Clarity Locums | Locum Agency Menu


Rossie to Aussie: Month Two Update

Rossie to Aussie: 2nd month Update

It’s me again Fergal and if you just happen to bump on this blog and you missed our previous ones, please have a read below:

Rossie to Aussie: Launch Blog
Rossie to Aussie: A month of Cycling Adventures and 10 months more

I've been cycling for over two months now, and so much has already happened. Friends, we're just 2 months into our 11-month journey, and the adventure is only getting more thrilling!

In my last update, I left you in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Since then, I've journeyed through all the Balkan countries and now find myself at the edge of Europe in Athens, Greece. It took me 2 months and 8 days to traverse the continent.

Screenshot 2024 05 29 at 16.12.40

Places/Countries visited on my 2nd month:

At the two-month mark, I arrived on the island of Corfu in Greece, my 12th country of the challenge.

After leaving Ljubljana, Slovenia, I headed east to visit the city of Trieste in Italy. I then re-entered Slovenia to cross into Croatia, where I island-hopped across four Croatian islands to reach the city of Zadar. From there, I cycled south to Split and Dubrovnik.
In Montenegro, I visited Kotor and cycled up into the stunning Montenegro mountains.
In Albania, I explored Shkodër, Tirana, and Fier.
In Greece, I reached the island of Corfu, took a ferry to the mainland, and cycled towards Patras before continuing on to Athens.

Challenges along the way

This journey has brought some unique challenges. While island hopping in Croatia, a storm hit just as I was about to catch my last ferry. The ferry was cancelled, leaving me stranded. With no other options, I camped in a derelict building near the port while the storm raged on.

Between Split and Dubrovnik, I found myself needing a pump late one evening in a rural village after mine broke. The first people I asked for help were high on meth and carrying machetes. Thankfully, they were helpful, but it made for a tense hour.
Crossing into Albania from Montenegro was an adventure. The road we were on, though newly paved, ended abruptly. I had to drag my bike through 2 kilometres of fields until I found a road to continue on. When I reached the port town at the end of Albania to catch a ferry to Corfu in Greece, all the ferries were done for the day. I ended up paying extra for a captain to take me to Corfu. Don’t ask me how I entered and exited the country. Haha. I will save it until I finish this journey.
In Albania, my bike tires finally gave out, falling short of my goal to last from Ireland to Athens by 500 kilometres. I had nine flat tires in a row, sometimes covering only 30 kilometres a day. Patching the tire often took hours. Once I reached Corfu, I bought new tires and wheels.

On one of my rides in Albania, I found nine puppies abandoned on the side of the road. Overwhelmed with emotion, I tried to save at least two of them. I carried them on my bike to the city of Fier, where locals informed me that there was no way to save them due to Albania's dog crisis. I spent the night in an abandoned house on the outskirts of the city with the puppies. The next morning, I pleaded with a neighbour to take care of them. Fortunately, he was a kind man and agreed to take the puppies, hopefully giving them a better life than if I had left them.

Screenshot 2024 05 29 at 16.09.42

Keeping myself energised, healthy and motivated

In my travels, I find joy in connecting with locals, who often exude happiness, infusing me with the energy to continue my journey.

My adventures typically lead me to embrace nature, where I delight in observing farm animals and breathtaking scenery, a constant source of stimulation that revitalises me.

Regular calls from family and friends mean everything to me; their concern and thoughts, despite the distance, provide a comforting reminder of the bonds we share.

Highlights, fun and meeting my family again

Montenegro emerged as a stunning destination, perhaps the most breathtaking I've ever encountered. Its landscapes occasionally transported me to Southeast Asia, offering views so surreal it was almost otherworldly to believe I was still in Europe.
The pinnacle of my journey was reuniting with my family in Dubrovnik. My parents, grandmother, and one of my sisters made the journey to visit me. Spending time with my 84-year-old grandmother in Croatia was surreal, considering she had vowed never to fly again, yet made an exception to be with me.
Exploring the historical narratives of these countries and understanding the struggles endured by their people has been truly enlightening. While it's one thing to read about them online, being there in person and listening to the locals' stories provided profound insights into their past, especially in the former Yugoslavian countries. Witnessing the enduring happiness despite years of conflict and devastation highlights the remarkable journey towards peace in the region.

Screenshot 2024 05 29 at 16.10.20

Countries to visit for the upcoming month

After departing from Athens, my next stop will be Izmir, Turkey, which I plan to reach by ferry. The journey across Turkey is estimated to take around three weeks, following a route south along the Mediterranean coast. From there, I'll venture towards the captivating region of Cappadocia in the heart of the country, before heading northeast towards the border with Georgia. Once in Georgia, my route continues into Azerbaijan, where I aim to catch a ferry from the capital city, Baku, across the Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan.

The Goal

Embarking on this journey has been no easy feat, but my driving force remains clear: to raise funds in support of North West Stop and Mayo Roscommon Hospice. With over two months behind us, we've already surpassed €16,000 in donations. Although our goal is €40,000, every contribution, no matter the amount, holds the power to make a meaningful difference.

I urge all of you to support in any way possible by visiting the donation page -CLICK HERE.

With each pedal stroke, I'm riding for you - my friends, family, and supporters.

Stay tuned for further updates; there's plenty more to come soon!

By: Fergal Guihen
Instagram: @rossie_to_aussie


Posted on 29 May 2024 by Fergal Guihen
Share This Article

Need anything?

First of all check out our FAQs section, it might just have what you need.

ROI +353 1 532 5441 | UK +44 2033227225 | NZL + 64 27 220 0494
[email protected]