Pictures Letters Journals Bikes Camp Plan Funding/Cost MyBooks Media Support Contact

search DownTheRoad.org

Custom Search


The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

HOME
Videos
Picture Gallery
Journals
Travel Plan

Finances
Shopping
Equipment
My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room

Contact

Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels


Places I have been
(
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.


Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


See My Videos Here



(see all 3 book)

Downtheroad.org RoadNews

Into Occupied Territory: Tibet
Adventure Story, Novel, Book, Writings

November 22, 2005
(Sent from Dali, China)


WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Previous Letter Letter Index (Future Book)

Thumbnail Photo Page for this Letter

Cindie's Journal for this Letter

Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)


Facing the enemy within:

The wind is howling and black clouds are becoming angry.  Tim and Cindie are slowly riding up steep switchbacks leading into snowcapped mountains.  While riding at 4,400 m (14,400 feet) well above tree line in a barren rocky landscape, Cindie suddenly pulls over and starts crying and gasping for air.

Cindie (sitting on the side of the road and crying uncontrollably):  "I am wet, cold, and I can not breathe! Leave me here and push on.  We are going to die up here.  Humans can not survive at this altitude!

Tim:  "Cindie, pull yourself together!  I am never going to leave you anywhere.  We will have to keep it together if we are going to get off this mountain without freezing to death.  It looks like it could rain or snow again and getting wet now, at this altitude, would be dangerous.  This is no time to freak out!

Cindie fighting for air:  "I can't breathe I want to go home, I can't take this anymore,  I can't breathe!"

Tim suppressing the urge to ask her exactly where home is these days:  "In this altitude you can breathe.  We met sheep herders in Peru who lived in stone houses at this altitude.  You will have to calm down before you can catch your breath.  We only have another 400 meters (1,300 feet) to climb to reach the top then we coast down the other side.

Cindie calming down and catching her breath but still feeling dizzy:  "That's just it; I do not know what is on the other side of that mountain, or the next, and forever.  You don't either.  We never know what is in front of us.  Almost everyday of our lives we are some place we have not been before; complete strangers.  I feel so lost.  Tell me; what is over this huge mountain?

Tim wanting to continue to distract Cindie:  "Somewhere over this mountain are the green valleys of Yunnan (China).  It will be harvest time and cold season vegetables will be sold fresh everywhere.  I can taste the peas, onions, spinach, and broccoli now (they had not eaten much more than yak butter, yak meat, and potatoes during their 6 week tour of the high mountains).  After that we will ride through the jungles of Laos and experience another country that time has forgot.  The whole world is waiting for us on the other side of this mountain.  Do you know how lucky we are to have such an opportunity before us.  Lets go get it!

Cindie breathing easy know:  OK, What do we do now?

Tim:  I am going to take your heaviest two bags (he already had her entire load from her rack) and tie them to my bike and we are going to get over this mountain and into those low warm valleys of Yunnan.

After two hours of grinding up hill including many stops to catch their breath they reached the top.  On the way up water bottles froze and the snow started to fall.  The valley they coasted down to was not in Yunnan or even low enough to be warm but they camped among hardwood trees yellowing brightly in the crisp autumn air.  Cindie warmed herself by a campfire and made dinner (yak meat and instant noodles) while Tim collected firewood and water from a nearby creek.  A Tibetan nomad walked by their camp and said "Yah She Da Lay" which is hello in the Tibetan language.   After dinner Cindie read the Laos guidebook and dreamed of monks in flowing orange robes gliding around steamy mysterious temples.


OK, this will probably never appear on TV but it is a memory that I will replay whenever someone asks me about hard times.  I thought it would be a good way to open this letter and impress on you what traveling through the "rooftop of the world" can be like.  This was one of the most difficult moments (physically) of our nearly 4 years on the road.  We survived and the majority of days were enjoyable.  We had the pleasure of traveling on the ground floor of an exotic culture and quirky lifestyle that a remote location and harsh climate can produce.  In short, it was "really out there".  Now, when I hear the word "Tibet" I will have an image of herds of yaks being pushed along by brightly robed  monks with snow capped mountains behind them.  The memory of Cindie freaking out will also creep in because that was part of the journey as well.  Some things look better in the rear view mirror.

