When we starts to see the world by bicycle, we made some agreements and we expected to encounter difficulties. Having to climb a mountain, find themselves in a muddy track, lose the little equipment that we have managed to win, or worse his evening meal ! But the hardest work to do is surely...
to realize that there is no problem, just discovery, a little organization, and a lot of wonder. Oh sure, you'll grumble sometimes, certainly much between the 2nd and 10th days after departure, but gradually, it's this state of communion with yourself and your surroundings that will take over (even with this inner tube bursting for the third time, really !), from very subtle way then it will become heady, intense. Do you remember from that time when the staring into the second veil reality you imagine you adventurer in an unexplored land, saving the life of a lion and he becomes your friend ? Do you remember being this aviator flying over the ocean ? Or the times you are engulfed in water to watch the wonders before you realize that you can breathe in it naturally ? Do you remember be afraid ? No, of course not, you were brave, it was simply exalting. The fear, you have known this later. Well I must say that it is this feeling that is found after a few days cycling... This lack of fear that brings you closer to your child's condition enjoying life and curious about the world. But today we are tall, and the world too and as we cross it, we will have to sleep somewhere !
I'll skip to the line immediately (shamefully) the many opportunities for paid accommodation. I don't excuse me too much, but campsites, guest houses, hotels and other golden caravans does not fit into the framework, I doubt you need learn how to choose, even if the only advice I could give, would be to see if there is hot water and always prefer independents places to chains, but that, you know it ! Go hop on line !
So you tell me, well, if I can't spend my money quietly, could I sleep well ? I assure you, the time saved to not compare which is the most profitable, you'll be watching this starry sky who watches over you tonight or you maintain a great interesting conversation with super nice people. Yeah, it's not really a safe bet, but people who travel by bike usually have a certain appeal for respect for others and our planet (I've not put "our planets" because we only have one, I think). Because for most countries, it will be two options available, sleeping in the wild or homestay.
I give you the essential points for camping (which according to the country is more or less well tolerated).
- sleep hidden
- be careful about crossing points.
- let NOTHING behind you (I see you at the bottom, yes we let the feces, but cover them with a large stone if you can not make a hole).
- avoid corners with wind (tested at 1200m, the wind is really bad)
- plan the place where the sun rises if you hope to make a crossbred fat (that's signed Kloklo).
- avoid being near water (start humid day it's not terrible, and then you'll mosquito morning and evening).
- prefer a discreet tent (avoid bright pink unless you plan to be buried under the snow).
- appetizing your trash, leave it a little further.
- the tent double roofs that will prevent condensation and standing tent is more convenient on rocky ground.
- avoid being caught in the rain, protect your pack.
- and my personal tip, sleeping at two, is better! ;)
Wild camping is very safe if you hide well and nobody sees you. Nobody comes at night in a forest to find, kill or rob people. They are rather interested in a house. So do not be afraid, on the contrary, you will be safer than you. To the extent that your tent is closed although no animal will tickle your face.
So that was the most obvious solution when traveling on the back of the bike. The other slightly less obvious but super interesting, even for those who do not want to leave, that is to host and / or to be hosted by former-future-cycling friends. Some of you may be familiar with the site "couchsurfing", which allows to be hosted anywhere in the world, used mainly by backpacker? You say to yourself, "yeah but I do not trust, I do not want to be with Robert (Robert sorry), arms like my thighs, fan of motorsport and who start barbecue with gasoline... I can understand. usually when you want help others is that there's something that you share.
Harboring a person, it takes time, so is great if it's fun !
This is where I turn to all those who are still hesitant when I tell them: "go on this weekend and ride your bike !" Take a turn on the hosting site for bicycle traveler "Warmshower !" It's the rising star in terms of friendly encounter. The benefits? It's a little small but functional site, 100% free, a lot of places, you can host people with the same interest in, according to their description, all are bicycle travelers, and come from all places ! Whether you offer just a piece of your lawn or a hot shower and a washing machine, your gesture will always be received with humility and gratitude. Many people willing to tell you their stories, to listen to yours and share advices and know-how. By this way I learned that in Denmark, for example, there is a third solution, huts (some even with a kitchen !) are at your disposal for travelers, so you can via this application, locate and stay there for the night ! This is also a reason to break the screen and meet directly traveler, to see the equipment, talk politics, see beautiful pictures, find cooking recipes... and then you are free to express your felt on your guest for future hosts !
Casually, it's good to forget the money, you don't find ?
Must still admit that it is much more fun to talk with a doctor from Hong Kong, a couple from Australia or other French traveler in search of happiness, rather than staying to freeze behind tv, waiting an mink of the world that you have to believe. Far be it from me to compare the various dailies lifes possible that we chose, but keep in mind that diversify our meetings allows us to avoid boredom, it's a certainty and it's the start of the path to this exciting and very happy joy of our childhood, remember !
"Warmshower" is a wonderful website and we always had good experiences, but the negative point is the internet connection to make contact. Sure, you need the internet to give you your host and it is not always possible to predict when you will be home. Therefore, when we could not find a location for camping, we asked people directly. People are a little reluctant at first, because you are a foreigner and you ask to go inside his property. If it opens its doors, it becomes more fragile in case of aggression on your part. Our company majorises this sentiment vis-à-vis insecurity abroad and forces us to caulk us home by preventing us the encounter with others. But leave a little time and do not hesitate to tell him your story and why you ask hospitality. If he agrees to host you gradually trust is instituted. Some countries have much less trouble hosting a stranger and will treat him like a king, but it depends on the culture. You will need to adapt. Sometimes the encounter is not very friendly, but you can be sure that your visit will have had its effect on attitudes by the way you travel and your friendly attitude towards your host, who may say that foreigners are not not so bad.
Always start by asking a garden rather than end up in his house. It's less intrusive and more humble. Anyway, with all the camping equipment that is useless to ask for more than what is needed. And end up in someone's home can sometimes be disconcerting. Sleeping in his tent will keep some space for itself and privacy without disturbing its host.
Most people are lovely and will eventually give you more than you ask. Do not abuse this charity by asking more and know refuse. It is for you to analyze the situation and see whether you can accept this or that present / service. Do not refuse anything either, because you deprive your host to intense joy in helping his neighbor.
In conclusion, go homestay spontaneously is a rich experience because it allows you to meet the locals totally random. That is why it is often very intense and requires great adaptability. If you do not wear any expectations on your host, we guarantee the best meetings in your life !