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Tuesday, 16th of February 2010 at 08:00

Why such an adventure?

Sandra pushing her bike and trailer on a forest path in the french Jura

Two recumbent bikes and two trailers attached to them. In our luggage a tent, our stove and clothes for every climate. Certainly our odd caravan is going to give rise to infinite encounters all along the way.

It’s the story of a crazy dream which took form about four years ago just after birth of our first son Manu. We began cycle touring with a trailer for our son. He was rocked to the rhythm of our excursions, and the landscapes which scrolled along allowed us already to “tell” him about the world.

Manu and an old woman in his ancestor's village in northern Vietnam

The original plan was to leave Geneva by camping car to go to Vietnam and work there as doctors. Since then the project has matured, after a first trip around Vietnam by bicycle to introduce our five month-old son to the village of his ancestors. This method of travel proved less demanding than we had imagined and we were able to keep pace with our child and reassure him.

When our second son Leeroy was eight months old, we all flew to Uzbekistan on the Silk Road. This bike trip was a one month long test of 60 km per day, marking our steps, often in places devoid of tourist facilities. Home stay, surprising friendships and sharing the everyday life of the families we met there invited us to travel otherwise.

Our host family in Dashtabad and us, Uzbekistan

Following this second Asian tour, we had made our decision: we would leave our home for two years’ cycling on the Silk Road to Vietnam.

Since then our family has grown with the birth of our third child Ella. At the outset she will be 3 months. We will begin by crossing Switzerland, joining the Danube and following this river down to the Black Sea. A warm-up of 3000 km, gently, on a marked route.

Why go to Vietnam? We do not have all the answers yet. Journeys do not need any reason and suffice by themselves. It is a return to the source desired by a son, 40 years after the first trip of his father in the opposite direction. Choosing to travel like this is also a way to reclaim one’s history, to return a better person.

Sandra, our bikes and the trailer with the two boys at the Furka mountain pass at 2436m, Switzerland

Wishing to share this experience with those left behind, we will write a blog, which will give the dual perspectives of a man and a woman, both actors and observers of an extraordinary adventure.

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