Because I am still in China I can not write the whole story like I prefer.  I will have to wait until I write this chapter of our upcoming Asia book.  If the wrong thing gets said I will be blocked from accessing our web site.  If I were to post my complete thoughts and stories they would probably find me and throw me in jail.  This country needs a 1960's like movement.

Someday I will ride across the entire Tibetan  Plateau.  The section we just completed only included a slice of it.  Next time, I will bring warmer clothes, sleeping bag and a tent meant for winter and snow.  Many cyclists have ridden the Hong Kong to Katmandu route.  Cindie has decided that she will never return to extreme high altitude bike touring.  She told me to go ALONE across Tibet and Nepal and she will spent that time with her sister in Alaska.  I do not believe that she could ever pass up on an adventure.  It will be at least 5 years from now before this option will become available.  First we plan to continue on to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia and then finally take our time in Australia and New Zealand.  Hong Kong to Katmandu sounds like a good way to get to India.  Will she call my bluff and watch me leave?

Biketouring101 contest

One of my favorite bike touring web sites is http://www.biketouring.  I read it often because there is fresh information that keeps me in the loop about advances in the sport.  I was surprised to learn that it is only one year old.  When I look around the site it seems like it has been adding content for years.  For biketouring101.com's first birthday they are having a contest.  There are many wonderful prizes including four of our books The Road That Has No End: How we traded our ordinary lives for a global bicycle touring adventure. This is a great honor.  Thank you Biketouring101 very much for including us in your contest!

I encourage everyone to take a look at this informative site and enter the contest.  Our book is just one of many prizes.  So, if you already have a copy of our book you can request a different prize.

From the Biketouring101 contest page.

There are two questions in the writing contest section. Each question is a separate subsection and will be judged independently.

"My best day of bicycle touring was ......"

"The most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a bicycle touring adventure was...."

Each submission must be between 300 and 500 words in length.

You can go directly to the contest page by using the link below.  Hurry because the contest ends soon.

biketouring101.com/HappyFirstBirthdayContest.htm

That is all for now.  Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the USA.

Tim Travis
Dali, China


WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Previous Letter Letter Index (Future Book)

Thumbnail Photo Page for this Letter

Cindie's Journal for this Letter

Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)

2002 - 2012 DownTheRoad.org (TM) All Rights Reserved
  

 

INDEX #3: SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to 9-15-06

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present


(see all 3 book)


November 22 - December 15, 2004
Thailand
Bangkok, to Aranyaprathet, Thailand

Cindie's Daily Journals
Thailand #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
INTRO Crossing Over to the Other Side: Relocating to Asia

LETTER Thailand: Landing in a Whole New World.

Best Place to see Pictures
Thailand Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Bangkok, Thailand
- Royal Barge Museum
- Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
- Wat Phra Kaew and Temple of the Emerald Buddha
- Pictures of Wat Pho
- Bangkok to Chanthaburi, Thailand.
- Island Ko Samet National Park
- Thailand's famous Thai Food
- Chanthaburi to Aranya Prathet and the Cambodian border.


 

 December 16- January 16, 2005
Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Poipet to Tien Bien, Cambodia

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Cambodia Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Cambodia: Poverty Does Not Equal Crime.

Best Place to see Pictures
Cambodia Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures of  Poverty in Cambodia: Poipet to Siem Reap
- Picture from Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Temples Bayon, Angkor Thom
Ta Prom (Temple where Tomb Raider was filmed)
- Preah Khan, Neak Poan, Eastern Mebon, Banteay Kei, Ta Som, Pre Rup

- Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Tuol Sleng S.21 Museum of Genocidal Crime
- Killing Fields of Pol Pot Cambodia
- Phnom Penh to Tinh Bien


 

(January 16 - February 17 , 2005)
Vietnam #1.
Tinh Bien to Cau Ganh, Vietnam

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Online South Vietnam Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
South Vietnam Thumbnails

Full size Picture Pages

- Chau Doc to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Floating Market and Boat Trip Tour
- Vietnam War Remnants Museum
- Cuchi Tunnels, Saigon, Vietnam
- Cuchi Tunnels Cu Chi near Saigon, Vietnam
- Pictures from Dalat, Vietnam
- Bicycling from Dalat to Buon Ma Thuot
- Jun Village
- Buon Ma Thuot to Cau Ganh


 
(February 18. - April 2, 2005)
Vietnam #2.
Cau Ganh, to Lang Son, Vietnam

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Daily Journal for North Vietnam.

