We were at the end of the trip, we came back in Thailand to take a flight to come back. Before we visited the ruins of Sukhothai, the former capital city. It looked like Ayutthaya but it was older. In Bangkok we took our stuff and we spent few days in Matthieu’s place to prepare our departure. The flight took of the 29th of February and we landed the 1st of March in Paris. We were looking forward to seeing our friends and our family!
Eleven months on the roads of Europe and Asia, we don’t regret anything. 13,000 km on bicycles, 20 visited countries and 5 punctures with 4 in Malaysia. We are won over by the bicycle touring. It presents for us some great advantages. We can fully enjoy the landscapes where we ride. We can take a break, enjoy the view or to take a picture easily, at anytime, and almost everywhere. We are easy to reach for the locals so we met spontaneously lot of people on the road. Our independence is very pleasant: it possible to take the road when we want, leave when we want and stop at anytime. From all of this we have a feeling of freedom!
We liked also the continuity of the path. We discovered, country after country a slow evolution of traditions, food, faces and landscapes. In opposite, when we crossed a border, we saw sometimes an amazing contrast! We significantly improved ourselves in history and geography. Before our trip, the “stan” countries or South-East Asia were a mess lost in the middle of nowhere. Now, each country has its own inhabitants, its own culture, its food, its relief, its climate and its neighboured countries. We learnt the history thanks to our researches and also from the locals. We were lucky to live some traditional events.
Before the trip, we had also some fears. Fanchon was afraid to not be strong enough. Gabriel was afraid about the difficulty of communication. From the first weeks, our fears disappeared. Fanchon was in good shape and she understood that she did not have to follow the trip but the trip went at her own pace. Gabriel saw that he was not so bad in English (better than most of people we met) and it might be very efficient to speak by gesture or drawing when people does their bit. We never felt unsafe and often safer than in France. Perhaps by good luck, we were never be in big trouble and we never had problem with our bicycles.
All along the trip, we enjoyed the local specialities, with maybe a little decrease in Tadjikistan where the food was not very various. We thought we will miss the bread: not at all! There was good and very good bread until China. In the “stan” countries, we had the pleasant feeling to be cut off from the rest of the world. We found there the lowest development and it was the place we were the sickest. In Europe and in Central Asia, we were touched by the hospitality of people. It was very pleasant because it broke the routine of the travel, we discovered a lot about the local habits. In South-East Asia, we missed this hospitality. Even with warmshowers, we often stayed in a secondary house or in a hotel, not very friendly. The country we probably liked the most is Turkey, we found it very complete. People are very nice and friendly, we could not say how many times we were invited to drink the tea. The food is very delicious, like in France each city has its own speciality: here baklavas, there black olives, here Iskander kebab… The landscapes are spectacular, especially in Cappadocia. The country is full of traditions, handicraft and history. There are a lot to discover!
Finally, we really want to thank every people who somehow helped us in our trip. Those who received, fed, gave a coffee, showed the route, encourage, pick up us, those who talked about their life, their family, their history or simply those who said hello on the road. Without them, the trip would be difficult or impossible and meaningless. We really hope to give in back, receive people, show our gastronomy and our beautiful country! We want also thank you, you who followed us on this website. We were very happy to share this trip. We hope to give the wish to travel to some people.
We are now back in the real life. This trip went like a dream. But we kept in our minds wonderful souvenirs. and not only in our minds by the way, there are also in our bags and above all in the womb of Fanchon. Yes you understand, we are expecting a little traveller for august.
In any case, we expect to hit the road again! Maybe… in few years. See you soon for a new season with new characters!