresden and camped one night in a forrest full of wild boar grunting around my tent all evening. Pretty scary when they stepped on branches that gave me a idea of what kind of huge beasts that was hanging outside my tent. 

The Germany – Czech border along the Elbe river.

In total i rode 7 different trains back to Hirtshals where my ferry back to Norway departs. Taking a train through the landscape that took me two weeks to cycle was very strange as it all flew by me in a half a day train ride. I concluded that to do it by bicycle was much more rewarding. It was pretty surreal to witness places like Berlin Hauptbahnhoff with barely any people around. 

 After making it to Norway by ferry i had another expensive taxi ride and a final train ride back to Stavanger before two weeks of quarantine was waiting for me. I was happy to be home as the journey back made me realise that traveling under a crisis is not fun at all. People treat you like your the pandemic itself and there is no help in anyone if you are in trouble. On my last night in Hirtshals before the ferry i was not even able to get drinking water as everything was closed. The wind was insane and i had a hard time finding a sheltered place to put my tent. In the end i slept in a 24/7 solar studio that still had its door open. Pretty grim but funny in retrospect! 

Ofcourse i am very sad that my dream of doing a long continous journey has been ruined. I put a lot of time and effort into the project and my girlfriend made a huge sacrifice giving me the oppurtunity to start this trip in the first place. The Fundraiser has also turned to a complete standstill with this pandemic but is ofcourse still open for donations. Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world wich means that the inhabitants are very vulnerable in a crisis like this one. (If you want to make a donation check out the link in the bottom of the article.)

My plan this summer is to ride towards northern Norway to make the best out of the limits my trip has come under. All international travel for 2020 will not happen, at least not for me. I dont think its the right thing to do as my motivation for the trip is to get a insight into other cultures and meet the local people, something that is neither approiate or responsible under a world crisis. I hope i can do parts of the trip in the summer of 2021 and maybe cycle from somewhere in central Asia to Nepal. Only time will tell! 

I really recomend you all to try bicycle touring this summer, start small with a weekend tour to see if its something for you. Its definently not always comfortable and easy, but its a great way to slow down life and be present with your surroundings. In a busy world with many distractions its nice to strip down life and only focus on the essentials and to move forward under your own power. 

– Eirik

Link to the fundraiser : https://www.gofundme.com/f/norway-to-nepal

First couple of days.

I have been on the road for 5 days now. My body is slowly adjusting to this new lifestyle. My ferry arrived on the 1st of march on a grey saturday morning. I had a host (Anders) who Would be my https://www.warmshowers.org/ host in Hobro 125 km away on the first Night. The wind was blowing from the front and this part of Denmark was not as flat as i expected. Lots of ups and down made for a long first day in the saddle. I arrived In Hobro at 6pm just after it got dark. Anders had prepared an amazing chicken with vegetables in the oven wich was absolutely delicious! We had good conversations and he told me many interesting experiences and stories from hes own bike tours and work in military and Police all around the world.
the next morning he made me breakfast and packed me a lunch for the the day! What a great experience to Stay with someone local rather than in my tent or a hotel. Even though the weather was even worse the next day it still couldnt wipe the smile of my face as i was pedalling towards Viborg to connect with long distance cycle route nr 3 (Hærvejen).

Shortly after Viborg i met a family after i took a small break in a forrest parking lot. They asked what i was up to and where i was heading. I told them that i would sleep in a shelterplads somewhere along Hærvejen, but shortly after they invited me to stay in their home! Turns out Their oldest daughter has cycled from Beijing all the way Back to Denmark last year, and the father had joined her on a part of the trip. Also here they looked after me like i was a family member. I left with washed clothes, packed lunch and a sureelaistic feeling of how generous people had been to me in the last 48 hours. When you spend a lot of time alone on the bike you appreciate to share a meal and to have a conversation so much more than you usually would in everyday life.

