Adventure on Two Wheels: Cycling Italy and Myanmar
Holidays are an opportunity to cut loose and eliminate the frenzy of real life, at least for a week or two, exploring the world beyond our postcodes and regional borders, uncovering facets of our own intrepid personality we never thought to put a finger on. Though most of us are quite engaged by rocketing around in a private car, a rental vehicle or the crazy, back and forth of a rickshaw, why not stretch your muscles and truly SEE the world from the saddle of your own two wheeler? Cycling tours are the next frontier of adventure travel, experiencing a considerable resurgence as ethical globe-trotters search for an environmentally friendly way to see the world. If you’re picturing an endless, winding road of boredom, your senses will be stimulated from ears to lips, completely disqualifying these less than favorable imaginings; adventure cycling isn’t just for fitness fanatics, cyclists and the free spirited, the immersion and variation will strike you breathless and hungry for more.
Bella Italia is an expanse of beauty and divergent terrains, ranging from the rocky Cliento Coast, to the stunning shores of the Amalfi; every year, honeymooners and holiday makers wander the unrestrained magnificence of Italy, savouring the taste sensations and losing themselves in a comforting pocket of abandonment. Beginning on the eaves of Cliento National Park, cyclists pumps their pedals in time with the gentle lash of an incoming tide, as pathways and Aleppo pines give way to a sand banked beaches. The landscape has escaped the seductions of the 21st century, dotted with picturesque fishing inlets and an aromatic array of flora and olive groves. Seize the opportunity to absorb the heritage of Paestum, a Greco-Roman out post steeped in history, and pick your feet up, rest your bike and fall in love with the majesty of temples, obelisks and amphitheaters.
Burma or Myanmar is a sovereign state and the second largest nation in Asia; a melting pot of history making social movements, dissolved military juntas and political revolutions – while the rest of us quail over formative action, the citizens of Burma have lived it, producing internationally celebrated human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi. Though most of us are aware of this chequered past, Burma has so much to offer the intrepid soul; the ancient city of Bagan is a global jewel, hosting over 2200 temples and pagodas, inscribed with disciplines and motifs, the launching pad of a 12th century Golden Age and scholarly study for ambitious pilgrims, come across the seas and land. You will experience, savour and be bewildered by the grandeur of Bagan, as you ride the twisting trails and paths, stopping ever so suddenly to delve deeper into some of the more accessible temples. From the magical facades of the Po Win Tunag Temple to the heights of Mt Popa, your pedals will be torn between keeping pace and stopping to get lost in the luscious landscapes of Burma.
Curious? Interested? Excited? Tune in next time and be prepared to have your eyes opened to the singular experiences of India and Cambodia, from behind the eyes of a cyclist. Not a pedalling two-wheeler lover? You will be!