Maps and Stats

2022 Europe by Bike

2022 Europe by Bike





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Dominica, Roseau, 08 – 11 May 2023

Barbados to Roseau – Barbados airport is more like a regular airport but the Check-in is still open air. Once inside the airport it is air-conditioned with duty free shops and a food court. Immigration does not stamp your passport coming in or going out. Another 30 seat Embraer 120 with only about 10 passengers, which this time left about 20 minutes early. Once all the passengers are on the aircraft they leave, as these are not busy airport they do not have to wait for their turn, just go, very refreshing,  hahaha. The airport is on the opposite side of the island to the Capital Roseau and you have to cross the mountains in the middle to get there 46 km took 1:10 hrs over some narrow winding roads in the dark and it cost US$80, the most expensive taxi ride so far. I learnt afterwards the fare is EC$200 which works out to US$75.

The currency is back to EC$ and this place is even smaller and poorer than St.Lucia, narrow streets and there are no traffic lights in the whole country of 71,000 people. I bought a Digicel SIM 3 days for EC$15 and for the first time noticed that it is very slow 3G or less. The water is drinkable, there is one big modern supermarket, the Cruise port is tiny and there are beggars hanging around asking for a handout. I did find some very nice craft beer, made in St.Lucia of all places hahaha. There is a small and quite interesting museum entry EC$8 and there is a nice restaurant next door called the Palisades where you can sit on the balcony and sip a Pineapple and Ginger juice.

Dominica Photos


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Barbados, Bridgetown, 03 – 07 May 2023

Saint Lucia to Barbados – The Saint Lucia airport has its Check-in located outdoors and when I arrived it started to pour, well at least these guys have a printer for the Boarding Passes and the Luggage tags. Another small aircraft 30 seat Embraer 120, these small aircraft are very convenient, no long queues anywhere and you pick your own seat. Each passenger was escorted to the plane by airport staff carrying an umbrella as it was still raining. Barbados airport is a modern airport and the largest so far. There is a taxi despatcher and the fares are regulated so you will not get ripped off.

Barbados is the most developed and the most expensive island so far with many resorts and independent tourists. They also have organised group tours and all the other conveniences you would expect from a tourist destination. They have many beaches as the island is comparatively flat. I bought a Digicel SIM card 3 days for BB$15 (US$7.50), other islands the same SIM costs US$3.50. Minibus costs BB$3.50 (US$1.75) other islands around $1. They also have big busses but there are not many of them. The water is drinkable another first.

I went for a tour around the island with Williams Tours, professional and organised. There is a Boardwalk along the beach with some art at the end which is very nice. Once again the climate is hot and humid.

Barbados Photos


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Saint Lucia, Castries, 29 April – 02 May 2023

Saint Kitts to Saint Lucia – The flight was scheduled for 0700 hrs and I arrived at the airport at 0500 hrs which is the time it opens. The doors were open but there was nobody around, staff started turning up at around 0520. Checked in and had to pay US$10 for my checked suitcase which should have been paid for but apparently LIAT airlines only takes payment at check-in. I was issued with a hand written boarding pass and baggage label. Immigration next and then Security where the guy opened my backpack and everything in it, he even peered into my coin change purse which is about 2×3 cm hahaha, a complete idiot, he is supposed to be looking for sharp objects and explosives. They did have an x-ray scanner as well. He could only get away with it because there were no other passengers waiting. I read a similar comment online from a woman who had the same experience and objected to the fact that he took her credit cards out of her wallet and examined them and she did not want his germs on them hahaha. There were only about 20 passengers and the aircraft which was a turbo prop ATR 42-600 can hold 50 passengers. There were already a few passengers on board so we were one of its hops. Finally took off at 0740, you soon learn that airline schedules in this area are only guidelines.

I arrived in Basseterre the Capital on a Saturday, on Sunday everything is closed and Monday was a Public Holiday and the only places open were Dominos and KFC so I could at least get something to eat. On Tuesday I did a minibus circuit of the island stopping at a couple of places along the way. This is the poorest island so far, no cruise ships at this time of the year and the cruise terminal was not impressive, very mountainous with a few roads winding through them, tropical jungle and a few beaches with resorts. This is also the first island that I encountered beggars, they just walk up to you and ask for money, sometimes being quite specific. When I was walking into a supermarket one guy said he wanted me to buy him a tin of tuna, bread, and a few other things and he was waiting for me when I came out and asked if I had his shopping hahaha.

I had a very nice modern air-contioned apartment on a cliff with views of the airport and harbour so I did not mind spending my time reading and looking out of the window. The weather as usual was hot and humid. I bought a Flow SIM card 5 days for EC$30. Minibus rides EC$2 for around town, more for longer trips.

