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Arizona couple cycle world, leaving ordinary life behindBy SHARON MARRIS - Taranaki | Thursday, 11 October 2007
Tim and Cindie Travis braved the rain to get out on their bikes yesterday, but that's nothing compared to some of the things they have been through.
The American couple left careers as a teacher and geologist, their house and what they describe as ordinary lives, to cycle the world in 2002.
And they haven't stopped since.
Mr and Mrs Travis are in New Plymouth for a few weeks before cycling through New Zealand.
They have toured South America, Australia and Asia, and still plan to cycle in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The scariest time, they both agree, was being arrested in China.
"We were taking photos of what we thought were farmers, but it turned out they were prisoners," Mr Travis says.
"To make matters worse, the building behind them, which looked to me like a university, turned out to be a military training school. We speak Spanish, so we just used that to communicate with each other and to encourage one another, saying it'll be alright."
It didn't help they had a laptop computer with them - they run a website www.downtheroad.org and are working on a second book while travelling.
After six hours of being questioned and searched, they were released, only to find themselves being followed by their captors on the road for the next three days.
"Things work in ways you don't understand in China," Mr Travis says. "It's hard to say what was going on."
Mrs Travis describes their followers as Keystone Kops, but both admit they didn't find it so funny at the time.
Having recently arrived in New Plymouth, they have already seen more rain than during all their Australian travels.
"The best part is having all your preconceptions about a place and its people proved wrong," Mrs Travis says.
"We thought Australia would be really hot all the time because that's what we'd heard, but it's not."
They plan to spend eight months touring New Zealand.
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