CATAWOPINO

An unexpected stop

End of November – Early December

We had a wonderful time for Thanksgiving! Many thanks to Hawa for making us discover this american tradition that requires a lot of organization and preparation: between the turkey (8kg for 4 people, the smallest in the shop), the gravy, stuffing, corn bread, 3 side dishes and a sorbet (everything homemade of course), it is a lot of work!

We spent another 10 days in Berkeley, in a more relaxed way than the previous month. One of the highlights was the visit of Alcatraz. Its fame and the impressive 5000 daily visitors could have changed it into a tourist trap, but we didn’t feel that way at all. The audio guide, a continuous story narrated by former prisoners and guards, makes the visit really enjoyable. After coming back from the island, we had a “clam chowder” on the dockside, a kind of clam/potato soup served in a sourdough bread bowl, quite cool! Quentin and Hawa also brought us to see an interactive theatre experience called The Speakeasy. The story is set in 1923, during the prohibition, and period costumes are mandatory to be able to enter. The show happens in several contiguous rooms at the same time (a casino, a bar, a cabaret and several other hidden rooms), and the spectators are free to move around and follow specific sub-stories of their liking. The feeling of immersion was amazing, it’s a really cool concept and we had a great time!

 

What’s next

If we have been rather quiet lately and didn’t give much information, it’s because our plans have changed. After a lot of hesitation and long discussions, we have decided to continue travelling without the Pino. The concept remains the same, it’s just the means of transportation that change.

From now on, we’ll have a backpack each and move around on foot, motorbike, bus, train, plane, boat, tuk-tuk (and why not on camelback) : we’ll use whatever is easier/funnier.

And the Pino, what do we do with it?
Selling it is definitely not an option for us, and a quick google search tells us that sending it back by post would cost more than 2 plane tickets (it might seem crazy but it’s true). All planes going to Paris that are not super expensive have 1 or 2 stops. We don’t really care, but the Pino doesn’t like being thrown on conveyor belts… London is a better option (a low-cost direct flight between Oakland and London recently opened), and after all why not stop by our old flat and see our friends!

 

From London, we pedalled for 2 days to reach Portsmouth, stopping at Peter and Kristy’s on the way (wonderful warmshower hosts), and took the overnight ferry to Saint-Malo. Tracy’s dad picked us up in the morning with a big trailer to accommodate for the Pino. After 4500km cycled in 5 months, our faithful travelling companion will rest for a while in Normandy.

 

Since then, we’ve spent a few days here and there with our families and surprised everyone. The reaction upon seeing us is always the same: wide eyes and speechless, it’s been really fun!
We are really happy that we got to see familiar faces and spend the Christmas holidays with our families.

 

Where to now ?
The exact journey is not totally planned as we want to remain flexible in our choices. What we do know is that we are leaving for Bangkok the 5th of January and are thinking of going to the north of Thailand. We also know that we’ll be in Myanmar from the 1st to the 21st of February.

In the meantime, have a wonderful new year’s eve !

PS: You probably noticed we changed the banner of the website. It’s thanks to our friend Corneliu who spent tens of hours during the past months to make it. Huge thanks and kudos to him for this amazing logo !

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CATAWOPINO