Amaya Williams and Eric Schambion are two ordinary people who gave up conventional lives to become bike nomads and cycle around the world. Since 2006, their round the world cycling tour has taken them through almost 80 countries on 5 continents. South America is the latest leg of their two-wheeled journey. You can follow their world bicycle tour at www.worldbiking.info.
Here they share a taste of desert riding around the world.
There’s nothing more beautiful than stumbling across some lost soul after a lonely day in the desert. This Sudanese boy was leading his donkey across a vast expanse of emptiness just as the sun was setting. I still wonder where he was headed.
Locals in Sudan’s Nubian Desert know it’s best to cover up to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays. They’ve also realized that a bicycle is by no means the ideal form of transport.
The mythical Sahara is easy to cross now that authorities have constructed a silky smooth highway crossing the desert. Long gone are the days when nomads guided Europeans through Western Sahara on their way to Mauritania.
No, this is not the Arctic, just an ice-like illusion in Egypt’s White Desert. A fine alternative to the biking the busy Nile route where police checks and roadblocks are the norm.
Desert camping is the most peaceful experience you can imagine. Complete and utter silence and a night sky where stars shine brighter than any other place on earth.
In Africa, kids almost always come to your aid. These kids seemed to appear out of nowhere and spontaneously started pushing me through a rough stretch of ‘road’ in Niger.
America seldom comes to mind when we think of deserts, but the great Southwest is home to beautiful High Desert plains. This shot with the wacky trees was taken in Joshua Tree National Park.
Unfortunately, nobody was around to help out when we slogged through Northern Kenya. Pushing through deep sand is exhausting and it’s hard to maintain morale.
There wasn’t a freak snowstorm in the desert. That’s another shot of the amazing White Desert.
The Sinai is at a crossroads between Africa and Asia. Temperatures drop precipitously once the sun sets, and when we passed in early January a thick down sleeping bag was a must.
These Malian boys jumped out at as we cycled through the Sahel. The youngsters had just undergone a circumcision ceremony and were covered in ash to protect them from evil spirits.
Namibia. One of the hottest places on earth and my favorite country in Africa. There’s no place to escape the pounding heat and you just have to keep turning the pedals until sunset provides some relief.
Follow Amaya and Eric’s continuing world bicycle tour at www.worldbiking.info.