Should I get a Bikepacking Trailer?

Tempting.

BEST of the bunch right now seems to be the BURLEY COHO XC SINGLE WHEEL SUSPENSION CARGO TRAILER.

I love the kickstand. It holds up the bike, as well.

Hike-a-bike will be tougher, for sure. I might want to avoid steep hills. This adds 20 pounds to your total weight. When cycling, however, you don’t notice the weight.

Expensive at U.S. $500. As little as $350 if you get a deal.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Here’s a HIKER who was initially dubious of whether he’s want to add this to his gear shed. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I need a MONTH in London

Once again I broke up long international travel with a stopover in London.

I enjoyed my days in June 2022. And again end of August 2022.

BUT it would take a month of dedicated research to really understand all the areas of the city. And to visit all the attractions.

This time I stayed at Wombats near the Tower Bridge so ended up spending more time on that section of the Thames. Especially in the evening.

Most of what I do is FREE — wandering the streets and parks. Something interesting around every corner.

I drop into one of the free museums most days.

There’s a lot of green space.

London is much finer with good weather.
Southwark Cathedral

There are many excellent street performers.

My favourite this time was Mex.fs, an acoustic lap tap/percussive guitarist.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Of all amazing and FREE museums in London, the V & A is perhaps my favourite.

So massive!

11 acres, 145 galleries, 7 miles of exhibits and 5 million objects.

It’s not easy to see David in Florence — but you can study an exact replica any time, any day in London. Free. No crowding.

In fact, this space at the V & A called the Cast Courts is perhaps the best. You’ll quickly be diverted from David to other astonishing replicas in those 2 galleries.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Another of my favourite exhibits is Tippu’s Tiger.

The ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in India had made a carved and painted wood casing representing a tiger savaging a near life-size European man. It moves and makes music.

I saw Mousetrap in London

The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie

.. opened in London’s West End in 1952 and ran continuously until 16 March 2020, when the stage performances had to be temporarily discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It then re-opened on 17 May 2021.

The longest-running West End show, it has by far the longest run of any play in the world …

Richard Attenborough was the original Detective Sergeant Trotter …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’ve been working my way through the Agatha Christie books.

Normally I don’t correctly guess the killer. But for Mousetrap I did get it right at intermission.

Shakespeare by Bill Bryson

Shakespeare: The World As Stage is a biography of William Shakespeare by author Bill Bryson

… The focus of the book is to state what little is known conclusively about Shakespeare, and how this information is known, with some discussion of disproved theories, myths, and that which is believed by the public but not provable.

It also explores the political, social, cultural and economic background to Shakespeare’s work. …

I read it while in London. Quite dry for Bryson, I thought. I would have liked more humorous anecdotes — whether or not they were true. 😀

The best section is Bryson debunking all the conspiracy theories that other authors actually penned his great plays.

Existing today are only 6 Shakespeare signatures, spelled differently. He took a lot of licence with spelling since it was the spoken word that mattered.

And only 3 images of Bill exist.

We tend to go with the Chandos portrait, which was the 1st work donated to the National Portrait Gallery, London. I went to try to see it summer of 2022 — but the Gallery was closed for renovation.

It’s most likely Shakespeare, but nearly nothing can be factually verified about the great playwright.

I also took the tour of Shakespeare’s Globe — a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre … as best can be guessed.

While on the tour a production was rehearsing. A new play based on Joan of Arc, but using the technology of the original theatre.

Shakespeare lived 1564 – 1616, a terrible time in London. Plague years.

It’s astonishing we think we know as much as we do about one of the most influential writers all-time. Plays at the time were not intended to be published. Happily, much of his work was saved.

Visiting Cambridge, England

I visited Oxford in 2018. Really enjoyed it.

So in 2022 I planned a trip to rival Cambridge. Home town of Pink Floyd. 😀

The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209. And even today the highlight of the small city are the Colleges.

Click PLAY or watch Rick Steves on YouTube.

As the Church ran education in the early centuries, there are plenty of Churches.

One place I really did enjoy was The Orchard Tea Garden outside of town.

On advice from a local, I had the FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST mess at Cafe 24. I ASSuME this is where Sir Isaac Newton broke fast. 😀

I do think it would be super inspiring to be a student here.

The libraries and bookstores are fantastic.

Cycling town I happened to come upon AstraZeneca. The British-Swedish multinational company has its Head Office here. Moderna has headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts so there’s a bit of symmetry.

Click PLAY or watch the tourist pitch on YouTube.

Described as one of the “most beautiful cities in the world” by Forbes in 2010, I personally found it frustrating to explore on foot and by bike. MUCH is locked down. Bicycles prohibited. Views limited.

Oxford is better for the tourist.

London – Notting Hill Carnival 2022

I happened to be in London during the Notting Hill Carnival, which had been cancelled the previous 2 years due to Covid.

Fun. Loud. Fragrant with the smells of cooking barbecue.

Dancing. Drinking.

I particularly like how ANYONE with any kind of body and any kind of costume is welcome to join in the parade. Very body positive.

Saturday is the family friendly parade. Plenty of activities for kids.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

No anger or violence that I could see. Of course there’s a large police presence — all very friendly.

… an annual Caribbean festival event that has taken place in London since 1965 … each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday).

It is led by members of the British Caribbean community, and attracts around two and a half million people annually, making it one of the world’s largest street festivals, and a significant event in British African Caribbean and British Indo-Caribbean culture. …

Everyone welcome. If I’d put on my make-up, costume and peacock headdress, I’d have fit right in. 😀

My only previous experience with Carnival was in Colonia, Uruguay in 2018.

related – Notting Hill carnival 2022 – in pictures

My Food in Norway

EVERYTHING is expensive in Norway. 😕

For the most part, I ate supermarket food. Cooked in a hostel or on my camping stove. SPAR was by far my favourite chain. They have grocery stores in 48 nations.

SPAR is the only chain that always has hot deli food, often discounted by 50% late in the day. As everywhere, rotisserie chicken is the best value food in Norway. At least for me.

SPAR sells a low-cost brand called “First Price which is often WAY cheaper than name brand alternatives.

The most recommended (lower priced) seafood in Tromsø was the Dragoy Fish and Chips restaurant. I tried both these two meals for about US $21 each. OK — not great. And not worth the price.

Cod Burger
Crab Burger

I asked for something local, traditional at another restaurant — and got this … something like meatloaf with an egg on top.

My favourite restaurant meal was reindeer stew. This glass of wine was the only booze I had in Norway. Beer is everywhere, including grocery stores. Wine not all that popular.

To be fair, I don’t like restaurants anywhere unless I’m socializing with other people.

Happily, Diet Coca-cola is not expensive in Norway, IF you buy 4 bottles at a time. And I’m OK with that. 😀

Weirdly, many hostels did not have a toaster. Gourmands of my class only require kettle, microwave … and a toaster.