Need to get away? Discover the travelogue from Nomades²

Apr 26 2017 | Janik Lemieux - Pierre Bouchard

After biking the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean on the hunt for active volcanoes and making numerous loops and continental crossings, we mounted our heavily laden bicycles to meet nomadic peoples struggling to survive. Our journey took us from the most northerly point in Europe, the North Cape, to the most southerly point on the African continent, Cape Agulhas. Twenty-one months and 21,000 kilometres after setting off from Stavanger, Norway, in June 2014, we reached Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, thus completing the first step of a new odyssey, which we named “NOMADS2” or “Nomads by Nomads from Cape to Cape”!

Incursion into the Carpathian Mountains of Romania – October 2014

On our “little expedition across the world map,” we pedalled from Ethiopia to Kenya, through the Omo River Valley, known for its tribes of semi-nomadic cattle herders with their spectacular rites and scarified bodies, to Lake Turkana, aka the Jade Sea, whose arid banks are home to the “base camps” of other equally colourful nomadic herders. On this segment of our journey, we encountered tracks that converged and diverged in the sand and gravel over a distance of more than 50 kilometres, a rally through a strange “la-la land.”

In the home of the Samburu in Kenya – November 2015

Leaving behind the Omo and the last villages of the Dassanech tribe, we entered a torrid desert plain. The south wind blew hard in our faces, darkening the day, frustrating our efforts and bombarding us with stinging pellets. As the squalls grew stronger, the dust stuck to the sweat on our faces. Breathing the dirty, burning air was asphyxiating. But thanks to the protection from our Xperio® sunwear, our eyes were perfectly fine. Despite the difficult conditions, our lenses remained undamaged by dust or scratches. We carried on, slowly and painfully!

Picnic at Wadi Rum, Jordan – April 2015

We arrived at an Ethiopian military post for the exit formalities. The post was perched on one of the rocky lava outcroppings so common in the depths of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The staff checked us through and then invited us to set up our tent near their barracks in the midst of sand dunes. “Dusk is coming and there are still about 20 more kilometres to go until the Kenyan police station: 10 kilometres to the border, then another 10 to the station!” We thanked them but declined the invitation. We filled up on water, preferring to cross the no man's land while we still had enough light. The wind died as the sun went down—what a relief! Maybe we wouldn’t be sleeping with scorpions after all!

Filling up on water in the Bayuda Desert, Sudan – July 2015

The dust returned with the sun the next day, but with our flawless, polarized Xperio lenses, we discovered a country both harsh and marvelous: the golden Rift desert, the stunningly turquoise, alkaline waters of the Turkana, and the purple-tinged escarpments. We moved through this landscape to the sentry post of the Kenyan border crossing. But even in the secure, barbed-wire area of this bush outpost, scorpions were everywhere...

Traveling by bike and sharing what we witness and experience on the trails and pathways of our planet via blog, newsletter, reports and speeches is a type of nomadism that we have been practicing for over 25 years. You must have the right equipment if you want to pedal across continents, often on primitive tracks leading to untouched, unspoilt and exhilarating places like the Omo River in the African Rift Valley and Lake Turkana. And since sight is the sense we definitely use the most on our adventures of discovery and continuous travel, the choice of eyewear and lenses is of paramount importance. We need to make sure that we always have maximum protection from harmful UV rays.

The sands of the Sahara in the Bayuda Desert swallow up the pavement. Sudan – July 2015

As cyclists, travelers, photographers and videographers, our eyewear acts as a protective windshield, its filter providing us with the eye comfort we need. We chose Xperio® polarized sunwear for its clear and precise "rendering" of the world around us. Xperio’s glare-free properties and high-quality lenses soften the intensity of the light without altering the colours or their saturation. This helps us pick the scenes and moments worthy of being immortalized—as the highlights of our “little expedition across the world map”! More at:

Riding down a slope in the Simien Mountains. Ethiopia – August 2015

*in collaboration with Janik Lemieux and Pierre Bouchard from The views and opinions expressed are Janik's and Pierre's.

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