Saint Lucia Photos


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Saint Kitts and Nevis, 22 – 28 April 2023

Antigua to Basseterre, Saint Kitts (officially known as Saint Christopher and Nevis) – the flight was on a large British Airways Boeing 777-200 which travels from Gatwick to St.Kitts with a stop in Antigua. The travelling time from take off in Antigua to landing in St.Kitts was 18 minutes. This is the shortest International flight I have ever been on hahaha. After we landed, the aircraft just stopped on a vacant part of the tarmac and we went down the steps and walked about 400m to the Terminal building, there are no boarding passageways at this airport or busses.  Taxi fares are regulated, as you exit the airport there is a Taxi Booth on your right where you book a taxi with a fixed fare depending on where you are going. Once again many of the prices you see are in US$ so always make sure to ask “EC or US” ? as EC$2.7 = US$1.00. I already had EC$ so no need to look for an ATM. I bought a Digicel SIM card 7 days with Data, Calls and SMS for EC$35, so far all the SIM cards I have bought started working within 5 minutes and I never had any problems with them. Similar to Nassau and Antigua public transport is by van or minibus, cost EC$2.50 or US$1.00 a ride. Sunday everything is closed and the minibusses are few and far between.

I visited Nevis by Ferry EC$31 each way, 30 minutes on a fast boat and 40 minutes on a slow one, Ferries leave about every half an hour or when they have enough passengers. Alexander Hamilton, one of the USA’s founding fathers was born on this island and the Museum is located in what was once his house.

I tried to find a tour around the St.Kitts but none of them were operating, they need a minimum number of bookings as did the Scenic Railway. Then while I was hanging around Port Zante which is the cruise port a taxi driver showed me a map and said he could take me around the island and show me all the sights for US$80 plus tip (US$15), half a day tour. This is a bargain because exclusive use of a taxi from a tour operator is around $240. We started at 10:00 AM and finished just after 13:00, very interesting especially Fort Brimestone, excellent restoration and the best one I have seen so far on this trip. There are also two Medical Colleges and one Veterinary College on St.Kitts. The Cruise tourists hang around Basseterre which is where the port is located but the Resorts are all around Frigate Bay. Surprisingly there is a population of around 300,000 monkeys on the island.


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Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John’s, 18 – 21 April 2023

Santo Domingo to St.John’s, Antigua was on a 30 seat Embraer 120 with a stop at Tortola, British Virgin Islands, uneventful with a few bumps, to be expected of a small aircraft. I used Uber to get to the airport and it came to US$21 vs the US$40 using an Airport taxi when I arrived. The Santo Domingo airport is modern with restaurants and money changers. The Antigua airport is small, taxi fare to the town is regulated and US$25, a 10 minute drive, no Uber here. I tried a few ATM’s and they were limited to dispensing a maximum of EC$500 which is less than US$200 until I found the East Caribbean Amalgamated Bank which allowed me to take out EC$2000. It is located on the corner of High Street and Market Street in the heart of the town. The East Caribbean dollar is used by Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat. These states are all members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Credit cards are widely accepted. I bought a Digicel SIM card for 3 days 5GB plus calls and sms for EC$20.

This is a small island similar to Nassau but is not as popular with the Cruise ships, I only saw two in the four days I was there. Peak season in the Caribbean is between Christmas and New Year when all the Islands have Carnivals. The port and the area surrounding it has all the shops and restaurants, the rest of the town is well worn. Weather is around 30c and very humid. This island was used to grow sugarcane, no pirates here and English Harbour was Nelson’s port of choice.

There is also a magnificent Cathedral whose exterior is in poor condition but the interior is completely panelled in wood, quite extraordinary.

I went on a day trip to Barbuda on the ferry 90 minutes each way and the fare is US$107 return. It regularly gets demolished by hurricanes, the population is around 1,600 people. It is best known for the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. When you arrive at the Pier in Barbuda there are only a few taxis waiting nothing else. You have to negotiate with them to take you where you want to go on the island. Lucky for me a group of three people saw me looking around and invited me to join them. They had already agreed to pay US$160 and the driver said I could come along for an additional $20. At the end of the trip I wanted to share the cost between the four of us but they refused and I only finished up paying $20. Thank you for inviting me and for your kindness. Having company is always a bonus.




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Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, 08 – 17 April 2023.

