andrew murphy

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The America's

http://www.thebikeabout.org/

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After cycling through 31 countries over the last few years my luck finally ran out in the Tanzanian capital, Dodoma. Whilst returning from a hike up Simba Hill I was approached by three men with machetes who demanded my handlebar bag. After trying to explain that the bag was locked to the bike, I gave them my watch in hope that it was enough and started cycling away. 
One of the men drew his machete to my throat and it stopped me in my tracks. With the knife pressed in firm, I decided to get off the bike and give them everything I had. I lifted on leg over and got sucker punched in the cheek, soon to be followed up with a blow to the back of the head with the back end of a machete. Able to keep conscious, I watched my wallet, watch, bike, bike lock, headlight - and most importantly my personal journal - ride off into the distance. 
As bad as it is, things could have been a lot worse. Over the last year cycle tourers have been reminded how vulnerable we are with 6 being murdered in horrible circumstances. For me, the innocence has gone and I honestly don’t think I can get it back by continuing. I’m home now and I’m happy. Thanks for all the support. 
A parting photo of good memories along the Karakoram Highway, Pakistan.
So yesterday my total cycling mileage trickled over 40,075km in rural Malawi, ironically as I pushed my bike up a steep incline. 
Why is 40,075km significant?

If you imagine me on a bicycle and then following the equatorial line, after 40,075km, I’d arrive back at where I started having cycled around the world. 
From military escorts, pneumonia, food poisoning, giardia, multiple +5,000m passes, scorching deserts, the strain on family, friends and relationships to seeing heartbreaking poverty that rips into any notion of the grandiose nature of travel, I still ponder that age old question - why?

I guess it’s a combination of the following;

Not surrendering my youth chasing money, knowing the money earned can never buy it back. The freedom. The act of putting your complete trust in the hand of strangers. The invitation for a bed and a hot shower. The spontaneity of life on the road. Puncture free days. Seeing countries at 15km/h. Seeing the same human qualities in every single country. Experiencing the different foods, culture, landscapes and religions of the world. And knowing this world isn’t as dangerous and bad as the media would make you believe. 
Finally, a massive thankyou to my family, friends and girlfriend for supporting me. To Bill and Ivanka at @kingstonestatewines for their continued support. And to everyone who has welcomed a stinky stranger into their homes, provided a hearty meal and generated a meaningful experience - thankyou! 
Here’s to some more kms.... #worldbybike #travel #bikewander #kingstonestatewines #milestone
Never knew Bob Marley and marajuana culture was so big in Malawi. These guys were apparently soldiers, but it didn’t stop them smoking and drinking at 9:30am - Kasungu, Malawi 🇲🇼 .
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#malawi #streetphotography #portrait #people #bobmarley #sonyalpha #photooftheday #vsco #sony #africa
Malawian roads are a combination of steep gradients and rolling hills without the satisfaction of gaining elevation. After nearly 9 hours in the saddle I was fucked; dreaming of a cold beer and a hot shower. 
Then at the end of the day I came across this guy pushing his load up a steep hill. 
I gave him all my remaining water and a bunch of bananas to see him home and wondered how his daily profit would equate to the amount of money I’d spent of coke during the day. 
Many people say travelling Africa can be life affirming. I’m not there yet, but it’s definitely a reality check - Mzuzu, Malawi 🇲🇼 .
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#malawi #africa #reality #cycling #cyclingshots #worldbybike #bikewander  #bicycle #cyclingafrica #vscocam #sonyalpha #photography #bikelife #theadventurehandbook
Staying in rural villages is easily one of the highlights of cycling through Africa. After asking the village chief for permission to camp, I set up my tent with  the entire village watching. I then get told that there is warm water to bathe in and after a few hours of playing with the kids I’m told my dinner is ready (without asking for anything). I wake in the morning with someone from the village sitting next to my tent after unnecessarily guarding my tent all night. After packing up my bottles are filled with water and I begin cycling. African’s don’t need to learn how to become like the west, we need to learn a lot from Africa - Central Malawi 🇲🇼 .
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#africa #travel #village #villagestay #hospitality #malawi #travelafrica #worldbybike
Each country I cycle through has its positives and negatives. Malawi’s people are outstandingly friendly when you meet them. But when you’re on the bike they beg like I’ve never seen before. Men, women and even children as young as 3 shout and out stretch their hand for anything from the muzungu (even for my bicycle) - Kasungu, Malawi 🇲🇼 .
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#travel #malawi #africa #children #cyclingafrica #worldbybike #sonyalpha #photography #streetphotography #vscocam
Nelson Mandela’s cell. 
An excerpt from my journal, ‘For 18 years he served his sentence on Robben Island and was released from incarnation in 1990 amid international pressure and rising fears of racial civil war. After spending only a small amount of time here I could still feel a racial tension unlike anywhere in the world. It’s like a timebomb and the detonator’s land repatriation without compensation’. - Robben Island, South Africa 🇿🇦 .
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#travel #southafrica #nelsonmandela #robbenisland #africa #prison #politics #capetown #igtravel
Moving away from Livingstone and Victoria Falls meant that I was moving away from tourists. Inevitably, I went from having many lunch options to only one. Nshima is Zambia’s staple dish and consists of maize flour mixed with boiling water, creating a dough like texture. Add a piece of chicken and some cabbage and you have lunch for $1. The food is often cooked in pots like these and left out during the day until it’s all gone. Flies outnumber diners 20 to 1 and I often wonder if this will be the meal that gives me food poisoning. Thankfully it hasn’t happened yet -Kafue, Zambia 🇿🇲 .
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#zambia #food #staple #kitchen #streetfood #nshima #travel #igtravel #blackandwhite
When you’re ‘frugal’ and can’t justify paying $13 for a room. I’ve been putting up my tent inside schools in Zambia and have been warmly welcomed by teachers. Of note, schools pupils number in the thousands per school and often Christianity is tied in with AIDS prevention with slogans painted all over the place. “Virginity power is the strongest type of power” is my favourite so far.
As of tomorrow I begin cycling through areas of Africa that are more commonly associated with malaria. Unable to take malarial prophylactics for an extended time without significant health risks (and cost), I’ve purchase Coartem for $50 to help treat post infection.

Novartis, the drug’s manufacturer, had an operating income of US$8.629 Billion for 2016. In other terms, US$21,308 per registered malaria death in Africa during the same year. 
Capitalism. 
#malaria #africa #travel #bigpharma #medicine #
Don’t think I’ve ever felt so white and out of place before - Kunene, Namibia 🇳🇦 .
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#himba #travel #passionpassport #instatravel #tribe #whitemancantjump #igtravel #wanderlust #africa
Just finished the blog on the second part of Namibia. Head to thebikeabout.org to check it out! This photo was probably one of the better roads I cycled on; sand, corrugation and rocks -Namibia 🇳🇦 .
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#travel #blogger #namibia #kunene #worldbybike #bikewander #surlybikes #ortlieb #cycling #bicycle #cyclingafrica #africa