The Spoked Traveller | Melanie Chambers
Trails and advice cycling around the world as solo female cyclist and adventurer
mountain bike, adventure travel, cycling travel, bike tours, outdoor, solo travel, female mountain biking, badass female cycling, female travellers, women travel, adventurous
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Author: Melanie Chambers

Ramona stares out the window and pauses before answering my questions about The Craftsman Restaurant that is going on 26-years-old in December. It's a cottage country institution and she's ruminating about how things have changed since the beginning. (Located on highway 28 South in Paudash-- the small town just before Bancroft). Breakfast: smoked salmon burrito with capers and homefries. Drool.

I know more about Italy's culture and hiking than I do about my own backyard. So, I am heading north: drive to Tobermory, take the two hour Chicheemaun ferry to Manitoulin Island then Killarney Park to hike two "difficult" trails: The Crack (6km) and Proulx Lake (12km). But more than that I am jumping into Tom Thomson turf. Thomson is an iconic Canadian landscape painter--who was never a member of the famous Group of Seven--little tid bit I learned. Thomson died a mysterious death in Algonquin Park. He drowned, but the circumstances surrounding it are still undiscovered. Just began reading, Tom Thomson, Artist of the North, by Wayne Larsen. In the next week, I will post pictures of my adventure up north; as well, I will outline where to find info if you're considering the same Canadian voyage.

I love the cafe culture in Bosnia and nowhere is this more alive than the old town in Sarajevo. I went back to the same pizza place two nights in a row to people watch. As I finished off my second glass of red, the blond waitress brought me over a third: "this is on us." I found out she was from Zagreb-- in my opinion already a really cool city. "This city is so alive and creative," she says.

I was feeling a bit lost when I returned to Kalpic in Croatia. Travelling alone for almost two and a half months gets to a girl after a while. I had already gathered enough research in Istria, northern Croatia, for a few stories so the last week was open. "Sarajevo is such a mix of cultures," says Ivana.  I booked one night; it turned into three. I have never been to a place that has effected me more. I will try to explain why. The Old Town called Bascarsija.

In a quiet cathedral in Sorrento Italy, 5-year-old Harry Poitras drops to his knees in the pew, clasps his hands, and prays: “Please God, make there be something besides spaghetti and pizza on the menu.” Luckily, gladiator school, biking in Borghese Park in Rome, making homemade pasta and playing in seaside playgrounds make Italy an affordable and historical trip with bambinos.

ok--sorry for delay. Having too much fun. Forgive me. Since I last posted, I have biked the highest mountain in southern Croatia (St. Juve 1,700 meters in Biovoko Park);         Along the paved road 23 kilometers of steep switchbacks, which took me THREE HOURS, there are stone homes from about 1,000 years ago--farmers. Amazing.