Acts of Kindness

The whole familyIf you want to believe in the good of the world, travel on a bicycle. It will restore your soul and faith in those around you. We have heard this said by many of our fellow cycle tourists and have found it to be true in our own travels. So often we have said to each other that we will have a lot of favours to return when, one day, we settle down again. We though it would be nice to log here a list of all the wonderful things that have happened to us through the kindness of others and also to note when we have been able to return that kindness through small gestures. The second list is rather shorter than we’d like but certainly when we have a home again its doors will be open for travellers.

Acts of Kindness Received (In no particular order):

* Ali and his family hosted us in Borazjan and Bushehr. They make the best chicken kebabs anywhere! (Iran)
* Arash came to our rescue, finding us a place to sleep, and then showed us everything that was anything in Shiraz (Iran)
* Michael picked us up from the airport and got our trip off to a great start (Quebec)
* Talal and friends showed us around Damascus and took us to the most amazing restaurant in the old city (Syria)
* Tina at Thermarest provided exceptional service, replacing our sleeping mats with lightening-speed after we wore them out (Morocco and Syria)
* Numerous drivers stopped to give us fruit, candies and other treats (Morocco, Iran, Canada)
* Cem gave us a lift into Gaziantep when we were worn out and treated us to tea (Turkey)
* Gulender showed us around Istanbul and treated us to a lovely meal (Turkey)
* Misheal drove 50km out of his way to bring us water, juice and chocolate bars (Syria)
* So many shopkeepers loaded us up with free food and numerous families invited us to stay the night. We will always remember this exceptional kindness (Syria)
* A mystery man in a white van pulled up beside us to give us two free bagels (Greece)
* Julian treated us to tea, then showed us a favourite budget restaurant for tasty eats in Istanbul (Turkey)
* Siamac and his mother gave us yogurt, bread and sugar for our breakfast (Iran)
* Rich and Paula let us turn their home into ‘base camp’ as we prepared to leave (London)
* Tim & Gina let us housesit, giving us a break from the bikes for a few weeks (Italy)
* Niko, the local bartender, picked us up from the road and took us back to his nightclub for free drinks, food and a sleeping place on the dance floor! (Greece)
* Bora “found” us in Maribor and not only let us stay for two days but also showed us the town with his friends (Slovenia)
* We asked where to find a computer cable and a man had it delivered across Tangiers by a friend, then gave it to us for free (Morocco)
* A bike shop in Alexandroupolis gave us a massive discount on new gloves as well as a patch kit and lube free of charge and ran to find a laptop so we could check our email free from their store (Greece)
* Andria and Mark wined and dined us for a night, then put us to bed in The Hague (Netherlands)
* Peter invited us into his flat, made us a wonderful morning coffee and showed us around Frankfurt (Germany)
* The good folks at Delta Bisiklet and Turkey’s Shimano dealer helped us track down a new gear shifter (Turkey)
* While searching for a place to camp, Ahmed not only gave us a room but fed us several wonderful meals and sent us off with peanuts and popcorn (Morocco)
* A few days of luxury relaxation in a villa came courtesy of Rich and his brother (Portugal)
* Gerard drove us to his home, cooked us supper and let us stay a night (France)
* Conny and Mel travelled to join us for Christmas celebrations (Spain)
* We stopped to buy apples and found they were free for cyclists (Quebec)
* Two elderly men who ran a small village shop insisted we take some grapes to eat (Turkey)
* Harry put us up for two nights and treated us royally at his beach house (Greece)
* Corinne showed us around Tangiers and gave us a home for a few days (Morocco)
* A fantastic lunch filled our bellies courtesy of Aitor and Ibon (Basque Country)
* Horst and Christa offered us coffee and cookies, supper and stories in their camping car (Morocco)
* A woman gave us a cucumber for our lunch (Quebec)
* After a very long day, a Dutch man made us a much-needed cup of coffee (Spain)
* Stephan gave us his bed and showed us around Narbonne (France)
* Two kids on a donkey offered us water they’d just collected from a well (Morocco)
* Gerda, Sabine and Achim treated us royally over several days (Germany)
* Yves and Ingrid opened their doors to us repeatedly for great food and many laughs (France)
* Four juicy oranges, fresh off a tree, were given to us by a man (Portugal)
* Nicole gave us a warm home to stay in when it was pouring rain outside (France)
* An internet cafe cut their prices by half for us, without us asking (France)
* Several times, when we were lost, fellow cyclists diverted course to show us the way (Morocco and Portugal)
* A nun offered a shelter from the rain as storm clouds gathered overhead (France)
* Naima and her family entertained us and cooked so many Moroccan specialties at their home in Safi (Morocco)

Acts of Kindness Returned:

* We treated Richard to a hot meal and wine under our tarp as it rained (France)
* We stopped to collect a ball that children had lost to the other side of a road (Spain)
* We shared suppers and coffees with fellow cyclist Kristian over several days (Morocco)
* We stopped to help a cyclist with a flat and gave him a dust cap since his was lost (France)
* We gave money to help with medical expenses for a friend (Morocco)

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