Since we have been home, we are often asked the same questions over and over; however, every now and then someone comes up with a unique question that challenges us to reflect upon our journey in a different way. If you read this, please do not ask us what our favourite place is!
Question: “What is your favourite place?”
To chose from all the countries we visited, the countries we liked the most were Turkey and Thailand. Turkey was culturally rich and the people were wonderfully friendly. Thailand was also culturally rich and it was an easy place to be a traveller, making it an easy place to be when your are travel-fatigued.
Our favourite cities (not for biking) were Damascus and Rome, although we also felt that we could easily spend 2-3 weeks in Istanbul without seeing all there is to see there. Damascus is such an old city that it still feels like you are stepping back into history when you walk the streets. The Syrian people are friendly and if they see you with a camera will often pose and ask you to take a picture. Rome is a place that Becky feared because she had heard a lot of bad things about gypsies and getting robbed. We never felt unsafe wondering the streets of Rome at all hours of the day and night. There are so many neat fountains and churches, you could spend weeks there and not see the same church or same two ceiling frescoes.
Question: “Did you ever get sick?”
Yes, we each had various bouts of stomach sickness throughout the trip. This is expected when you are eating strange food all the time. We received some advice and antibiotics from our travel doctor at home before we left, that got us through most of our stomach woes.
Becky did get rather sick in Syria and Jordan. All the coal used in households for heating and cooking in Turkey and Syria caused her asthma to act up. She ended up with bronchitus in Syria and a lung infection in Jordan. In our experience, Syria has much superior health care to Jordan. In either case, if you are sick in either country and need to see a doctor, go visit a Christian or Islamic hospital – do not visit the state miliary hospital and avoid Egyptian doctors!
Question: “Now that you are back, what will you miss most about being on the road?”
This question was asked when we first arrived home, and we couldn’t answer it. Now that we have been back for a month, we have a better sense of what we are missing.
Becky is missing living outdoors. There is something about breathing fresh air all the time. It is much more difficult to wake up in the morning indoors. It makes her want to crawl back into bed. Becky remembers having a hard time sleeping in Turkey unless the windows were open. Our hosts thought we were odd to open the windows when the weather was cold, but Becky was so accustomed to the fresh air that she couldn’t sleep without the fresh breeze. Some nights, she finds she has the same problem at home.
Scott is missing the time spent contemplating on the bikes. We spent endless hours riding and there was never any pressure to contemplate any specific thing other than perhap where we were going to sleep that night or where we were going to get our next meal.
Question: “Have you gotten back on the bikes, or are you totally sick of them?”
We do not yet have a car, so often the bikes provided us with the most effecient means of transportation. That being said, winter seems to be approaching us earilier this year than in years past. We hope to have a car before snow on the ground makes cycling unsafe.
Unfortunately, we have not found the time and necessary weather such that we can enjoy a long ride on our recumbents; although Becky has been out to a meeting in Kanata (about 36 km round trip), and we have done a few rides downtown and back (about 60 km).
Question: “How far do you travel in a day?”
This changed throughout the different legs of our trip. When we look back at our distances for the beginning of the trip, we can’t believe how short our days were!
- Going around Lake Ontario average 76 km / ride day (16 ride days).
- Eastern Canada average 68.6 km / ride day (45 ride days).
- Europe and Middle East average 50 km / ride day (19 ride days).
- Southeast Asia average 64 km / ride day (46 ride days).
- Western Canada average 92.9 km / ride day (70 ride days).
Question: “What was the furthest you rode in a day?”
Our longest day by distance was 152 km from Prince Rupert to Terrace in British Columbia. Our longest day for riding time was 8 hours: the day we rode into Stonecliffe Ontario in the Ottawa Valley.
We rode over 100 km on 37 days (195 ride days total); the majority of which were ridden in Western Canada.