Reports on my cycle trip around the World (by Ernest Markwood)
Sunday, 3 November 2013
HALOWEEN DOWN SOUTH
So, from Richmond Virginia I hit the busy Highway 1 South, on the road again after a pleasant but brief respite.
I cycled through some traffic on route 1 South of Richmond, and then through a rather dilapidated (and hillbilly'ish) Petersburg, before getting to open space again. The road was fine from there across into North Carolina state, the 21st state in the USA through which I've cycled in the past few months.
Thankfully, the weather was good - perhaps I am outrunning the approaching Northern winter. I had no need to find a sheltered camp site, and there was plenty of woods and such places to camp. It also gave me a chance to dry my stuff out for a change.
On the outskirts of Raleigh (capital of NC) I met Rob Atkinson, who has just recently started his own bike shop. He gave me directions to the place, and then he gave me a whole lot of things I needed for Old Saartjie (including a set of tyres, and a rear derailleur). There are some strange things going on here in North Carolina, apparently there is an annual "National Hollerin' Contest", and the little place where this occurs is now famous as the "Hollerin' Capital".
I've been seeing the Halloween decorations on sale, and also being set up at people's homes for the past few weeks. When I've asked someone when Halloween takes place, they just laugh at me, thinking I'm joking (obviously everybody knows when Halloween is!). Eventually it happened, and here in Wilmington we all went across Nun street to Cheryl's house for the party. At one stage it was also my job to dish out candy when the kids came around "Tricking and Treating". (A year ago Leana and I were in Mexico for Halloween).
I was supposed to stay with Warmshowers hosts Paul and Phyllis here in Wilmington, but they rented their house out and moved to their sailboat for the start of a 4-month trip the day I arrived (I did meet them, however). Instead I'm staying with their neighbour, David Walker, a very pleasant and interesting man. I'm not quite sure what a "raconteur" is, but David has been referred to as such, and I guess he fits the description. He is an impressive artist, and also a collector of things.
Amongst the things which David collects are houses and cars (and everything else imaginable). He said I'm welcome to stay here as long as I want, just not more than 2 months (and he's serious!). Tonight will be my 4th night here, its been rainy but tomorrow will be clear and cool, so I'll move on.
I've been able to do a few things while I have a secure place to do so, such as working on my bike and, of course, updating this blog!
Daily distances cycled since Richmond have been as follows:- Alberta 96 km; Warrenton 77 km; Franklinton 63 km; Raleigh 66 km; Erwin 67 km; Samson County 77 km; and Wilmington 86 km. The total distance cycled so far in North America is 14 241 km, and the total cycled so far on this trip is 118 867 km.
My bike (Old Saartjie) on the first day of this trip, 27 March 2007.
PLEASE HELP TO KEEP OLD SAARTJIE'S WHEELS ROLLING: In order to fund this cycle trip I'd sold everything I had, but that has long gone. Please help if you can! If you want to contribute, then please contact me on my e-mail, and I will give you details. (email@example.com)
My Cycle Route
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 March 2007 - 144 871 km so far
My name is Ernest Markwood, and I am a South African formerly from Cape Town. I am a Research Psychologist by profession, and operated a Market Research business before embarking on this journey. I sold my posessions and took off by bicycle all the way through Africa from Cape Town. Since then I've proceeded via the Middle-East through Turkey, the Caucusus, Iran, Sub-Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal), China, South-East Asia, Indonesia, Australia, South- and Central America, and the USA, crossing Canada from the West to East and then all the way down the East coast of USA, and Jamaica. Currently my mission is to close gaps in order to form a continuous route around the world. I left Cape Town on 27 March 2007. This was not intended to be a race, but rather an experience (and so it is!).
Me (Ernest), on one of my better days
. . . . on this trip I have looked like this . . . .
- - - also like this . . .
. . . . and I've even looked like this!
I have not been cycling on my own for this entire trip. Leana and I left together on 27 March 2007 from Cape Town, South Africa (our former hometown). Since then we have cycled separately at intervals, although in total we have been together much of the time. We split in 2013. For more about her see leananiemand.org.za