And now, eventually I can get to where I currently find myself. There has been a fair amount of suspicion of me having dropped off the edge of the earth, and so forth.
Anyway, it is not quite that complicated. By the time I was leaving China I was already in some serious financial trouble (having to take trains and busses to get back out of the country in time). Thanks to my sister Olga for looking out for me, and the Western Union line must have been red-hot!
Then, by the end of November the guest season in Florida had started to pick up again, and Gabriele of Paradise Farm (where I'd spent a part of the previous winter) was keen to get me on a plane to resume my former duties. Thanks to Gabriele for the plane ticket as well as for sending me cash in Thailand
So in December I arrived back on the farm close to Homestead (South of Miami), and started taking care of the guests in the B&B bungalows again. The cat (Guacamole) seemed somewhat indifferent about my 6-month absence, but I was glad to see her again as I had not expected to ever return.
Once again, I don't really get off the farm, but I have met many wonderful people from all over the world (especially from the North in winter). Initially I came to the farm as a Warmshowers.org guest, and now I have had the priviledge of taking care of many other Warmsowers members who regularly come cycling in here. Some are pictured here, apologies to the many others, I may not have taken your picture.
My bike (Old Saartjie) is set up for shopping duty at the moment, and I have cycled more than 1000 km in the past few months to the grocery stores in the area (of course I do not add that to my total mileage!).
Where to next? In a couple of weeks I hop on a plane to Bangkok to resume my travels in the far east. I've found that Bangkok is a good hub and starting point for visas and permits etc. I still have a section of China to cycle through, and Myanmar is on my to-do list (hopefully it will work out this time).
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My Cycle Route
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 March 2007 - 146 849 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