Between 20th May and 24th november 2016, adventurer Tom Cooks cycled along the coast between Portugal and Turkey.
6 months, 3 days, 13 hours and 15 minutes of unsupported solo bike touring, collecting 3 traditional recipes from each of the 14 countries he crossed.
More than 12000km
He decided to quit his job as a programmer and walk for 1600km along the Santiago and Fatima pilgrimage routes, to reach Lisbon by foot.
After having lived there for some time, on the 20th of may 2016 he left the Portuguese capital to cycle from Lisbon to Istanbul.
Without any training, with an used beatup mountain-bike and a daily budget of 5 euro he crossed Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, France, Monaco, Vatican, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.
Thanks to the support of Finnish military surplus store Varusteleka and the help of strangers met on the road, he pedalled all along the Mediterranean coast for over 12233 kilometers.
Food and nomadism
The thematics of this adventure are two, necessarily linked to each other: cooking and travelling.
On one side the research of an authentic Mediterranean thread connecting the various cultures that face on the sea, rediscovering ancient recipes and comfort food on which the countries of southern Europe sustained themselves for generations, through wars and famine; on the other side the discovery, through slow travelling, of an underground network of nomads, vagabonds and homeless that strive, survive and sometimes die by the Mare Nostrum.
Thanks to the use of solar panels, using a bicycle and sleeping in a tent, this trip distantiates itself from the stronghold of gentrified tourism that's changing the Mediterranean: fishermen villages turned into tourist resorts, ancient hamlets becoming malls, secret bays covered in concrete and transformed at the expense of the local culture and the environment.
Rediscovering the territory, pedalling and sleeping on it, following the directions of locals living and working there, looking for what remains of an ancient and complex culture born between the doors towards the New World and the East.