map-velo

This Saturday, Charles and Siugi, two twenty-something French travelers are leaving Cambrai in France to bike 25,000km across the world. Their final destination? Cambrai in Australia.

  • Story Alex
  • Photos Siugi
  • Soundtrack of the report
  • Around The World
  • Daft Punk

We found their project really crazy and wanted to know more about it. So here are some questions we wanted to ask them. You can find more information and follow their adventure on their website: cambrai-cambrai.net. Good luck guys!

1. How did you become travelers?

S: i’ve always wanted to travel as a backpacker but I never found a friend who wanted to share this kind of holidays with me. i’ve met Charles and this was the first time i travel hitchhiking, it was more than i could expect in term of positive experiences.

C: by reading my geography school books : New-York, sand deserts and the taïga were very appealing ! But hitchiking through Ireland with my best mate was the start of everything.

2. Why is travel appealing to you? What do you get from it?

S: i’m not really sure why. When i travel, i just feel happy, can’t really say more than that.

C: being outside of my comfort zone when travelling makes me way more aware of my surrounding. It is a great feeling.

charles_siugi_cambrai_cambrai

Below some pictures taken by Siugi during previous trips:

Photo Siugi 1

Photo Siugi 2

Photo Siugi 3

Photo Siugi 4

Photo Siugi 5

Photo Siugi 6

Photo Siugi 7

Photo Siugi 8

3. What is your favourite memory of travel that you usually keep to yourself?

S: it was in a town 20km outside Porto, in Portugal, around 6.00pm. We were walking along a railway in the rough countryside, looking for somewhere to pick our tent on the same night. the light outside was beautiful, and the temperature perfect for June, nobody around. it might seem nothing great, but for me, i’ve really discovered the word Freedom this time. Walking towards anywhere, no hotel address to find, no check-in time, no hidden coach station. We did it our way within our own time. We finally ended on a wild beach: after having pitched our tent, we opened a can of tomato sardines, put that between two slices of bread and savouring the sunset, nobody around.

C: my first ever train trip. I was around 4 and my grand father (a retired train driver) took me to a small town close to my home, just to show me how it was to hop on a train. It is my oldest memory, I just remember a few pictures. But I still remember the feeling : it was great to travel.

4. What is your best asset when you travel?

S: my best asset is Charles. He rarely panicks or feels stressed, so i’m easily reassured with him around!

C: my best asset is Siugi : I can’t show her I’m panicking and feel stressed, so it forces me to calm down when something goes wrong.

5. What is the best food culture for you and why?

S: Chinese food! maybe because i was used to it at my parent’s home. However, i’m not sure i will appreciate grilled insects and worms as we can see on TV.

C: Japanese : simple food with a focus on the quality of the ingredients. There is a kind of respect about what you eat in in this food culture. But I like French food when I feel glutton, full English breakfast when I’m with my Brit friends and Spanish when i’m about to party !

6. Any cultural practices you’ve learned in travel you use in your own life?

S: nothing i can remember right now. but hopefully very soon!

C: making compromises so the other don’t loose face in public. I tend to think you can’t really win an argument if someone involved obviously loose : everyone should leave a strong talk with no hard feeling.

7. About your trip, why did you decide to embark on such a journey?

S: When we met, we’ve wanted to travel round the world. Bicycling came as a good option as i’m sick in most of common transports. We met family and couples in China 2 years ago, who were cycling round Asia. So why not?

C: After reading books. “On a roulé sur la terre” (Alexandre Poussin, Sylvain Tesson) and “Le bonheur au bout du guidon” (Christophe Cousin) in particular : it looked like a fun thing to do.

8. How did you prepare it? What resources did you use?

S: Once you’ve started the trip, most of the time is day to day planning or improvisation. However the preparation of the trip takes time. First, you need to be psychologically ready to leave your comfort, your work, you family and your friends. Then, it’s good to cycle a bit during your weekends and holidays, so you can judge your physical level. In the meantime, you choose your itinerary, you buy the bicycle and accessories, you check how to obtain the visas, and get the vaccinations right. We’ve spent most of our time on Internet on travellers’forums, where you find the most useful information.

C: eating lots of Nutella and good-stuff-from-mom is really hard work, but it is important to build an high-tech cold-proof layer : we start in February from France after all !

9. Besides biking, what else do you hope to do during this trip?

S: Photography! i would love to prepare a photo exposition when i’m back. Also, during the trip, i want to learn mandarin and start to read some books, i’m usually very bad at that.

C: Writing ! From songs to comedy sketches for my friends to geeky articles for French computer magazines I always loved to write. I guess such a trip gives you a few interesting topics to write about.

10. What do you hope won’t happen during this trip?

S: Accident and illness. These could be dealbreakers. Same for our family in France, we hope all will go well.

C: learning Ferrero stops the production of Nutella ! I know everything will be fine about our family : nobody is allowed to die while we’re away !

11. Which countries are you looking forward to get to the most?

S: Ouzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Laos for my part, because they are non-touristic countries, so i’m not really sure what to expect. i hope it can only be positive. Meeting genuine inhabitants through the countryside will be very refreshing.

C: Laos, Ukraine and China. Laos because they just look like chilled out plain nice guys. Ukraine because a few years ago I had a bad experience in this country and there is no way I keep this bad feeling. China for the diversity of landscapes.

12. Do you feel ready for 25,000km around the world?

S: I think we never really feel ready. But hopefully after 2,000km, your body adapts well and you get used to cycle. Then, this is almost a routine.

C: I’ll tell you when we’re back. Keep some drinks for us in the fridge.