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Route Overview

overcast 21 °C

I took this map from Canterbury council's web page and made changes to show our route overview.

  • The red route is the Via Francigena, a medieval pilgrim's route from Canterbury to Rome. We intended to follow this initially but due to lack of good information on how bike-friendly it was we opted for something else.

  • Green is the hypothetical EuroVelo Route 5, from London to Rome&Brindisi. It doesn't exist yet, but we were able to use a lot of it as a framework.

  • Blue are the changes we've made.

olderoute.jpg

Posted by Tom.Calver 12:17 Tagged armchair_travel Comments (0)

From Cambodia...

overcast 32 °C

Mr. Togh is headmaster of the Volunteer Poverty Development Children's School, a position he took after the death of its co-founder and former headmaster Mr. Ratthana. This letter is an update of events in April:

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well. It has been a month since I last sent out an email to all of you, but I and the children still think about and miss you very much.

An update of events that took place in April

Student examinations

During April we had our monthly examinations to check how students are are going with their English studies. We found the results very useful and now have a clearer understanding of what our students needs are. Some students did very well in the examination, which was pleasing, and others students made little progress identifying a need for support. Overall, I am very happy with the progress of the students.

Offering school supply.

After the students were given their examination results we had a big celebration of giving school supplies to the students. The students were very happy and grateful for the school supplies (Books, pencils, pens, English books, rulers, and color paper). Please see the photos I have attached.

Celebrating the Khmer New Year

From 14th – 16th April the school celebrated the Khmer New Year. Students and teachers danced and sang to traditional Khmer music and played other traditional Khmer games. This was a very enjoyable few days for the children and teachers and it was a great opportunity to come together as a school. Please see the photos I have attached.

School Garden and Painting

During April students and teachers came together for two school projects. The first was making a school garden. From cutting the grass, cleaning the school grounds, to planting flowers, this was a very enjoyable experience. The school garden has many flowers, a coconut tree, mango tree and some other unknown plants students brought from their homes.

Also our school librarian/artist Mr. Mali Vam, alongside our students, decorated our school walls with paintings of many beautiful things. The school paintings have created a refreshing and exciting environment for students and teachers. Again, please see the photos attached.

Many students are coming to read and borrow books from our library to read at home. The students can borrow the book for three days and this has proven positive in promoting English at home.

Teacher training class

Our teachers are also currently receiving teacher training from Australian Cambodian Education (A.C.E).
ACE is a well respected provider in English education in Siem Reap and Cambodia. I would like to say a special thanks to Anjana and Ainslie for your financial support in covering the course costs for our teachers. It is a great way to help the children to get a quality education and bright future with VDPCS.

Computer Teaching Program

The computer teaching program has been very successful. The students are very interested with their learning through the computer. We have had the computers for three months now and have supported over 130 students in learning English through a new and exciting medium. Each month a new 45 students will take part in the program.

Raining Season

Raining season is coming up very soon in Cambodia. Even now we are beginning to see the start of the rain. As you may know Cambodia only has two season, dry and wet! We have had several days with downpours, and as a result, students have not been able to make it to school. And sometimes even when they do make it, the school it is often too wet and noisy with the metal roof.

Right now we are looking for donations for grass and bamboo covers to be placed on the classroom roofs. At present when it rains, the sound of the rain hitting the metal roof is very loud, so much so that the teachers and students are unable to hear one another. The grass and bamboo roof will hugely decrease the amount of noise created by the rain.

Looking for Donations

We are reaching out for more support for the running of the school to provide the best education for our students. We would greatly appreciate any support you are able to give us to help with these projects. If you are able to support us, please feel free to contact me by e-mail or phone.

I am Togh Main, school director, and will do my very best to help the children get a quality education and bright future. We would love to give special thanks for your ongoing support of the poor children of Cambodia. Together, I know that we are creating a positive change in the lives of our children.

Sincerely

Lots of Love

Togh and Children

Posted by Tom.Calver 08:49 Archived in Cambodia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Calais to Chiasso

The proposed route through Northern France, Belgium, Luxembourg, France's Alsace-Lorraine regions and Switzerland.

This has taken a looong time to do! It's split into separate sections because that's how we decided to do it, and it's easier to edit. We've mostly used RouteYou for any unsigned areas as we can upload the routes to GPSs later, and for ease of viewing. For some sections however they are so well signposted by national routes I've only linked the appropriate web page. Rivers and disused railways were the preferred methods of getting around as they can (usually) guarantee level terrain, but we know from experience that roads rarely stick to the water level so we usually end up having to meander up and down valleys anyway!

  • 1) Calais - St.Omer: This follows the Canal de Calais from our start point at Calais to the village of St.Omer 50k away.

  • 2) St.Omer - Lille: From St.Omer to the cities of Lille-Roubaix on the Belgian border.

  • 3) Lille - Mons: The original overview map we bought from EuroVelo suggested going to Belgium via Rhonse, but after mapping the route it seemed unnecessarily long, very hilly and would mean having to go through Brussels. After following another cyclist's suggestion, we've opted for taking the towpath which adjoins the Escaut river and bypasses the capitol all together in favour of Mons.

  • 4) Mons - Namur: Runs to the East through Southern Belgium (Wallonia) to link with Namur. Ther're rumours about a disused railway line which would save a lot of time having to go through Charleroi, although we can't even be sure it exists! I've put the most likely location on the map so we can look out for it when cycling.

  • 5) Namur - Martelange: This route doesn't even exist yet...the EuroVelo map suggested following a Belgian cycle Route known as RAVeL 2, even though this finishes 80km short of the Luxembourg border. After searching around we were able to find a proposed route for future development called RAVeL 6. After mapping the villages on the way we (think) this should be ok, if hilly.

  • 6) Martelange - Schengen: This follows the excellent existing Luxembourg cycle routes. We will follow paths 18, 17, 1, 11, 7, and 3, as well as some time off them.

  • 7) Schengen-Strasbourg, via Saint-Nicolas-de-Port: This is huge, and probably the section of the trip we're least confident about. Most people take the train to Strasbourg after cycling to Metz, but we've instead decided to cycle to Nancy following the Mosell river, then to Strasbourg from the Canal de la Marne au Rhin.

  • 8) Strasbourg-Basel: This follows the Rhine from Strasbourg to Basel, at the Swiss border. This section of the trip should be clearly signposted.

  • 9) Basel-Chiasso: Through Switzerland on Route 3 to our end point at Chiasso, on the Swiss-Italian border.

This is it for now, and could/probably will chance, but at least we know where we're going!

Posted by Tom.Calver 15:24 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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