Curiosity - the seed sprouts...
8 years ago, I was already listening with attention to the anecdotes of my friend, Peter, who had ridden his bicycle from Switzerland as far as Benin, in West Africa, during more than one year. His adventure appeared to me insane, rash and heroic at the same time. I was captivated by his stories, but did not imagine for a second that I could live such an experience.
Interest - the tree grows...
4 years ago, on April 18, 2002, I went to attend the conference of Claude Marthaler who presented for the first time the slide show of his 7 years cycling around the world. I returned somewhat distressed of this journey to the song of the wheels. I had the feeling like I had received a testimony of bright truth on a great part of the essential values of our world, such as non-violence, humility, respect, meetings, contact with nature, movement and effort. I devoured his book. At this time, I did not intend to live a similar adventure. I had returned from one year of travelling, backpacking in Southeast Asia. But, I said to myself: - if one day I were to set out again for a long travel, it would be with a bicycle -.
Passion - the fruit is green...
The years which followed saw my interest change, gradually, into real passion. I read several other books of bike travellers and enriched myself with their experiences. I regularly skimmed through Internet sites of the wandering bikers of the whole world and went back to attend Claude’s slide show 3 times again.
Decision - the fruit is ripe !
It is only in 2005 that the decision was made. The experience to be lived was worth it, I was convinced by it (and I still amJ).
Yes, but why ?
What constitutes the adventure; it is precisely the relationship between an assigned end, which is more or less certain, and the means to reach these ends which, then, are deeply dubious. The feeling of the unknown and discovery are recipients and thus nourish the exaltation of the extraordinary one. Finally, the adventure strongly develops the adaptabilities.
Put aside the athlete’s body that it forges me J... sport - digest of effort and suffering - gets me considerable psychological benefits: it stimulates confidence in me and my will by releasing the aggressiveness; it reduces the stress and the anxiety; it teaches me the acceptance of failure and perseverance; it oxygenates my brain; it gets a feeling of pleasure to me...
Sport what a pleasure!
This kind of travel gets a very great feeling of freedom. The watch is not really necessary anymore. The alarm clock is even less useful... You take the way of your choice. A small nap in the shade of a tree, after the meal of the semi-day: it is you who decide. Yes, obviously, if the weather is nice, it is betterJ
I am talking about the ability to ingest the spirit of other cultures, to have a cordial reception of the population, whose its heat is very often inversely proportional to its richness... The meetings are, in my opinion, the most intense moments lived in this kind of travel.
What happiness to be able to pedal on the most beautiful roads of the world, impregnating your eyes with amazing sights. The Silk Road in Central Asia, the Road of India, the Road of the Kings in Jordan or the Road of the Fjords in Norway. So many courses which oblige me to take the camera.
To be amazed in front of a Rafflesia flower in Indonesia. To put my tent under a Sequoia tree in California. To put myself in the shade of a coconut tree in Thailand. How to be sensitive to the beauty of the World's Plants ?
To cross the glance of a wild hog in African savannah. To share my meal with a cow in Calcutta. To be used as centre of blood transfusion by the Laotian mosquitoes. Here is what is waiting for me.
Whether they are cultural, social, economic, political, of gender, of race or species, the differences - paradoxically - attract me, enrich me and allow me to have a better comprehension of the world, as well as a greater tolerance towards all living beings.
Yes, but why with a bicycle ?!?
To go round the world by bicycle...
Simple, reliable, autonomous, economic, ecological, the “small queen” is also a fabulous factor of meetings and it makes it possible to fully feel the crossed landscapes and villages. Yes, I do agree, it’s also tiring... but, how good you feel after exercise!
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