My 10 Roads & Races

  • Roads Stories
If you are an experienced traveller, you certainly know the Silk Road or the Gringo Road. Some following Paul Theroux adventures would also know the African Road (Cairo/Cape Town) or the Transiberian one. I am sure there are a lot of other less-known roads to discover in Europe, or Maghreb or North America. I am open to your suggestions. As Indonesia Moluccas Islands were the world spice provider in a time without fridge, I called the Road from China to Indonesia the Spice Road.

Road Bagging is for those obsessed with collecting (mostly men), who collected stamps or pens in their childhood, bikes or cars in their adulthood. They might just need to brag about it with pals, or keep it for themselves. In any case, my aim is just to share my sweat and experience with you and show how you would meet the world most interesting people while on the Road.The inspiration for Road Bagging was varied, but mainly came from multiple visits to more than 80 countries. Tired of doing one country at a time, I decided to follow a road for a minimum of 3 months, and to visit multiple countries during the same trip. I discovered I was not the first to get this silly idea, as I encountered many fellow travellers with the same objective, except that most of them were using Bicycles, Motorbikes, Camping-cars, Horses or even Rickshaws... I decided I was more an earthbound creature and did some parts of it by foot, and if not by bus, where I would indeed meet more locals.

Incredible Silk Roads
The wonderful Silk Road offers the adventurous an enormous variety of opportunities, including world-famous mountain ranges such as Carpaths, Cappadoccia, Mount Ararat area, Damavand, near Tehran, Indukush and Himalayas.
Japanese and Korean usually do it from Asia to Europe, and European, the other way. FYI, there's a silly competition in Tokyo, it is to do Tokyo-Paris for less than 3 US$/day! good luck!
The Silk Road is in reality a network of Silk Roads.
Described here are a Southern Silk Road and a Northern Silk Road
The First one roughly pass through Turkey, Iran and South Asia.
The Second one goes North of the Caspian Sea and through Central Asia.
From Oct 2003 to June 2005, I had crossed 20 countries and stayed 700 nights in hundreds of hotels.

Spice Road
The Spice Road is located in South East Asia and used to link Chinese and European consumers with the spices kingdoms on the Moluccas Indonesian Islands. For the slow traveller, South East Asia can be visited best by going down the Mekong, from Yunnan, China to Saigon, Vietnam, passing through Laos and Cambodia on the way, with no car in sight. Best rest stop: the Thousands Islands on the Mekong Falls, at the Camboidian-Laos border.Hikers will be delighted by the various volcanoes available for conquest in Malaysia & Indonesia. A nicely done website on this subject is:

Gringo or Conquistador Roads
Based on the Road criteria (Historical Significance/Long Distance/Multiple Border Crossing), the Western Gringo Road in South America is a must. Europeans, and especially Frenchs like to start by Ushuaia, because of the TV adventure serie of the same name. Americans, the real gringos, prefer to do it the other way, starting lazily by Mexico, cross Central America, jump the Darren Gap (no road) between Panama and Colombia, then follows the Western Conquistador conquest through the Inca empire until Chile, or the Eastern Road through Venezuela, the Guyanas and Brazil.

The Next Road: African Road - Cairo/Cape Town
Admittedly, this will be the toughest one, as Africa is not for the sissies, that's why I spared it for my old days, when I will have hopefully gained some experience from my previous trips.

  • MultiSport Races
I was lucky enough to be accepted in the Foreign Legion Team of the famed Raid Gauloises Race (1993 Madagascar). Later, Discovery Channel bought the licence and organized Eco-Challenges Events. With the same team, I participated in 1997 Eco-Challenge Australia and in 1998 Eco-Challenge Morocco, as the team Captain.

Long Distance Treks
Himalayas (Ladakh and Nepal)
South America (Peru, Chile)
Europe: Picos de Europa (Spain)