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
North Vietnam Thumbnail Pictures.

Full size Picture Pages

- Cau Ganh to Hoi An
- Hoi An, Vietnam
- China Beach to Hue.
- Marble Mountain
- The Citadel in Hue
- Impoverished Highland Market Can Cau.
- Poverty Village of Bac Ha.

Hanoi water puppet


 
(April 3 - May 21, 2005)
Guangxi, China
Pingxiang to CongJiang, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Finally in China!

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Three Years and Still Going

Best Place to see Pictures
Best Thumbnail Pictures of Guangxi, China

Full size Picture Pages

- Pingxiang to Nanning, China
- Nanning, Guangxi to Liuzhou
- China's Karst Topography Landscape.
- Liuzhou to Yangshou, Guangxi, China
- Zhuo Yue English College in Yangshuo, China
- Li River bamboo boat trip in Yangshou..
- Ancient Chinese Stone Village of Fuli.
- Impressions light, dance, and music.
- Mountain biking through Yu Long Valley.
- Guilin to Congjiang Guangxi, China
- Reed Flute Cave Guilin China.
- Ping'an Guangxi, China.
- Dragon's Backbone and Rice Terraces.


 

May 22 - June 27, 2005

  Guizhou and Hunan, China
Congjiang to Zhangjiajie National Park China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guizhou, China

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Made in China: Free Birds in a Caged World!

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures of Guizhou, China.

Full size Picture Pages

- Congjiang to Kaili, Guizhou, China
- Kaili Guizhou - Wulingyuan National Park, Hunan.
- Wulingyuan (Zhangjiajie) National Park, Hunan.


 

(June 28 - July 15, 2005)

Beijing, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Beijing, China daily Blog and Journal

Best Place to see Pictures
Best and favorite pictures from Beijing, China

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures from Beijing, China
- Pictures of Forbidden City, China
- Summer Palace
- Great Wall from Jinshanling Simatai, China.
- Badaling Section of the Great Wall of China


 

(July 16 - Sept. 3, 2005)
Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, China.
Beijing to Xian, Shaanxi, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, China daily journal (blog)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
The Many Faces of China: Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, Provinces.!

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail pictures from Inner Mongolia, China.

Full size Picture Pages

- Beijing to Jining, Inner Mongolia.
- Grasslands of Jining, to Wuchuan (near) Hohhot
- Hohhot to Bautou, Inner Mongolia, China
- Wudang Lamasary
- Bautou to Yulin, Shanxi, China with Photos from Genghis Khan's Mausoleum.
- Yulin to Yanan, Shaanxi, China
- Chairman Mao's Headquarters and Residence in Yanan, China.
- Yanan to Xian, Shaanxi, China.
- Terracotta Warriors #1
- Terracotta Warriors #2.


 

 (Sept. 4 - Oct. 29, 2005)

Sichuan, China
Chengdu, to Zongdian, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Sichuan Blog

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Into Occupied Territory: Tibet!

Best Place to see Pictures
Sichuan Thumbnail Photos

Full size Picture Pages

- Giant Panda Breeding Center #1
- Red Panda  in Chengdu, Sichuan, China #2
- Chengdu to Kangding.
- Kangding, Sichuan, located in Southwestern China.
- Mugecuo Lake near Kangding, Sichuan, China.
- Kangding to Xinduqiao
- Xinduqiao to Tibetan Home Stay.
- Tibetan Home Stay to 4718 meter (15,475 feet)
- to Litang, Sichuan, China.
- Litang Lamasary Tibetan Buddhist Monk Monastery
- Litang to Sumdo, Tibet
- Sumdo to Xiangcheng
- Xiangcheng to Derong, Tibet.
- Derong, Sichuan Province to Tibetan Shangri-La, (Zongdian)


 

(Oct. 30 - Dec. 24, 2005)

Yunnan, China
Zongdian to Mohan, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Yunnan daily blog - journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Out of China: slipping past the watchful eye of censorship.

