As I begin to dig through the numbers, I need to know how many nights I spent in each country. I use nights for accounting because accommodation assumes the largest single daily expense. I originally estimated:
(spare time and magic here to arrive in Geneva August 19, and Pau after Sept. 1)
Northern Ireland: 4
Unexpected schedule changes included three days in Bulgaria sick in Sunny Beach, two days in Romania and three days in Austria replacing gear, and four days or so in France dealing with cultural differences. Overall I tracked closely to my actual schedule, much due to the increased distances made possible by the quality cycle paths after Bucharest, and my overall physical condition. I also occasionally used alternate transport early on to not lose time due to weather.
If nothing else, these numbers make me feel better about skipping forward in France to get to Ireland – I spent almost twice as long in France on this trip as almost any two other countries combined. Ireland comes in at greater than 60 days across trips, leaving France a distant second of about 33 days. I still feel the urge to return to Ireland. When people asked why I toured in Sweden in 2009, I usually answered, “Because otherwise I’d keep going back to Ireland”. Still true.
I would have liked more time in Hungary and Ireland, less in France. Looking back, historically I’ve toured three weeks at a time, but each of those trips loses a few days at the beginning and end getting used to touring, and finding my way home. Two weeks of actual touring in a country falls into the sweet spot for me. Good to know.