Around the World on Bicycles

April 29, 2005

AT an age when most people start thinkingabout putting their feet up, Colin Nunnington,66, from England, and Bernadette McFadyen,52, from Scotland, have spent the past threeyears cycling through more than 20 countriesaround the world.The retired couple started their adventurein England, crossing 10 European countriesbefore jumping ship to Australia and NewZealand. The intrepid duo crossed theAmerican continent all the way from Alaska toarrive in Costa Rica April 15 – all by bicycle.By now they have ridden more than 26,000kilometers. While on the road, they ride forabout six hours a day at an average speed ofabout 15 kilometers per hour.It’s difficult to decide which is the mostbeautiful place they’ve visited, they say.Bernadette thinks Alaska may be her favorite,while Colin talks of Lakes Louise andMoraigne in Canada, and Atitlán in Guatemala,where he says the views are amazing.They carry only necessities, saying that ifthey buy a shirt, they have to throw the old one away. They have special panniers fortheir bicycles, and a tent has frequently been their home during the trip.Part of their adventure consists of not taking airplanes – so when there’s no moreland to cross, they take a boat. It took the pair three weeks to go from Italy to Australia,and five days from there to New Zealand. Crossing the Pacific to the west coast of theUnited States took three weeks. All these voyages were on container ships.The couple entered Costa Rica via the border with Nicaragua, and proceeded to ridearound the Nicoya Peninsula, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. From therethey took the ferry to the Pacific port city of Puntarenas – where they were forced toboard a bus rather than ride to San José, because of the lack of shoulders on the highway.Some time this past week, the pair crossed into Panama, from where they plan toboard a container ship to an as-yet-undetermined location in the Caribbean. Their planis to eventually get to Trinidad and Tobago, from where they will board another containership back to Europe.Biking Costa RicaSeveral companies in the country offer mountain biking tours of varyingduration and difficulty, including:Bike Arenal, www.bikearenal.com, 479-9454Coast to Coast Adventures, www.ctocadventures.com, 280-8054Costa Rica Biking Adventure, www.bikingincostarica.com, 225-6591Costa Rica Sun Tours, www.crsuntours.com, 296-7757Lava Tours, www.lava-tours.com, 278-2558 or 888-862-2424 from theUnited States

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