Jun 012016
 
When we entered Myanmar, we didn’t even know if we would spend the coming month cycling north to the most famous places of the country or south to some more remote and untouched places (the southern part was closed to foreigners until 2013). We spent the first couple of days totally soaked, as locals in every village poured whole buckets of water on us to celebrate the Buddhist new year. Even in the tiniest villages, locals seemed tireless and kept partying non-stop which made our arrival in Myanmar an unforgettable and totally crazy cycling experience =)

Happy New Year !

After five days of water festival, we decided to head south to Dawei and we didn’t regret our decision We often took the hard and unpaved roads where we sometimes passed buffalo-driven carts, went to villages where people looked at us like we come from another planet, crossed the jungle where locals live in huts made of panels of dried tree leaves, seen hundreds, thousands of smiling kids by the road, kids who ran after our bikes or raced with us in their village street. Few times we found some deserted beaches that stretched for kilometres, we swam in the waves, alone… we also visited mesmerizing temples with golden stupas and enormous Buddha statues.

Buddhist stupa in Sedan Cave near Hpa An

Myanmar was hard, the heat in hottest month of the year was simply unbearable, the air hot and humidity, so we were most of the time sweaty, sticky, dusty, and itchy from bites… We ate every day in small villages where cooks never heard about the basics of hygiene, so despite our one year training, our stomach was quite often upset if not upside-down. Camping is strictly forbidden throughout the country so every time we camped we were hiding like fugitives, keeping lights off all night, and we had to wake up at dawn every morning, most of the time exhausted after a short and sweating night. One night the hill where we pitched our tent caught fire so we were up at 2:30am, like zombies waiting for the sunrise. We also went to hotels but hotels were overpriced and the cheapest ones were usually dirty and bug-friendly… but all this was more than compensated by the landscapes, the adventure, and especially by the beautiful Burmese people. Justine agrees with me that we were given in Myanmar the most beautiful smiles we ever received, I literally fell in love with these smiles, and people in Myanmar were not only beautiful, they were also incredibly kind hearted and honest.

Girl going to help farming in the fields


Of all countries I’ve crossed, my favourite portraits and possibly most beautiful pictures are from Myanmar. I hope my photos convey a little bit of the amazing beauty of southern Myanmar.

View all photos of Southern Myanmar

On the road in Southern Myanmar

PS: At time of writing, I haven’t finished uploading all photos. If thing goes well, everything will be online in a week time.
 Posted by at 8:02 pm
May 012016
 
We started our South-East Asian adventure in the busy streets of Bankok. Shortly after we got our Burmese visa, we headed to the ruins of Ayutthaya, the old capital of the Kingdom of Siam. On our way further North, we camped by the biggest Buddha of Thailand, slept on the Chao Phraya river in a monastery, strolled in the streets of Lopburi surrounded by nasty monkeys (and got biten!), explored the archaeological remains of Kamphaeng Phet, ate delicious food in countless street restaurants, stopped in some remote villages when crossing the mountains in the west… After the peaceful and laid back atmosphere of Oman, Thailand amazed us in ways we didn’t expect! It was probably the best introduction to South-East Asia we could have.

View our photos of Thailand

Sunset on the Chao Phraya river, central Thailand

 Posted by at 5:33 pm
Mar 292016
 
These days we are cycling in central Thailand. Coming from the Arabic Peninsula, we’re already used to cycling in hot weather, but nights! In this season, nights are unbearably hot in Thailand, so hot that we just stay motionless and sweaty on our mats, hoping for a little draft… How will we survive Burma in April? I wonder. But that’s not the point of this post, the photos of UAE and Oman are now online !!!

United Arab Emirates : view photos

We reached Dubai by boat from Southern Iran. We arrived at night, exhausted from our trip and after cycling more than two hours in the madness of Dubai traffic, we were welcomed by our hosts with this sentence : “Would you like vodka or whisky?”
After almost two months in Iran, we felt like some dangerous things were going on here =) but we were happy to have a drink and relax. After few days of cooking, visiting and planning in Dubai, we left the ultramodern architecture and headed for the desert. Cycling out of Dubai was challenging. We felt small and weak between the huge roaring FWD cars rushing down 7 lines highways.
When night came, we simply put our tent in Dubai, with a view on Burj Kalifa… no one cared =)
Out of the cities, the roads were surrounded by fences. We didn’t like this “parked nature” and it was complicated to find places to camp… but we got invited in the country house of a lovely woman we met on our way !

Burj Kalifa, the highest building in the world

Oman : view photos

Oman is the kind of place you don’t usually hear about, because this is rich and peaceful land. However travellers who have been to Oman often tell beautiful tales about their adventure and I was wishing to visit Oman for years…
Oman is a wide country but most of it is desert. The most inhabited part is the north, near the Gulf coastline and around the arid mountains. We cycled first along the coast and slept many nights on the beach, then we went to the mountains and chose some less travelled ways. Some roads were truly hardcore, so steep that I was afraid my bicycle would flip back ! Apart from a bunch of crazy drivers (drift lovers), Omanis are so calm and kind that this is a very relaxing country to travel to.

