The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Home, and reflecting on our trip.

It’s been almost a month since we have got home. We are back to house and garden maintenance, and back to normality. Although some people would question whether our life is normal.
Cup of Tea in the Motueka Valley.

The spring weather is fickle, but we’ve managed to get a few long rides in, purely for pleasure and to retain some fitness.

The cats / kittens are happy and confident, and the two kittens are no longer small, but full sized now and they are still inseparable, usually falling asleep together in a tangle of legs on the same chair. The ginger kitten is now identical to our ginger cat. We have to look for how many legs they have to tell them apart. You may remember that my beautiful ginger cat lost a leg last year.
Three very content cats.

We had an article written about our trip in the local rag. I’m quite pleased with it actually, as it says everything I hoped it would say.

 On reflection, Canada had some beautiful scenery, and friendly people that have a lot in common with New Zealanders. Having arrived back home, we realize how many people here ride a bike, compared to the lack of cyclists in Canada. Except Vancouver   where there were a lot of cyclists and cycle paths. It’s funny really that when we get home from a trip to Europe – where cyclists are almost more numerous than cars, and we arrive home thinking New Zealand has a lot to learn from Europe, now it’s the other way around.

Do I have a favorite place in Canada? I really like the pretty village of Field, located in a valley of beauty just west of Kicking Horse Pass in the Rockies (British Columbia). There were some lovely campgrounds, some that I felt quite at peace in – moments of mental calmness are treasured. There were some lovely spots in Ontario around the edge of Lake Erie, especially Port Stanley. The spot where we first saw the Atlantic Ocean was special and very pretty. But my favorite province would be Nova Scotia – especially the Annapolis valley, where I felt quite at home.

In America – again there were some lovely campgrounds.  Niagara Falls was incredible, but the area it was located in was not. My favorite spot was in Lake Saranac – New York State in the Adirondack Mountains. It was beautiful, non-touristy, and I had that calmness there - that is special. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were my favorite States, and Burlington (Vermont) was my favorite city. It was vibrant with its student life, and actually had great shops in the center of town – a rarity.

I checked out some of the other transcontinental cyclists from the website, and it was disappointing to find that most of them had hired cars for bits of their trips, but still claimed to have cycled across Canada. Who are they kidding? It really belittles those that put in a huge effort to actually cycle the whole way, no matter how dangerous the roads, how high the Passes, how far between towns, how bad the mechanical breakdowns, or if you suffered from sickness or injury.

Cool Birthday card.

Would we have done anything differently? Yes we’d use trailers instead of pannier bags. Niel broke both his front and rear carrier racks – they just were not up the job of carrying all the weight for that distance. And I just didn’t have enough room for carrying any food items. It was a real juggle to find spots for groceries for our dinner, or to take lunch food if there were no towns to buy anything. Aside from that, we did everything right, and can call the ride a success.

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