May 8, 2011

The First 100th Days

Time for an outcome assessment!! ;))

During these last three months and a half we covered 27.912 kilometres (11.984 km by land, 15.928 km by air).

Mamallapuram, India

Globally we spent one month in the frozen wintery Europe (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria), one month in Middle East (Jordan, Syria, Iran) and one month in Nepal/India. And we have just started our South East Asia tour with Thailand!

So far we visited 53 cities in 12 countries and had to get used to 11 different currencies!!

We spent 143 hours in 18 trains (of which 6 overnight trains).
We spent 54 hours in 11 buses (of which 2 overnight buses).
We spent 27 hours in 11 planes (1 direct flight and 5 trips with a connection). And we waited 32 hours in transit airports.
Therefore, in total, 12% of the trip was passed in transport between cities.

Varanasi, India

 Palmyra, Syria

Bangalore, India

We slept in 33 cities: 61 nights in 19 hostels/guesthouses/hotels and 30 nights at 13 couchsurfers' places.

Aleppo, Syria

Shiraz, Iran

We changed city every 2,6 days and moved to another country every 8,3 days (on average). This last figure is not really representative as we spent almost as much time in India as in Europe.


Which country surprised us the most?
Syria. We did not expect to find such a beautiful and peaceful country. But we did leave the country ten days before the beginning of the current political protests.

Which country did we prefer?
Thailand (Luis), Nepal (Axelle).

Which did city we prefer?

Which city did we enjoy less?
Tehran (Luis), New Delhi (Axelle).

The most impressive sight we visited?
The Taj Mahal (Luis), the Golden Temple in Amritsar (Axelle).

The best moment?
When we took a hot shower in Bangkok after a few weeks in India and Nepal with only cold ones!

The most difficult moment?
We had a terrible day in Cluj-Napoca. We got there after a night bus during which we did not sleep because of the crazy driving skills of the driver. We arrived at 6.00am in a lost bus station outside the city with minus fifteen degrees outside and black ice everywhere. Nobody could speak English! We wandered for a while with our backpacks, managed to find our way and reached our couchsurfer's place at 8.30am. We knew they had an important exam the day after so we left to the city centre. At around 6pm we came back to their place with groceries to cook dinner. But they announced us that they had to go out right away, would be back at around 10pm and did not want to leave us alone in their appartment! We were really tired and did not know where to go at that time (they live in a residential area outside city centre). We ended up at a shopping mall after having waited fifty long minutes for the bus under the snow!! Luis' feet toes got a little frozen. Just a bit too much for one day... ;)

The most striking meeting?
With the Iranian family who hosted us in Esfahan. They really welcomed us as if we were a part of their family. Amazing!

Our most extreme culinary experience?
A vegetarian restaurant in Amritsar! The menu was not really comprehensible so we ordered stuff randomly!! Not a good idea...

Amritsar, India

The funniest moment?
When we yelled at a poor fellow in the train station of Varanasi.

What do we miss the most?
A washing machine (Luis), French cheese with a glass of red wine (Axelle).

Amman, Jordania

What do we miss the less?

Are we bored to change place every two or three days?

How is our health?
Very well. We got used to our new daily routine. We have some natural back pain due to the backpacks and the different sleeping places. We also lost some of the extra weight we had and are very happy about it! :)

What is our daily routine?
We usually wake up between 8 and 9am, have a breakfast provided by the hostel if included or industrial cookies. We then go out to visit the city sights and have a big meal in the middle of the afternoon. Getting back to the hotel, we normally have an internet break for emails and news checking. We also work on the logistic preparation of the rest of the trip (selection of the cities we want to visit, the sights worth being seen, the accomodations, the transports between each city, etc.). Sometimes we have to reorganize our itinerary according to international events, for exemple after the Japanese nuclear catastrophe. A more frequent activity: to select, organize and write the captions for our daily fotos or to write blog posts. After a shower, we usually wash our clothes by hand in a sink and go to bed at about 12pm. This is our program the days we are not taking a bus, a train or an airplane!

Do we still enjoy travelling together?


  1. Nathalie LE NORMANDMay 8, 2011, 3:59:00 PM

    Coucou !
    C'est vraiment très impressionnant, voir étourdissant, de se rendre compte de tout ce que vous avez fait jusqu'à ce jour !
    Bonne route et profitez bien !

  2. Claire-EmmanuelleMay 9, 2011, 11:22:00 AM

    Trop cool cette rubrique, j'adore! C'est pas mal de faire les questions et les réponses, un vrai job de journaliste ;) (j'espère qu'il n'y a pas de journaliste dans les contacts! :)) Bref, c'est super, vos stats et tout, de vrais pros. Axelle, ton endroit préféré me donne définitivement envie d'aller au Népal, c'est clair. Et le happy end, last question, trop mignon ;) Tiens, nous on a décidé avec Antoine de partir 3 semaines aux Antilles en septembre, en Guadeloupe principalement. See you soon, et ravie de constater, preuves à l'appui, que ça roule bien pour vous!! Gros bisous. Claire-E.

  3. Merci merci! :)) En fait, nous avons juste repris les questions que l'on nous pose le plus fréquemment.. La Guadeloupe.. Ca donne envie aussi mais c'est pas dans le planning!;) Bisous

  4. Oui très chouette le questions-réposne, je suis d'accord. Je reviens moi-même d'un long week-end à Miami, je sais pas si c'est prévu dans votre itiniraire US plus tard, si oui fais moi signe, j'ai quelques adresses à recommander.