Dreams Deferred – The Danube

Leaving the Alps behind, we headed towards the Danube.  When we were deciding on our route through Europe, this is the one section that I (Deb) really wanted to do.  Mac wanted Verdun, France.  Colburn wanted the beer route in Belgium.  Lucia wanted to go to Prague.  I wanted the Danube.  Much like the EuroVelo 15 along the Rhine River, the Danube path (part of EuroVelo 6) has very low gradients, lots of infrastructure, and great opportunities to amuse theRead more

The Alps Part I: Switzerland

By Colburn The bicycles are now dirtier, worn and yet still running smoothly despite our 1650km of trails, paths, roads, and sidewalks. The worn tires tell a bit of a story. It was in the Alps when we began to see the tires show the mileage and make us see just how far and over how many types of paths we are traveling. During our three-week trip through the region, the water fountains, train travel, and spectacular scenery were theRead more

Cycling in France

Leaving the cool of Ireland behind, we boarded an overnight ferry to France then had to take two trains to get to our starting town in France, Mauberge.  As I mentioned in the Ireland post, getting on and off ferries and trains is a very stressful situation for bicyclists, and this was no exception.  We were, however, able to make it through the process and truly enjoyed the open borders policy for the Shengen Area.  Unlike the land border crossingsRead more

Luck of the Irish – Ireland

Sometimes everything goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.  We knew going into it that the weather in Ireland in May can be unsettled. It can be a fabulously beautiful time with the most spring colors across the Emerald Isle or it can be cold, wet and miserable.  After our amazing good fortune for weather in Scotland, we were hesitant to believe that our luck could hold out.  Fortunately for us, we were blessed with extremely good weather for the entirety ofRead more

A Love Affair – Scotland

When we first came to Scotland on our way to Africa in 2017, it was a quick three week ‘grand tour’ trying to see everything while still setting aside more than a week for walking the West Highland Way.  We barely scratched the surface on that trip, but all of us said that if we were ever to come live in a place for a while to see what that kind of travel was like, it would be somewhere inRead more

Are You My People?

“Are you my people? Oh, no, you’re the North Americans who signed in yesterday!”” exclaimed the wildlife ranger as we were enjoying sundowners on the second night of our self-drive through Botswana.  Still confused, we asked who it was that he was looking for?  “Oh, there were reservations for people who did not show up last night and I am worried.  It is the rainy season and the roads aren’t good.  People get in to trouble when they are stuckRead more

The Ultimate Homeschool Science Course

By the end of our trip, our kids will have spent 13 weeks doing wildlife research and conservation volunteering in Africa.  If you include the community volunteering, it rises to 18 weeks.  This struck me when we were working with a college intern doing a 12-week assignment cataloging wild dog pack dynamics in northern Namibia.  Our kids will have spent more time in the field than a college semester requires for a full-time internship.  Not a bad way for aRead more

Learning About a Genocide: Rwanda

Please note that much of the following description of our time in Rwanda may be very disturbing if you are not familiar with the Rwandan Genocide. We absolutely enjoyed Rwanda, but the history is full of pain. Now often considered the rising star of East Africa, Rwanda is a place different from the others in the area. It is a small country, about the size of Massachusetts, set high in the tropical mountains of the middle of the continent. SomeRead more

The Pearl of Africa: Uganda

We really enjoyed Uganda.  I’m not sure why it surprised me, but it did.  After nearly constant stress, frustration, and disappointment in Kenya, Uganda was a welcoming and gentle place.  Leaving Kenya we were harassed by two of the most obnoxious fixers to date.  Despite politely declining their services with increasing firmness, they men harangued us until I finally told one guy what an ass he was.  He responded with both racist and misogynistic antagonisms quite literally until we droveRead more