“Don’t tell me has educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.”
Why do we cycle? We do it for the peaceful nights at 4,000m surrounded by the stars and the snowy peaks. We do it to explore and discover rather than to simply sit and wonder, and we do it for the lovely people we meet along the way. One of the main reasons Kevin and I chose to travel as we do, and one of the thing that has kept us going through each and every country, is the astounding kindness of strangers and the wonderful homestays we have been lucky enough to partake in. Though it may seem pretty crazy if you haven’t experienced it yourself, total strangers really will invite you into their homes for a cup of tea (or even a night), and despite what the media may constantly tell you, our world is indeed a truly wonderful place.
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel… Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
Though we have seen (and slept in) shepherd’s huts before here in Turkey, the dozens of small stone huts all clumped together like villages really got my attention throughout this vast and desolate area. Though we have seen a few of these nomadic “villages” near the road during the past few days, today we were able to stop and sleep in one of these huts as they provide a wonderful wind shelter. After ditching our bikes we walked for half an hour up the nearest hill and what we saw on the other side amazed me – village after village of these makeshift stone huts scattered throughout the area. Though the (predominately) Kurdish people who inhabit this area are no longer full time nomads as they once were, they still travel for months on end with their sheep, a few donkeys, and their large sheep dogs for protection.
The other day I read an article by a fellow Eugenian who is also cycling around the world, and I couldn’t help but laugh because every single myth she busted is true for us as well. In honor of that, I’ve decided to dispel many common myths about cycle touring from my own perspective.