Arrived In Italy With a Thumpio

Relaxing at the end of 2000km ride in India,Bombay


Got on a train to Bombay with bikes, fought at midnight with taxi drivers, stayed with two lovely lovely souls in Bombay (Kunal and Helen respect respect). Got on a big container ship in Bombay just as the disaster of the Tsunami in Japan was being broadcast. Port security official in Bombay invited Jet into his office for what he thought might be a bribe but in fact was the official showing Jet an Indian newspaper with news of the Tsunami “You want to go on the ship still. You sure this is safe?”

“Yes,” says Jet, “we’ve got strong hearts.”

“OK,” he says, as if giving us permission, “You are kind of adventurers.”

So we got on the container ship with our hearts somewhere in our chests and, after the normal India port chaos, found ourselves once again in the air conditioned world of International Freight. This time the crew were much more friendly and the Croatian captain and his wife made sure we were well looked after. Tsunamis weren’t really top of our worry list. We were heading through the Suez canal as every country nearby seemed to be in civil uproar. But for the crew the real threat was piracy. This was something we had dismissed as we were told on a previous voyage that the ships were too fast for Somali pirates. But the Captain and the crew took it very seriously and the atmosphere on board noticeably lightened after we’d got past the Gulf of Aden and Saudi. The Captain said there are 2000 sailors held captive on “mother ships” off the coast of Somalia. Some container boats now have snipers. Ours had fire hoses.

After two weeks we arrived in Malta to find roads littered with Ferraris, day glo racing bikes and the odd horse and cart. Beside the road were African refugees and economic migrants. Reverse culture shock set in again.

 We then took a ferry to Italy and are currently cycling through Tuscanny. The weather is fantastic, blue skies, a spring breeze and daisys bobbing in the green grass. A blessed relief after the scorchio deserts of Iran and the humidity of India.

Jet in his usual language gatecrashing has been trying to speak Italian by adding “io” to the end of every word and scowling at poor Italian waiters because the average meal costs 15 pounds instead of the 50p for two thalis in India.

Jen has been indulging in Spring.  Spring will be continually springing as we travel north and you don’t have to pay for bluebells bobbin by the roadside.

We will continue cycling until the Euros or time runs out and then take a train to North France and bob across the channel for the homeward jaunt.

(Photos to follow, this computer don’t like cameras being attached…)

Peddle through the daffodils for us wherever you are.

j n j

x xd

found a camera friendly computer in France!…

daydreaming on a cargo ship, suez canal


The HUGE engine


Dramatic exit from Middle East and the Suez

Land ahoy! Arrive in Malta


A friend in Pisa

woo spring, Tuscany


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13 responses to “Arrived In Italy With a Thumpio

  1. Flozz

    good to hear from you again – we had 4 weeks in Tuscany last summer – sad I didn’t have my bike with me but great part of the world – enjoy your final spring sauntering – try and pop down this way when you’re back not sure that Birchfest will be this summer – maybe next. Wll let you know
    cheers Jon

  2. matthew

    wicked to hear from you two again. see you back in blighty.cant wait to see you. x

  3. Ken Gough

    Hi J & J,
    Glad to read your latest news, will you cycle up the Rhone valley? If so try and dance ‘Sur le Pont, at Avignon.Enjoy your rides the 1st of May approaches!!!!!!!!!!!!

    G’Ma cant wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!

    Love from us.

    PS. Is Jethro planning a book with photos on your adventures? If so put me down for a signed copy!

    • Bonjour!
      We have just arrived in your 2nd home;France. We are about to board the 3rd train of the day from Nice to Paris with a few changes inbetween. Very much looking forward to seeing you both too. The rhone will have to wait for another cycle adventure, ti,e running out on us. Instead we hope to retrace our first part of our journey through north France and the uk.
      see u soon J and J xx ps we are planning an exhibition of songs and photos…

  4. Annie Prangs

    not long now!
    thank goodness mum didn’t know how potentially treacherous your voyage through the Suez canal was. Glad you’re on the homeward stretch, see you sooooon xxx

  5. V

    OMG! So happy you are doing well! ..And you did it ALL!!! Congratulations!!! +big hugs!
    … and looking forward seeing you in Bristol! 🙂

    • capt von der jet

      ah haaa. here ye are. it’s taken me a year to find you. damned ‘world wide web’. someone should sort it out. how are your bums? bearing up i hope. can you still walk? looking forward to seeing you both back in cream tea land. i’ll put the kettle on. ps me and joe have made our own band now, called ‘le Bon Joe V’. dead 80s. do you want to be in it??

    • hey v you gonna be in bristol soon?! brillllll x x

  6. you guys back home now? guess so. yey to that . was lovely having u here 🙂

  7. Joe Med

    Retracing your steps/tread marks back through 1st part of your journey! What a great way to end!…do we get a heads up to come and cycle with you down the ol’Bath to Bristol track on your last leg (would be brill!) or are you planning to sneak in under the radar!??…Possibly the later I suspect!
    We await your next report eagerly!

    Ah ha! Songs! Haven’t had any word of songs from you since France/Germany on the way out but ‘capt. von der’ and I knew there’d be a few 1000new ones up your sleeve! Exhibition sounds exciting!

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