With Love I Ride: Two Years On Two Wheels (Part 4)

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After a long day of cycling, I needed to find a place to rest and recharge. In this article, I will share some of my experiences with accommodation, food preparation, and communication while on tour.

Accommodations

On this tour, I did not pre-book accommodations so I slept wherever I stopped cycling for the day. One of the most important pieces of equipment for a tour is a good tent. Having a four-season tent is important given the different seasons (and weather conditions) along the way. With a tent, I was not worried about not having a place to sleep.

However, the challenge lies in locating a good and safe campsite. I usually camp at a 24-hour gas station as they have toilet facilities, a convenience shop and some space to set up my tent. Most of the time, the workers at the station would allow me to spend a night.

The remote wilderness is the best place to camp because the views are stunning. I had been fortunate to see some of the most jaw-dropping sunrises, sunsets, and landscapes while camping in the wilderness.

Iskanderkul Lake, Tajikistan – One of my favourite campsites. It overlooks Iskanderkul Lake and the mountains.
Kungrad, Uzbekistan – I witnessed a spectacular sunrise while camping here.

Staying with locals on request or through invitation is always a treat while touring. It’s the best way to experience their daily life, culture, and food.

I met a family in Kvareli, Georgia, and after getting acquainted they invited me to stay with their relative in Telavi, the next city I was heading to. At Telavi, I was provided with a comfortable room and generous meals the whole day. Her genuine actions truly made me feel welcome in her country.

My host at Telavi kindly prepared food for me when I stayed at her house.

Food and rations

Food is very important for energy. I had to eat whatever food that was available along the way and I cannot be choosy. Besides that, I carry some food and a stove on my bicycle so that I can cook along with my journey.

I use an MSR stove that can take multiple fuels (petrol, kerosene, benzene) and I also have compact cooking utensils for camping. I am traveling on a tight budget so I will try to cook most of my meals using fresh ingredients available locally.

Cooking meals on my MSR stove.

Communicating with the locals

Being able to communicate with the locals is necessary, especially when I needed to order food! Sometimes I used my mobile phone to photograph the food I saw on the menu or the food other customers were having and showed the picture to the waiter.

At places like the market where there was no menu, I looked for the most crowded food store and observed what the locals order. I then use my magic finger to point and indicate the amount I wanted.

Kanchanadit, Thailand – At the market food store, I used my finger to point out the food I wanted to buy.

There are a number of phone apps you can use to communicate with locals. One is the ‘Translator’app, which you can download for free and use without a data plan. There is also the ‘Translator for All’ app. You speak into it and it will automatically translate your words into the language you have pre-selected. However, you will need Wi-Fi or data for this app.

2-Step Savoury Oatmeal Preparation

Here are some other instant ingredients that can be easily purchased and mixed together for a tasty oatmeal lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Instant oatmeal
  • Meat and soy-based flavoured tofu (packed in a small bag for one serving)
  • Dried nuts and fruits
  • Dehydrated soup cubes (as seen inside the bowl)

  1. Cut the ingredients into smaller pieces so they cook faster. Mix all the ingredients.

2. Add boiling water and wait for a few minutes for it to be ready to eat.

Keeping in touch with the family

Not all countries have good Wi-Fi or mobile data, so keeping in touch with your loved ones or friends is challenging at times. I always notify my family members when I arrive at a new location using the‘Maps.Me’ app, or I use Google Maps to share my location.

There are some countries that are strict about foreigners purchasing a mobile data plan, and you will be required to present documents such as a passport, hotel registration, and others. Sometimes, I was lucky to meet other touring cyclists leaving the country I’m entering; we can exchange SIM cards or they’ll just give theirs to me for free since they no longer had use of the SIM card in another country.

It gets easier along the way

I’ve found that with a good tent, cooking stove, food rations, mobile data, and simple sign language, it’s not that difficult to see the world on my bicycle after all.

And, just as having the right equipment and skills give me the confidence for my tour, equipping teachers with the right training will help them be better teachers.

With regard to education, World Vision contributed in several ways, especially providing desks for pupils, offering school materials to the most vulnerable children and training for teachers in order to improve the quality of education.
After training, teachers built visual material to be used during classes and allow pupils to better understand.
Improved teaching techniques help children engage better in the classroom.

Support my fundraising initiative for World Vision Malaysia’s Education Fund so that teachers from vulnerable communities can be trained and the quality of education for children improves.

Click here for more; Article 1, Article 2, Article 3


About The Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Yoong, a cycling enthusiast currently on a two-year solo cycling tour around the world. As part of his trip, he will be raising funds to give vulnerable children access to education through World Vision Malaysia’s Education Fund.

Find out more at https://www.simplygiving.com/withloveiride.

Email: withloveiride207@gmail.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peter.yoong/

Join my ‘With Love I Ride’ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1810195412626719/

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