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The Adventure is Over: What Lies Ahead

STATUS REPORT: We will very soon be leaving South East Asia. After that comes English speaking countries (or at least countries in which they do their best at it). And with them come Caucasian faces, Western food and the familiarity of countries in which we've either lived or spent time. The adventurous part is over. No it isn't! What poppycock. There is plenty of adventure ahead for us. We still have to fa ...

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Comparison of Bivi Bags

This article gives a detailed comparison of all the best and most common bivi bags available. I have been a lover of the bivouac for years and with the recent interest in microadventures, now seemed like a good time to give some guidance on which bivi bag you should buy. Below are a basic buyer's guide, brief reviews of 12 basic and hooped bivi bags, and 'The Ultimate Bivi Bag Comparison Table' with size, w ...

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Everything you ever needed to know about desert expeditions

Just a quick blog to draw attention to my newly published Desert Expedition Resources. I've collected all of the articles I've written about desert expeditions which cover, amongst other things: the definition of what actually constitutes a desert, daily water rations of famous desert explorers, which minerals you need to replace to avoid dehydration, a comparison of every different desert cart used by vari ...

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Sleeping in bike shops and temples

We have just arrived in Malaysia, truly Asia. We had made our way down the western coast of Thailand, taking a couple of days off to enjoy the beaches and catch up on admin in Krabi.  This part of Thailand is a tourist honeypot, something we welcomed as a change from the usual routine.  Two days surrounded by shops selling baggy trousers, banana pancakes and tattoos meant a break from the fried rice and off ...

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The Worst Visa Office in the World?

We followed the muddy red track towards a tin hut where a long, drooping, orange and white barrier blocked our path. With Vietnam being almost entirely devoid of four-wheeled vehicles, we simply joined the motorbikes in skirting around the barrier on a well worn patch of dirt and some moments later it became apparent that we were in Cambodia. No one had checked our passports and the Cambodian official - per ...

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The Best Podcasts for Travelling

On my first big cycle trip, I deliberately didn't take an MP3 player. Part of the trip's joy was to get away from modern life and make me appreciate its trappings all the more when I returned. On my current trip, a year or more on the road, my MP3 player has been an absolute blessing. Yes, I still enjoy escaping 21st century living but I get plenty of that every day as it is. For those days when motivation ...

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The Dogs in Greece

The sun was high and so was morale as we cruised side by side on the current of a tailwind. We were in Greece, on bikes and life was good. Good, at least, until a hand gesture changed everything. Laura spotted it before me. This wasn't the first such encounter - in fact, they were sufficiently common that we'd developed our own signal - but they never got any less terrifying. Cautiously we maintained the sa ...

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Update from South East Asia

After the efficiency and obsessive cleanliness of Japan, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that we entered Vietnam. I'd wanted to come here for years, but wondered whether the craziness of the traffic and the inevitable attention we'd get as a couple of white cyclists would make it too stressful to enjoy the place. I needn't have worried.  Once we left the smog of Ho Chi Minh behind, we found ours ...

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Communicating without language

In the middle of a cafe shack, somewhere in the Vietnamese jungle,  Tim mimed pulling his trousers down and squatted on the floor. The two lady cafe owners fell about laughing, then shook their head and shrugged. They clearly had no idea what we were talking about. We're getting nowhere and I'm desperate. Let's just go and try the next place. We've been away from English-speaking countries for almost a year ...

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Exped Synmat 7 UL – Camping Mat Review

The Synmat 7 UL is a new inflatable sleeping pad / camping mattress from Exped. My wife and I have been using two of them for the last nine months as we have cycled from the UK to Asia. This review is based on our experiences with them and 15 years of sleeping outdoors on various pads and mats. Note: We were given our mats as sponsorship by Lyon Equipment. Overview I consider that there are three broad cate ...

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15 Photos from India on Bicycles

We spent a month cycling across India in March and April this year. Here are a selection of snaps. You can see the whole album on Flickr. Taking bikes on public transport is a pain but it does at least lead to lots of conversations with locals. It was nice to be bike-free tourists for a bit. One of the most memorable experiences was being hosted by a village (and it really was the whole village). India is f ...

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Are Bivi Bags Better Than Tents For Cycle Touring?

A question from a reader about using bivi bags on cycle tours rather than a tent: Mr. Moss, Having just finished reading about you wild camping in Seoul, I was wondering if you and Laura even bother with tents anymore, or what your rationale is with using bivy sacks instead. Cheers, and happy trails! Andrew - Let's Ride Bikes Are Bivi Bags Better Than Tents For Cycle Touring? Thanks for your message. We hav ...

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