Adventure: French couple on bicycle world tour
Isabelle Frebourg, 52, and Bruno Frebourg, 55, a sweet couple from France, were happy to finally arrive in Sanur on a bright Thursday morning after traveling around 66,000 kilometers crossing no fewer than 45 countries while traveling around the world on their bicycles.
Before arriving in Sanur, the parents of a 29-year-old daughter had already enjoyed traveling around Bali covering Tanah Lot in Tabanan, Ubud in Gianyar, Jatiluwih, Seririt, Lovina and Singaraja in Buleleng. They also cycled along the roads of Candidasa and Amed in Karangasem, east Bali.
While in Sanur, they hoped to stay the night at the French Consulate here.
“Everybody is nice in Bali. We like to see the ceremonies, temples, Balinese dances, all is interesting. Maybe when we finish traveling, we will come back to Bali to live here,” said Bruno, sharing his feelings and impression about Bali.
Traveling around the world by bicycle has been the Frebourgs’ dream for a few years. They decided to embark on their world tour on April 8, 2006 from their hometown in Bailleul, 100 km west of Paris.
Their first journey was within Europe, visiting Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Portugal. They continued their journey to North African countries, such as Moroco and Tunisia. They also traveled to Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Turkey and Lebanon.
The couple also made impressive journeys to Georgia, Siberia, Mongolia and continued to China, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia.
Bruno and Isabelle first arrived in Indonesia in January this year. They entered Indonesia, crossing the border from Malaysia into Kalimantan. They spent a few days traveling across Kalimantan before going to Jakarta by ferry.
“We had to halt our journey when we were in Jakarta because our family wanted us to go back to France. We came back to Jakarta two months later and restarted our journey in Indonesia in April,” Bruno said.
Since April 2012, they started cycling from Jakarta to other cities in West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java. They crossed to Bali by ferry from Banyuwangi to Gilimanuk Port in west Bali. They continued cycling from Gilimanuk around Bali, until they arrived in Sanur.
“We love to learn about people and cultures from around the world. These are the reasons why we are doing this long journey,” Bruno said.
They have also tasted local cuisine and learned about the arts and culture of every country with great passion. They said they did not have much money for luxury travel. Many times, they spent their nights in local people’s houses.
“All of the people we have met are kind and generous. They warmly welcomed us. We have never met bad people on the road,” he said.
In Indonesia, the couple had tasted local food including soto ayam (chicken soup), nasi goreng (fried rice) and martabak (savory pancake).
“I ate martabak in Malang in East Java. It was so delicious,” he said. After Bali, the Frebourgs will fly to Darwin in Australia on July 2.
“These are only half of our planned journeys, we are expecting to finish the entire journey within the next six years.”
The journey has not been all happy and smooth. “We faced hard times traveling through the cold of Siberia, but we really enjoyed it.”