An evening with Abdullah's family

Like in the emirates, almost half of the country popuation are Indians, Pakistanis or Bengali immigrants, working in coffee shops, tailors and construction sites. As for us, we enjoyed the cheap and delicious Indian food during all our journey in Oman…
In Muscat, we were welcomed by a lovely Iranian couple (Shima and Fariborz) who cooked for us some delicious Iranian food and helped us a lot with the packing and sending of our bicycles !

Wadi Hawqayn, Oman

 Posted by at 8:21 pm
Mar 122016
 
After cycling in the mountains of Oman, we’re now planning our Asian trip in Muscat where we are hosted by a lovely Iranian couple.

We’ve finally uploaded all our photos of Iran =)

Iran 2015 : view photos

After a freezing ride in the hills south of Teheran, we arrived in holy city of Qom, the most religious city in Iran. We quickly cycled on to Kashan, a city with wonderful architecture which I didn’t visit on my first trip to Iran. Then we headed south for Na’in, the first town we passed with the typical architecture of the desert cities (windtowers, watermills, ice reservoirs…). On our way to Yazd, we also crossed Ardakan (where we visited chakchak, the center of Zoroastrianism) and Meybod, another town with a nic desert atmosphere. Finally we reached Yazd, one of our favourite place in Iran.
We left our bicycles in Yazd and went to visit Shiraz and Esfahan by bus. In Esfahan we had the weirdest of New Year’s Eve, drinking tea with Iranians who wished us many times “Merry Christmas!” 😉

Nasir el Molk Mosque in Shiraz

Iran 2016 – The South and Islands : view photos

From Esfahan we moved on to a remote desert village called Merv. There we watched the stars in the sand dunes and saw our first camels of the journey. Back to Yazd, we got back our bicycles and headed south to the Palm Oasis of Haji-Abad and reached the sea in Bandar Abbas. There wasn’t much to see in Bandar Abbas but there we took a boat to the tiny island of Hormuz. The colourful mountains of Hormuz enchanted our eyes… We continued our journey in Qeshm where we saw amazing rocky landscapes, canyons and typical banderi villages where women wear masks. Finally we went back to the mainland and followed the coast westward until Bandar Lengeh where we took a boat across the Persian Gulf, heading for Dubai.
PS: There is so much to say about Iran, here I just wrote a bit of the chronology so that you can know where the pics are from… hope you enjoy them 😉
 Posted by at 11:17 pm
Dec 282015
 
Hi there,

We’re sitting on colourful persian carpets in a teahouse of Shiraz in Iran. It became a bit complicated to send some news in that last weeks. We finally uploaded online our photos from the two amazing months we spent in Turkey.

Near Demre, Southern Turkey

You can now have a look here at our photos of Turkey.
We spend autumn (october and November) slowly heading south, crossing Western Turkey then following the Aegean coastal roads across wonderful hilly landscapes with a very long history, many ruins from the ancient greek cities and temples. We cycled then along the Mediterranean coast, dotted with sarcophagus and lycian tombs carved in the rock. Southern Turkey was among the most beautiful places we’ve crossed in our lives. I was delightful to cycled along the pristine water, share the hospitality of locals, fill our stomach with delicious pastries and camp in the nature, watching sunset for hours on the sea.

Holy Shrine in Qom, Iran

Our original plan was to cycle in Eastern Turkey and reach Tabriz from there but it would have been crazy to attempt to cross the Anatolian mountains in December, when roads are covered with snow and nights can reach minus 25 degrees. After hesitating for many weeks, we decided to go back to Istanbul and take a plane there to Tehran. Since we are in Iran, we had snow and freezing nights in the north so we cycled south as fast as we could to reach better temperatures… You can already have a look at some of our first photos of Iran. Some more will be added very soon =)
 Posted by at 9:45 am
Oct 232015
 
Hi there,

This night lightnings are illuminating our room, we hear the rain flowing down the pipes… It was definitely a good idea to make a small break today in the lovely coastal town of Ayvalık, in Turkey.

Justine and the Black Sea

You can now browse our photos of Bulgaria.
I already had this feeling in 2011, Bulgaria is so different from his neighbour Romania. In Bulgaria, not only the language, the alphabet, the culture is different, but lately the tradionnal farming methods were replaced by GMO intensive monoculture, the seaside was almost fully taken by resorts and hotels. Before reaching the Black Sea, we dreamt about camping on empty beaches but most of the time we ended up hiding our tent in forests or between empty appartment blocks… However, from the very first day to the last, the generosity and humanity of the people we met made the difference. Bulgarian people made us love Bulgaria.
 Posted by at 2:18 am