As I have been posting on Facebook, I was having a great ride through France, when I started to develop toothache, which may require treatment lasting for some weeks. It was difficult enough finding a dentist willing to see me in France: I went to the dental hospital in Clermont-Ferrand in the end. They advised me that if got any worse I would probably need root canal treatment. That takes time, which would have eaten into the 90-day Schengen allowance if I had tried to get it done in France. So reluctantly, I have come home for a while, but left my bike and baggage at a friend’s house in Paris. As soon as this problem is fixed I plan to return and re-start the ride.
This is what I have done so far. I took a train from Le Creusot to Paris and will return by train, possibly a bit further East to gain some time.
Under my original plan, I was going to spend 90 days in non-Schengen countries, particularly Croatia, before continuing to Greece, but if this treatment takes some weeks, that could delay my return home to December or January, which I don’t want. So instead, I will try to reach the Croatian border with some of my 90-day allowance in hand. Then I should be able to cross the non-Schengen countries at my leisure, spend a few days in Greece then head home by ferry and rail. It was all so much simpler before Brexit…
I should add that it has been a great ride apart from all that. I have ridden through some beautiful places, along the chateaux of the Loire, for example, and stayed with some really interesting people.
I will be writing about all this for Cycle Magazine, and I have also written an article for Celtic Life about the first of several Iron Age sites I am planning to visit: Gergovie near Clermont-Ferrand.