Final Preparations! t-3 dAYS
Things are getting real now!
After spending the holidays with family in The Aveyron and enjoying some sunshine and warm temperatures on the French coast, we're back at our base here in the Aveyron and really studying the map, preparing for our departure to Oman on Sunday.
We checked over our bicycles last week, visited the local Decathlon store to get ourselves some parts, gear and a tent.
Due to the cold climates at home, we only have 4 season tents. In a country where it is hot, these 4 season tents have no adequate ventilation. For our two weeks in the heat, we have opted for the cheapest little dome tent we could find, it's not supposed to rain anyway, right?! This is the Arpenaz fresh and black, around $75 Cad. from Decathlon. This will be our home during the trip.
Before leaving Canada, during preparations, Philippe hurt himself. While removing the trailer from the car, it slid on the ice in the direction of our solar panels. Trying to restrain the trailer from sliding, philippe got dragged along and broke his hand in the process.
Due to the fact that we're travelling with a child, we have to consider our routes in Oman carefully, adding an adult with some booboos, is bringing us back to the map.
We have decided to see on the spot which direction we'll go. We do know that we will be starting from Nizwa. and go from there.
You may wonder... Why Oman?
Some of our best memories were made cycling in the middle east. The incredible hospitality of the people that was genuine and heartfelt was something that has deeply touched us in the past.
We've been busy building our home and business and family over the past few years, but we haven't stopped following fellow cyclotourers.
Last winter, a couple that we were following went cycling in Oman and we were amazed by the beauty of the scenery as well as their experience with the local people, that appeared very similar to what we had experienced when we travelled through Turkey, Syria and Jordan before things turned sour in that area.
After asking a friend of ours who grew up in the Oman area about his thoughts on bike touring there with a kid, he wasn't super enthusiastic, but didn't kill our desire to go there. He checked in on our plans this fall. We were by then thinking of something more flat, we were actually looking at Namibia and Botswana. But the things to see and villages are very spread apart in both those countries. Don't cross Oman off your list completely he said. There are beautiful things to see and the culture would be much like what you're hoping to find. And so it was decided. Tickets were booked. we are going to Oman.
Since booking our tickets, we've followed an elderly couple cycling there complaining about busy roads. We've been studying the maps as you know (or if you didn't, now you do) we are allergic to busy roads. We do not understand why cyclotourers take highways. We prefer to find the smallest roads on the map, and ok it may take us an extra day to get from a to b but that's what it's all about. it's about being one with where you are and living the local live, integrate with the locals and soak up the culture. So, it turns out, in Oman, there may be some roads like we love that are calmer, but they risk being very steep as they cross mountain ranges.
We're not quite sure of our exact plan as we are currently very busy with our business. But since this trip is about getting out there on our bikes and especially it being a great life and cultural experience for little Justin, we will do our best to find those little roads and we'll go with the wind, we've never really travelled with a set plan before, and I have a feeling this trip will be the same. We may just pick one area and spend two weeks exploring it...
To be continued!