The next day i cycled all the way to Vejen, 75km from the German border where i stayed in a shelterplads, a free campinground with toilet and running water. This was great as it was raining all night. The day started in rain but ended with a beatifull sunset on the last 20km towards Germany. On the way i met Poul who was also cycling and he invited me to his house for coffee and to have a look it his birds. He must have had several hundred different species!

i Reached flensburg without anywhere Sleep so i looked up a campingplatz on Google.maps as all other accomodation was really expensive. When i got there it was late in the evening and the campsite had not yet opened for the season. I was pretty beat up so i pitched my tent under a half roof behind some bushes as nobody was around. One hour later i suddenly hear a car engine outside and two men with flashlights appear. I stand up to greet them to not seem dishonest, and they looked pretty relieved when they saw me as they were checking for burglars since one of the neighbours had called them beacuse they saw some movement in the dark. Those movements were only me putting up my tent while wearing a headlamp! I was allowed to stay the night for free even though i offered to pay. I was happy they came early so i could get a good nights sleep!
The next morning i woke up really groggy with a swollen face like a balloon. I could barely open my eyes the first 30 minutes. I slept in and started cycling at 11. I had another warmshowers host lined up in Neumunster called Rico. I thought i would make the 100kms in good time but a minor techincal problem and a route sometimes taking me on hiking trails through forests made me chase the daylight once again. I was very happy to take a shower and was offered a big plate of lasagna and beer. Rico cycled across USA last year and he told me many great stories from the journey.

It has not even been a week and i am already really far from home. To travel by bicycle really is a good way to connect with the landscape and local people along the way. To all those who have hosted me and helped me out: Thank you so much for all your kindness and companionship, i hope i can return the favor one day!

About me

Hello everyone.

My name is Eirik Svensen. I am a 27 year old male from Stavanger, Norway. I have pedagogical background from university and work with children from the age of 3-6 in a kindergarden. I have traveled quite a bit in the recent years and i always like to study the simalarities and differences from my own culture. I have experienced that children are the same all the places i have been. Full of energy, open minded, eager to learn and very present in life. Unfortunately children are not born with the same possibilities to follow their passion and make their own choices. Many are born into poverty where they have to work from a early age and take care of their siblings. For these children its nearly impossible to change the circle of poverty without external help.

When i traveled to Nepal in 2017 i was immediately very humbled by the friendliness and honesty of the locals. People had trust in me as a complete stranger, treating me like an old friend. I was helped in times of trouble without being asked for anything in return. I told myself to try to live more like them, to be more open and friendly to strangers. I also told myself that the next time i would go to Nepal i would give something back.

On top of Thorong la, a 5416 meter high pass seperating the Manang valley and The kali gandaki gorge in Mustang.

So this time instead of flying i decided i would cycle all the way from my doorstep in charity for the Himalayas children foundation. The reason why i spesifically chose to support them is because i really identify with their values and vision of what children need to grow up in a stable and safe enviorment. The pupils are learning Nepali, English and their native language: Tibetan. They also empower the children to become self confident, respectful and tolerant humans at the same time as the get the opportunity to stay in touch with their families and culture Even though they are attending a boarding school.

To be honest it scares the crap out of me every time i think about this crazy project. But that first trip to Nepal gave me enough confidence that there are mostly good people out there that will help you when needed. What i want from this trip is to really challenge myself and hopefully inspire people to donate to the cause. I also hope to show others that you dont need a lot of money to travel and have amazing experiences. On this trip i will travel on a tight budget, my money will go towards food, the occasional hotel, travel innsurance/visas and the expenses that i still have to pay at home. Most of the time i will sleep in my tent or at friendly locals who offer me a roof for the night.

I hope you will follow along as the journey unfolds. I am boarding a ferry bound for Hirtshals, Denmark on the 28 of February. From there i will cycle south through europe and then eventually head east from Istanbul. If you want to know more about the route you can find a more detailed plan under «Route» in the menu section.

Dhanyabhad/ Thank you.