TWIN WORLD TOUR PART 5

In the past few months, we worked hard to enjoy our travels. And we did pretty well, because it has been quite fantastic so far. We can’t go through all of it but will try to get you some highlights and pics we liked…

Contributed by Stéphane and Manue

Reinforcements are coming

Cambodia: we arrived in Cambodia, to Phnom Penh, by bus from Laos. Stéphane still had an issue with his Achilles tendon, so can’t really ride the Twin for long. At the same time, we have had some reinforcements coming from France in the person of Stéphane’s mum. The plan was for her to follow us on a regular bicycle. Like with any other times we plan for something, we changed the plan a few days later. New plan: Mummy promoted to Twin Stoker, Manue to a Pilot and Stéphane to a cameraman on a scooter.

As riding out of Phnom Penh is not that nice, we left that huge strange city by boat, in the direction of Siam Reap. Boarding a 50m long boat with a tandem bike with 3 people trying to help you on a slippery deck with no barrier is almost as scary as a Russian border crossing.

A few moments later, the girls were riding the Twin, while Stéphane was comfortably checking their progress from the back of a tuk-tuk for the last few miles between the harbour and Siam Reap town.

Siam Reap is the city to access the Angkor temples. We spent a few days there, walking around and visiting that really touristy place. The temples are quite nice but what a crowd…

It takes a few minutes to be able to take a picture of the Bayon temple with no Chinese tourists, but we got one!

From Siam Reap, the girls rode a 500km loop in the north of Cambodia, followed by their fellow cameraman on a scooter.

We visited a lot of temples. Not actually because we are that interested in temples, but more because there is always a place to rest under the shadow of a tree.

Day to day life by markets.

After a few days, we sent Stéphane’s mum back to France and headed towards Thailand.

Thailand: we crossed the border on 6th of February –> Stephane’s birthday. We threw a huge party: tomato juice, nachos, footbath and off to bed at 7:00pm!

We were not really interested in riding in and out of Bangkok. To ride around the capital would have taken maybe a week, so we used the train. It is actually super easy to get onto a train or we are super trained.

Compare to other countries that we have crossed up to now, Thailand is a lot more developed.

They have supermarkets with peanut butter, football goals with nets, and even bicycle paths… They are not yet riding recumbent bikes, but who knows, one day …

Another great thing in Thailand is the landscape. They have beaches that stretch out for hundreds of kilometres with not a single person on it.

The only issue is that you can walk in the sea for 1km to get water up to your hips. But after all, it is not such a big issue when you think of the freezing weather in Europe…

We met a bunch of cyclists in Thailand, especially that couple of Germans who wanted to play “who has the longer one?”. I let you guess who won…

After meeting another French couple along the road, we decided to go with them to one of those remote island national park where there is nothing to do but relax. Getting there seemed a bit complex for a normal tourist agency, so we just hopped onto a fishing boat for a ride to Ko Tarutao. It cost something like a metro fare for a one hour ride around the beautiful islands…

They even provide a dishwasher on the island…

The only drawback is those little filthy creatures named monkeys. They look funny but eventually, they are the worst animal a cyclist can cross their path with.

And our panniers can testify to that. We just let our food storage unattended for a few moments and WHAM! the waterproof pannier is quite a bit less waterproof… And that kind of an accident is not covered by the warranty…

After Thailand, we headed south towards Malaysia and especially Kuala Lumpur. 2km from the border, a couple of Thai policemen stopped us. We were a bit surprised because it was the first time in Thailand that we were being stopped by the police. In the end, all they wanted was to get a picture of them on the tandem…

Once the border was crossed, some signs indicated the driving skills of Malaysian people…

Riding in Malaysia could be extremely nice but the temperature in March is unbearable. We crossed the peninsula as straight as we could to reach Kuala Lumpur because we could not stand the 40°C and 90% humidity average every day (we got a peak at 47°C). Not the weather to put a cyclist outside.

Once in Kuala Lumpur we got a few days rest in AC rooms and prepared ourselves for the rest of the journey. We left our bike at some friends’ place and went for a short holiday in Bali,Indonesia, to learn how to live upside-down.

And why learning that kind of skill? Because we are going south to Australia!

And now a bit of practical information for Twin riders. It was our first time flying with the bike. We got some regular bicycle box (27.5″ bike box is enough). Then, we did a little bit a jigsaw with our bike. We removed the seat, carriers, wheels and everything that protruded  of the frame (brakes, chain tension, mudguards).

Once done, you can normally fit half thebike easily in each box and arrange the other parts on top of it. We put a lot of newspapers scrunched into balls to fill the gaps and avoid too much movement. The seats can’t fit in the bike box though, so at the same bike shop we got a box for 700mm wheels. Upside down from one another, it just fit perfectly with the rest of the equipment. 2 bike boxes for the frame and two other smaller boxes for the seats and the rest of our equipment.

And off we went to Gold Coast Australia!

Contributed by Stéphane and Manue

 ROUTE

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AZUB admin - Honza Galla
Honza’s biggest hobby is cyclotourism, though recently, his time has been more and more taken up by two little people, Julie (2012) and Jan (2015). Honza and his recumbent bike have visited most European countries and there were also expeditions to Israel, India and China. In 2013, he and another AZUB team member, Karel Šebela, took part in the solar race from France to Kazakhstan. The 7800 km journey took them 46 days. They reached Astana as the first team and in the overall score, they came fourth. You can read more about Honza’s travels at www.galla.cz.

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