Today we are traveling with Dave from Dave’s Travel Pages.
Hi, my name is Dave, and I am from the UK. My travel blog Dave’s travel Pages has been online for 11 years, making it one of the oldest online. The general theme of the blog, is to provide travel inspiration for other people to go out, discover, and explore the world.
What type of traveler would you say are you?
I have travelled the world as a backpacker, but now class myself as a bicycle tourer. Travelling the world by bicycle offers many great benefits, and adds a touch of adventure and excitement to travel! it is also an incredibly cheap way to travel, so this puts me firmly in the budget category of traveller.
What’s inside your panniers? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry
The short answer, is there is too much inside my panniers! What i carry does vary depending if my trip is a day ride or a year long cycle around the world. The things that I would always carry regardless though, are a bicycle pump and a puncture repair kit.
How many kilometers do you usually cycle per day? And how many hours on your travels?
I find that it is comfortable to cycle on average 80 kms a day. This means that I can cover a fair distance, and still have time and energy to explore villages, towns, and other attractions along my route. Of course, sometimes it is much less, especially on mountainous terrain, and sometimes much more with a good tailwind!
In terms of budget, my last trip averaged out at 10 dollars a day. To achieve this, I wild camped where I could, used the Warmshowers network, and took cheap 3 dollar accommodation throughout central and South America.My last trip averaged out at 10 dollars a dayClick To Tweet
Which the easiest country for traveling by bicycle? Why?
Ok, this is a good question! I think I would say Germany or the Netherlands. These countries have great cycling infrastructure in the form of a network of cycle paths, many of which are kept separate from traffic.
Which the hardest country for traveling by bicycle? Why?
I would say that Ethiopia is the hardest country to cycle through. I have met many people who thought the same, and it is my least favourite country in the world! There are some tough sections of terrain, but it is the people that make it hard work. let’s leave it at that!!
Do you remember a day in your travels by bicycle where you thought about quitting your trip?
And I thought I could leave Ethiopia at the last question!! During my cycle ride from England to South Africa. I thought about quitting once in Ethiopia. Not completely quitting, but just getting a bus to the border. However, I stuck with it and persevered!
Which bicycle you were using in your trips? How old it was and how much did you cost?
My first cycle trip, was a ride around New Zealand over 4 months. I literally landed, went to a bike shop, and bought a bike… I think it was a Marlin.
The second long distance trip, was cycling from England to South Africa. On this occasion I used a Dawes Galaxy which cost about 600 pounds. 700cc wheels, which were not ideal on some of the rough roads in Africa!
The third long distance cycling trip was from Alaska to Argentina. On this occasion, I used a Dawes Sardar. This bike cost about 450 pounds.
What were you using for checking the road in your bicycle trips? GPS or maps?
I was initially using maps when on the road. More often than not though, I would reach a country, and there would be no suitable maps available. After that, it was a matter of following road signs/ asking for directions/ getting locals to hand draw maps!
Times have certainly changed, and I can both plan and discover routes far better with Google maps. I also have a GPS now.
Are you usually traveling alone? Why?
Yes I usually travel alone. No one else I know is mad enough to want to cycle around the world… their loss!!
Which country did you find the most hospitable people?
My experience, is that the countries you would least expect it have the most hospitable people. Syria (pre-war) was an amazing place to cycle through, as was Sudan and Colombia. The world is a much friendlier place than most people think it is… It is one of the attractions to travelling by bicycle.
How is a day in your life when you aren’t traveling?
Right now, I work as a freelance writer, social media manager, and website manager. The great thing about this, is that I can work anywhere with an internet connection. Combining this work and travel lifestyle to achieve the perfect balance is this years challenge!
What’s the big reason why you are traveling?
I still can’t answer this question, 20 years after people first asked me as I was driving around Australia in a cheap car that looked like it would fall to bits any moment. I like the challenge. I like the freedom. I like the space. I like the chance to meet people from different cultures. I like trying new food. etc etc.
Can you tell us about your longest trip? How long was it and which places did you go to?
My longest trip would be my cycling trip from Alaska to Argentina. This lasted for 18 months. The country list for this includes Canada, the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.
I spent $10 a day during this trip, and had to borrow some money from my family for the flight back home! I saved the money for this trip by not having a car, having any debt, and limiting nights out in bars. The way I looked at it, was that every $10 I saved, was a day on the road… It’s a strong motivator.
In all the trips you’ve done, what has been your favorite so far? and why?
Each trip is so different. In terms of challenge, the England to South Africa bike ride was my favourite.
What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?
I am going to put an easy answer here! I am currently based in Greece, and love the food! (Saying this also makes sure I do not get in trouble with my girlfriend!).
Has there been any challenging and bad moments? Can you tell us about the experience?
I have had some wonderful experiences cycling around the world. I have never been robbed, and I have never felt in danger from other people. Maybe I live a charmed life?!
The ‘closest call’ I had, was when a tree branch fell down on my bike, crushing the back wheel as I slept in my tent at night. If it fell a metre to the right, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be typing this right now!
What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done?
I have enjoyed San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico both times I have visited. It seems like a cool oasis after travelling through a hot country. It also has a laid back vibe which appeals to me.
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
The worst place I stayed, was in a ditch by the side of the road in Romania. It was pitch black, and I had to stop cycling many miles short of a town, so literally slept in a ditch. When I woke in the morning, I also found it was a popular place for truck drivers to take a sh*t! Lovely smell!
The best place was a warmshowers host that had a hot tub- Nice!”
Are you planning for a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?
I have several trips planned this year, starting with a backpacking trip around the Balkans in January. In terms of bicycle touring though, I am planning a bicycle tour around Iceland in June 2016.
Its easy to find love while you are traveling? How do you finance your trips?
You are talking to someone who met his Greek girlfriend in Greece whilst in Athens for a travel conference. Three months later, I moved to Greece, and have been here for a year… yes, it is easy!!
How do you finance your trips?
All my trips are self-financed (although in the future I would love to work with destination tourist boards etc). The great thing about saving and paying for trips myself, is that I can be completely honest. It also makes trips such as mine achievable for everyone – most of my trips have been financed by me working minimum wage jobs. If I can do it, then so can you!
Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveller should I interview next?
If you can get an interview with Karl Bushby I would love to read it!
Great interview and story, thanks for your time Dave from Dave´s Travel Pages!
Dave from Dave´s Travel Pages is a real traveler. Cycling from Alaska to Argentina. Cycling from England to South Africa, Dave is a great inspiration for people who loves traveling. Once again is possible to travel the world in a low budget. Dave is spending $10 per day during his trips.
Dave is currently living in Greece and he has a project to visit every museum in Athens. He started with an original list of 60, which has developed to over 80. Dave hopes to complete the project some time this year!!
If you want to read more cyclist stories click here, to read the interview with Patrick Marting Schroeder who´s been traveling by bicycle 130+ countries around the world. Read here, the story of Josiah Skeats crossing Europe from United Kingdom to Turkey. If you want to travel by bicycle without money. You can read a full guide, how to prepare a bicycle with almost no money.