Nethope Tour 2019

During the ride, I managed to shoot a lot of film using my GoPro Hero 7. I have now compiled this short 5 minute video of some of the ride.

This year, Sharron and I have set a big challenge to ride from London to Gibraltar via Africa! We will be setting off from Buckingham Palace on the 20th August, 2019.

Our 1400 mile (2240KM)route  takes down to Portsmouth and then through  France and Spain to Ceuta and then back North to Gibraltar.

We do not have an expensive support team. What we need we have to carry. We are covering all costs such as hotels and our flights back. So all money raised will go to Nethope. You can donate here!  

So why Nethope?  This organisation is a not-for-profit membership organisation which has a technology focus. Nethope is supported by over 50 organisations such as Save the Children, Oxfam, Plan International and many more.

Nethope runs its own field programmes and disaster response teams. For many years, Nethope has deployed teams to set up internet connections and communications systems following major disasters. This technology in recent years have made a massive difference to the communities affected by disaster. Restoring communications is an essential part of any response as it enables the following activities:

  • Reunification of separated families.
  • Continuation of education in temporary schools
  • Communities can share essential information with NGOs about what urgent help is needed.
  • The Aid sector can coordinate responses more efficiently using Nethope services.
  • Other services such as health care can be delivered more easily.

Once we are on the road and rolling down to Gibraltar, we will be posting daily updates to this site. So please follow us and feel free to comment on our posts. But most importantly, please support Nethope.


Mark & Sharron.

Nethope is doing some great to re-connect Syrian refugees. Click here to read more. 

The daily routine of riding and finding hotels sometimes makes it difficult to find time to write up a blog. Especially as our attempt to sell a house failed within the first days of the tour.

The first week has been great, but a lot tougher than previous rides. Opportunities to train were limited due to our disrupted routine (due to house move, work travel and UK bad weather). But the first week is fairly flat and we have both managed to get into the riding routine.

The first week of riding took us from Buckingham Palace (sadly the queen was not there to see us off), then to the Greyhound in Thames Ditton, Portsmouth (for the ferry to St Mal0), then down through France staying at some nice hotels in Redon, St Philbert, Lucon, Soulac Sur Mer, Arcachon and Leon Lac where we are taking a day off!

So, here are the maps and pictures!

Leaving for France on the Ferry

First coffee stop in France at Dinan.

Kommot navigation app took us down a rough track. Luckily it was not too long!

The second day takes us from Redon to St Philbert. We crossed the Loire along the way.

River crossing – Bikes do not float!

Misty start to the day, but good for riding.

Sharron trying to make wine in the olde way.

A beer called “Hard Cock” Oxymoron?

Day 5 takes me down memory lane as I have been to Soulac many times before. Last visit in 2013 and passing through just like this trip. Next time I would like to spend longer here.

Tents being erected for the beach goers in Soulac, just like they were during my first visit in 1979.

Archachon has quite an interesting sign when you enter – all 3D!

The route to Leon Lac for a stop.

and finally the view from the bedroom 🙂

In previous years I have written daily updates. With two of us travelling, its more sociable not to spend every evening on a computer 🙂

As I write this, Team Nethope is heading off to the Bahamas which has been hit by a very powerful hurricane. Our fundraising effort for Nethope is already ringfenced for disaster responses and field programmes and with a real time emergency response underway, its more important now that we bring in money to help the team to make a massive difference to the people affected by the recent hurricane. So a big shout out to my friend Dag from Iceland who is starting the great work.

Please use this link to donate –

So… now the story of the past week. Since leaving France, we have pushed well into Spain. We have five more days riding before we reach the very southern part of Spain!

Day 8 – Into Spain

Riding starts out flat and then its the hills.

In the Southwest of France there are many miles of former rail track converted to cycle track. This part takes us south from Leon Lac.

After a few days of flat riding, we are finally rewarded with some lovely hills!

If you enter Spain on one of the back roads, you will see the old border post which is no longer used.

Early morning in the hills!

Morning sun at Larraga.

Weather still great and here we have a great view after a small climb.

This is day 10 and we encounter our first bit of rain. We managed to escape most of it by hiding under a tree!

Day 11 kicks off with some climbing. The hills are getting easier now as fitness levels improve 🙂

After the climb,some fast downhill with great views.

The clouds built up again on day 11, but luckily we were at the hotel by the time the evening rains arrived.

Day 12 and sunny again. Busy road!

One of many castles along the way!

Hotel for the night is amongst the logistical warehouses. But nice room and a great cheap restaurant nearby.


Powering up a nice hill.


After a day off we are back on the road.

We covered the 60 miles today very quickly, but the first 8 miles was super slow. This road surface definitely worse than the pitiful Surrey standard.

This is a big milestone for Sharron. Last year we cycled to where we are tonight which means that over the two tours that Sharron has cycled all route between London and Gib. In a few days she will be able to say that she have cycled the whole route in one go.

The ride is complete for 2019!  We have covered just over 1300 miles since leaving London in the UK. A big thank you to those have sponsored us by donating to Nethope.

The final days had some challenges with my bike. Tyres wore thin and I think I had six punctures – most within the Algeciras & Gib area. A combination of thin tyres and gritty roads!

Nearly there…. moving down the cycle path through La Linea to the rock

This is the view of Gib from about 30 miles away up in the mountains. Photobombed by Random Horse!

The Miguel hotel in Ronda is really good – Nice view of the famous bridge from our window!

Another great view between El Chorro and Ronda

El Chorro -Really an amazing national park

Roads not always the best!