First sigh, the end of the trip

Mendoza, Argentina, late morning, the sky is overcast and a cold wind is blowing from the north. In front of us, a climb of 200 km to reach the pass of Christ Redemptor at 3,200m above sea level, to find the ocean and the way back. This is the end, the last great test of the trip. This is our last chance to go beyond our ultimate limit because up there, in the snow lies, is hidden our inner border.

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Bolivia : crossing the world’s largest Salt Flat

We mostly crossed Bolivia by bus. After having lost our time by searching a way on asphalted roads, after having been the witnesses of the dangerous bolivian driving, we finally decided to get the Uyuni Salt Flats by local transports. Crowded from the trunk to the roof, running at speed on earth roads, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, the motorized mastodon suddenly stopped its way because of the explosion of one of its wheels. We got Salinas de Garci Mendoza, the village at the desert’s gates, at 3 am. Our only solution was to camp for few hours under the kiosk of the village square. And that’s what we did.

The rest of the story is by Brompton. Continue reading

Canada, USA – The adventure size XXL

I like how easily Americans can go talking to strangers. In the street, at the supermarket, at red traffic lights and even sometimes under the shower… It’s great to not have these barriers we can meet in western Europe.

Actually, it’s a « win-win » philosophy, as we’ve been explained by Mathieu, our lovely French host in San Francisco. You intrigues me with your bike, I come to speak with you. You’ve necessary something to teach to me. The Other carries a knowledge, or at least, an answer to a question. In Nepal or China, we talked about « white watching », here, we’re dealing with « foreigner talking ».

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So much expected (and unexpected) Japan

Japan was the must-see destination of our trip. We can’t wait to dive in this so fascinating and far universe. And the Japanese culture is as wide and unique as what we expected.

First, the roads in Japan are well maintained and safe : drivers are very desciplined. Going fast is not their main goal. That said, however people take his time on the road, there is no question to arrive late at an appointment. That is what you should strongly avoid, as well as eating while walking or blowing your nose in public. Arriving on time in Japan means arriving earlier. Being there at the agreed time is already being late…

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Feeling like home in South Korea

OK, so, South Korea, what does it look like?

Take an unsharpened pencil and draw a tiny peninsula hanging from the right side of China. Divide it into two units. The north side good friend with Russia. The other, good friend with America. You add nice green mountains, not so high. You draw some oaks, cherry trees, red pines and traditional houses full of coquetry, especially on its roofs.

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Thailand, a paradise for bike touring

From Kunming (China), we flew to Bangkok to solve a technical problem : Anthony’s Shimano hub broke on Chinese roads because of… overweighting and an occasional use of the Brompton as a 4×4 added to normal wearing.

When we arrived in Bangkok, we immediately suffered from the ambient stifling moisture. On human terms, we went back into a particularly warm world. A soothing warmth this time.

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The other reality of the trip

For already 3 days, I’m laying at the bottom of the hotel bed, in a charmless Chinese city. The cause : an umpteenth food poisoning. Caroline is killing time by updating the blog.

Please read here the description of the other side of our everyday life ; when the light of touching meetings and the wonderful lively times disappear and the other reality of the trip submits the man on transit. Continue reading