Kingston to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was a complete circus hahaha. First the Kingston airport is not air-conditioned and with no breezes it is like a sauna. I was on a flight with what appeared to be about a hundred pilgrims from a village in the Dominican Republic returning home. They were all dressed in matching colourful T-shirts and would break into prayer and song every once in a while in the departure area, when they were not praying or singing they were all talking at the same time very loudly. Finally we board the aircraft and sit there, departure time came and went, then there was a roll call and more sitting, the praying and noise continued. After an hours delay the Captain announced that 20 passengers who had checked in were missing and they had to offload their baggage from the hold and all cabin luggage would have to be searched for a Bomb. The baggage handlers turned up with their trailers ready to offload and the cabin crew opened all the overhead bins and then there was a commotion and the 20 missing passengers turned up to the joy of everyone and the noise was deafening, clapping, cheering, praying, hugging and as a bonus a Sermon. We eventually left 90 minutes late around midnight. The flight was only 1:10 hrs but when we got closer to Santo Domingo we flew into bad weather and a very bumpy ride accompanied by screaming and praying hahaha. We had to circle until the thunderstorm subsided and then landed with the rain flying horizontally across the windows. There was a standing ovation to the Almighty from the audience. The baggage took ages to arrive and it was wet and then we had to queue up to put it through a scanner with the Customs Officer playing with his phone instead of watching the monitor. In retrospect it is funny but at the time it was past 01:00 in the morning and I just wanted the nightmare to end. The taxi from the airport to the city costs US$40 and it is quite a distance. I bought a Claro SIM card, there is a shop on El Conde the main pedestrian only tourist street for $6 for 5 days / 5GB and did a recharge 5 days later for $3 for another 5 days. Uber is available here and you can go just about anywhere for less than US$5. Credit cards are also accepted in most places.

Santo Domingo with a population of over 3 million was a surprisingly modern city. To quote Wikipedia “The Dominican Republic has the largest economy (according to the U.S. State Department and the World Bank) in the Caribbean and Central American region and is the seventh-largest economy in Latin America. Over the last 25 years, the Dominican Republic has had the fastest-growing economy in the Western Hemisphere with GDP growth in 2014 – 2016 averaging over 7%. Income inequality, for generations an unsolved issue, has faded thanks to its rapid economic growth. The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean.”

The main attraction for tourists in Santo Domingo is the old Colonial City, a world heritage site, which houses the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built in the Americas. They also claim to have some or all of the bones of Columbus in a mammoth Memorial called Faro de Colon. CC’s bones are also located in the Sevilla Cathedral in Spain.

There are 2 modern Metro lines with escalators and a Cable car (Teleferico) which is not a tourist attraction but part of the Public Transport Network. The Teleferico passes over shanty towns where the shacks are so close together that there is no room for vehicles, it is modern and the cars are continuous, no waiting and takes about 30 minutes each way, a very good idea. The Malecon is a very nice sea front walk about 5 kilometers long though the best walks are in Genoa called the Corso Italia and the  Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi which is in a class of its own.

The people in Nassau and Jamaica drove on the left, spoke English and were mainly of mixed African descent but the people in the Dominican Republic drive on the right, speak Spanish and are predominantly of mixed Spanish descent.

I got a stomach bug here and had to take antibiotics which I carry with me as a precaution to get rid of it.



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Jamaica, Kingston, 03 – 07 April 2023

Short uneventful flight from Nassau to Kingston, Jamaica. There is a taxi desk at the airport and fares are fixed at US$30 to the Downtown area, an extra $3 if you want to pay by card. There is an ATM just outside the entrance to the Airport and I withdrew cash from there. I bought a SIM card from a Digicel shop for US$5 good for 3 days and after 3 days the recharge for another 3 days cost US$4. There are other plans for longer periods. I was taken to the Digicel shop by a hotel employee and when I took my phone out to check Google Maps as I do all the time, he quickly said “Put it away”. Then he stood with his back to a wall, looked around to make sure nobody was close to him and then he took out his phone. That is how you do it, he said other wise you risk someone on a bike or a runner snatching the phone. The most useful thing I carry with me is my phone and it would be a nuisance if it was stolen.

Kingston is divided into the Downtown and Uptown areas. Downtown is a mess and not considered safe by the locals, shops and restaurants are behind cages. Uptown is clean and tidy and has nice restaurants and Shops. This is not a tourist destination, they all go to Montego Bay on the other side of the island. I booked a tour to Trench Town, the slum where Bob Marley grew up and no one turned up. I had to call Viator in LA and they could not get hold of anyone in the tour company and gave me a refund.

I finished up getting a Taxi to the Trench Town Cultural Centre and they have various one on one guided tours by a local. I took the longest one that cost US$40, an interesting place especially considering the talent that has emerged from the poverty. Make sure you fix the cost of the taxi ride before you leave, taxi rates are painted on the outside of the taxi or you will get charged double like I did hahaha.

The Hotel owner was very kind and took me to the Bob Marley museum and we spent another half a day driving around the Uptown area. Taxis on the street are not recommended, you have to get your hotel to book a taxi from a reliable source. I walked to the Museum which is very small but interesting and the Art Gallery which was the best place I visited in Kingston. I also found Water Lane which is covered in Murals, watch the videos. All of this was in the downtown area during the day time. Apparently it becomes dangerous after dark which is why only restaurants and shops that are open after dark have cages around them. English is the official language though the people speak a pidgin English mixed with a helping of Creole hahaha. The people are polite and friendly and if you wish a complete stranger (no matter how they look) Good Morning they will respond in kind. The accent takes a little getting used to as they talk very fast. One thing they do not have here is the compulsory 15-20% Service charge added to the bill in restaurants.