I remember thinking how easy my partner and I had it, when we were travelling as a couple in central asia. Here we were, making our way through remote areas in the Stan’s in the comfort of our car, as we passed travellers on push bikes. In one instance, we were about to cross a 4700m pass along one of the highest roads in the world in Tajikistan, when ahead of us, with his head bent, tucked low into his shoulders and shielding his face from the icy cold winds was a French bike rider attempting the same…. you know what I thought… CRAZY!! However, he wasn’t the only one… during our travels we have seen and met lots of pushbike riders. A lone female Australian bike rider, riding from China to Krygstan also tops the list. Other crazy bike riders we have met include;
- two french cyclists riding from Australia to France – gosh they were in need of some good rest and fattening up
- push bike riders in Patogonia. On the Chilean side, they are tormented by dust, rocky and steep roads and huge march flies and on the Argentian side – flat dry roads with scarce water and food supplies
But bike riders aren’t the only crazy ones, we met a dutch traveller in 2007 who had been travelling the world for 8 years sleeping in the back of his 4 wheel drive (even in cities!), and then quite by accident we bumped into him again in 2012 in Argentina at a petrol station – STILL going!!! During that time, we had been home getting married, having babies and doing that sort of normal thing.
We met a guy riding his horse en route to Kabul, Afghanistan – we don’t know if that’s more stupid than crazy! We also met a young traveller from China who had not only made it to Kabul Afghanistan but spent his two weeks there accepting invitations by generous local families who took him in. As he said, it made perfect economic sense… He was also determined to visit Turkey even after 3 visa rejections from Immigration… we had to applaud him for his stubborn persistence – after all we met him in Istanbul!!
We’ve met motorbike riders and hitchhikers from around the world. We even thought we were being hardcore, travelling as a family with young kids and also met others doing the same. I’ve read lots of inspiring stories about families and people who are having all sorts of amazing travel adventures – sailing around the world, crossing continents riding on push bikes and walking.
BUT then in South America we really met the most hardcore traveller of all…… a 27 year old North American mum travelling as a single mother with her 2 year old daughter (travelling from the time her daughter was born –in fact, her daughter was born on her travels!), and that’s when I said to myself….now that’s HARDCORE!!!!