Best Place to see Pictures
Yunnan thumbnail photos

Full size Picture Pages

- Shangri-La, - Lijiang - Dali, China.
- Dali to Jingdong, Yunnan
- Jingdong to Puer
- Puer to Jinghong, Yunnan, China
- Xishuangbanna Tropical Flowers and Plants Garden.
- Mengla to Mohan, Yunnan, China (border with Laos))


 

December.25, 2005 - January 23, 2006
Laos
Boten to Vientiane

Cindie's Daily Journals
Laos daily blog journal

Click here for our first downloadable video called
 "LAOS: VIDEO POSTCARDS FROM THE ROAD.

Best Place to see Pictures
Laos Thumbnail pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Boten to Oudomxia, Laos.
- Laos Wood Carving Factory
- Oudomaxi - Luang Pabong
- Luang Phrabang, Laos: Monks, Wats, and a boat tour on the Mekong River.
- Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng, #1
- Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng, #2
- Vientiane, Laos


 

January 23 - March 12, 2006

Northeast Thailand
Nong Khai, Thailand to Bangkok

Cindie's Daily Journals
Northeast Thailand Blog and Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Four Years DownTheRoad!

Best Place to see Pictures
Northeast Thailand Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nong Khai to Dan Si
- Dan Si to Lop Buri
- The Ancient Ruins and Historic Temples of Ayuthaya
- Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.


 

(March 13 - April 18, 2006)

Southern Thailand
Hua Hin to Satun, Thailand

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's latest daily journal for South Thailand.  Now with over 4 years of entries!

5 minute Thailand Video
http://downtheroad.org/video/Files_Video/2Thailand_DownTheRoad.wmv

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures from South Thailand.

Full size Picture Pages

- Hua Hin to Ranong
- Ranong to Krabi
- Boat Tour of Ao Phang Nga Bay
- Ko Lanta Beach to Satun Tropical Thailand


 

(April 18 - Sept. 15, 2006)

  Malaysia #1
Langkawi, Malaysia to Parit Buntar

Cindie's Daily Journals Malaysia

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Two 1-Way Tickets to Australia Please

Best Place to see Thumbnail Pictures of Malaysia

Full size Picture Pages

- Langkawi to Nebong Tebal
- Underwater World Aquarium Langkawi
- Bird Paradise, Langkawi, Malaysia.
- Malaysian Home Stay and Cyclist Guest House.
- Traditional Tamil Indian Wedding
- Malaysian Home Cooking and Traditional Food
- Hand Made Pottery Factory
- Chinese Fishing Village and Party.
- Toddy Plantation Farm and Palm Oil Production.
- Malaysian Chinese Temple of Heaven and Hell.
- Malaysian Indian Hindu Temple and Religious Ceremony

 

(May to August, 2006)
Malaysia #2

Tanah Rata to Taiping, Malaysia

Cindie's Daily Journals

Video: Malaysian David's Cyclist Home Stay (5:35 min)
http://www.prescottyellowpages.com/Video/3Malaysian_Cyclists_Home_Stay.wmv

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail pictures of Malaysia #2

Full size Picture Pages

- Cameron Highlands Trails and National Park
- Butterfly Garden
- Boh Tea and Sungai Palas Tea Plantation and farm
- Mardi Research Center, Tanah Rata
- Tanah Rata, Cameroon Highlands, Malaysia
- Indian Fire Walking Ceremony at the Hindu Temple
- Our 8th Wedding Anniversary the Cultural Indian Way
- Chinese Cultural Opera and Traditional Arts Celebration
- Malaysian Indian Religion
- Malaysian Guesthouse and Homestay #2

 

(July - Sept. 15, 2006)
 
Malaysia #3 and Singapore.
Taiping, Malaysia to Singapore

Cindie's Daily Journals for Malaysia

Best Place to see Pictures
Malaysia #3 and Singapore

Full size Picture Pages

- Penang hill Chinese Temple
- Taiping to Melaka, Malaysia.
- Taman Alam Kuala Selangor Natural Park
- Melaka, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.
- Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Chinese Hill (Bukit China) Cemetery
- Melaka, Malaysia to Singapore


1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

Subscribe to Email Newsletter

 

 

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles
Panniers
Racks
Saddles
Tires
Lights

Fenders
Tools and Spares

Tents
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Pedals
Handelbars/Grips
Headsets
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag

Lights

Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)


Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads


Email Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002 - 2020 DownTheRoad.org (TM) All Rights Reserved

Find out how you can use my pictures on your web site legally and free of charge.