Yep, it’s a fact, we are back on the bikes! We had a great second stay and journey in Cambodia, but the time had come to go riding again. So, we put everything in storage again, took a night train from Holland to Munich, Germany and we just headed east. Central Europe is the destination this time. We have no set time, no rush, no plans to arrive somewhere. We’ll see what happens. Hope you will follow us again. Thanks for all your support and also great comments on our last post. We’ll hope to keep you posted more often as our ‘around the world’ journey continuous.
Elske is back in Cambodia, doing what she loves doing, teaching and hopefully inspiring young kids to lead a great life. Bauke will join in January for some more tastes of the Asian life and cultures. We didn’t bring our bikes this time, but the itch is already there. Elske misses hers, so who knows, maybe we’ll start pedaling again, or maybe not. We’ll see, we’ll go with the flow. Namaste!
Winter came sooner than later!!!
In August we arrived in Edmonton and we are still in Edmonton. So many things happened and one thing let to another, to another and another.
For example, Elske had a broken rim on the highway and we were rescued by the beautiful Tanner family in Radisson, we volunteered at the International Fringe Theater festival, camped out in a house garden (much better than the official city campground), met Sylvie who offered us a room in her house, we explored all the bike paths and second-hand stores of the city, Elske miraculously crashed with her bike and hurt her elbows and her camera, she also discovered she had family living here and met them, we went to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains with Sylvie and Gary, traveled around Alberta and discovered a lot of Dutch settlements and we helped out on a farm for a week. We mainly enjoyed life again without cycling from one place to another.
Winter is around the corner and we decided to go into a bicycle hibernation. What better place to do it so close to the Rocky Mountains? We cannot wait for our first downhill run!
Cycling Canada usually means cycling from the west coast to the east coast, because of the prevailing winds blowing from the west. Of course we did not know this (we don’t prepare that well I guess :-)), when we headed out towards the west. But the winds have been good to us so far, we’ve had a lot of tailwinds coming from the east, so it doesn’t really make a big difference which way one goes.
Cycling to the west also entails meeting a lot of cyclists going east and when we all of a sudden met 2 other guys going west, it was kinda special. We cycled and camped together for a few days and we were the posse, the Cycling Cowboys, the pioneers going west! Hee ha!
We like Canada. The landscape in Ontario looks like Scandinavia and made us feel at home. Manitoba and Saskatchewan gave us the flat lands and prairies with wheat, oats, flax and canola everywhere.
People are extremely friendly and open here, we’ve stayed again at amazing Warmshowers hosts and were invited to stay at our new friend James’ house for as long as we wanted. The hospitality is quite generous, but not only from Canadians, we met a Dutch family too with whom we shared a campsite site for a night. And we visited a Pow Wow, an Indian dance and music festival, where we met some great people.
We are in Saskatoon right now, in the middle of Canada. The next goal is Edmonton and then the Rocky Mountains. We have a few months left before the first snow arrives. We can’t wait!
We had heard plenty of times that it is impossible to cycle through the United States. The land is completely covered with interstates, highways, tollways and motorways. But no such thing is true of course. There are plenty of beautiful quiet country and back roads and there are rail trails, old train tracks converted into cycle paths. Until now we did not know there where so many of them. The few states we cycled through have all plenty of those trails, a few examples in Indiana and Michigan.
The trails took us along shores and lakes or through forests and the inland. Nice and quiet and no cars and trucks bothering us. At certain trails we saw a great amount of horse dung, because the tracks were shared with the Amish’ horse carriages.
In northern Michigan we had to cross the 5 mile long Mackinac bridge, but we couldn’t cycle it. Instead we had to call the bridge authority and they transported us in a pick-up truck for the amount of $5 per person. The bridge at the US-Canada border in Sault Ste. Marie is of the same type, but fortunately we were able to cycle across that one.
In northern Michigan again we stayed with several Warmshower hosts and we had a great time. It is such a nice way to meet people, share stories and get a lot of advice and tips about the areas.
During our 3 month stay in the United States we discovered that the country has changed a great deal since the last time we were here (3 years ago). People are suffering because of the bad economic circumstances, people are angry about what happened to them (they lost a lot of money or their houses, thanks to the failing and mismanaged banks). People are worried about the future, the economy, their happiness. We came across the following video through our friend Emily and we believe here is a solution for a new American Dream.
For now we say goodbye to the United States, we crossed the Canadian border yesterday.
We are riding again, we are back on our bicycles! Two months ago we almost decided to quit cycling and buy a car and travel with that across Canada. But we couldn’t do it. We discovered we are infected with the bicycle bug. It is in our veins and it is incurable. So, we found the wonderful bike shop Good Speed in the southern suburbs of Chicago and had our bikes fixed up with great new parts. The bikes are flying again.
And here we are in Michigan on our way north to the border! A few more weeks in the USA and then at least 3 months in Canada and who knows, maybe a bit longer.