Hitch-Riding – Part Two: Etiquette

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In Part One we discussed the whens and wheres of hitch-riding. Now, let’s look at the whos and hows.   Choosing And Approaching Drivers When you’re thumbing out on the road it’s hard to see drivers’ faces. Better to go somewhere you can walk up to a driver, such as a gas station or restaurant, […]

How The Heck Do You Pronounce Yby Ya’u?

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Places with strange, hard-to-pronounce names are intriguing. Kaa-lya. Xcalak. Torixoréu. Parangaricutirimicuaro. A location seems more exotic when you go to say its name and your tongue doesn’t know what to do. You feel more curious about going there; and more adventurous for having gone. What sort of adventure awaits in Joyabaj, for example? Or in […]

The Best Gear is Crappy Gear

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In the Yucatán I met a couple of young American bicycle travellers, Lee and Jakob, who were on their way to Cuba. I’d just come from Cuba so they asked me for route suggestions and advice. What impressed me most about these guys was their gear, and not because it was good; it wasn’t. It […]

Blades Of Glory: Machetes Demystified

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My Latin American tours usually start in this order: (1) Ride out of the airport. (2) Find food and water. (3) Buy a machete. (4) Find somewhere to spend the night. If they sold machetes at airports, it would probably be number one. In fact, if it didn’t raise so many eyebrows at airports, I’d […]

Too Cross to Cross! Keeping it Calm at Border Crossings.

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Sorry, but I have to start by saying this: International borders are bullshit! At best pointless, at worst evil, the entire border industry (yes, it’s an industry) is based on xenophobia, oppression, corruption, and extortion. These invisible lines do nothing to protect us and everything to inconvenience us. I’m sorry, border employees, it’s nothing personal. […]

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