Roy (Lloyd) Jones Welcome to this weblog by Roy Jones. Here you'll find the diary of a backpacking trip through Latin America, musings on life, living as an expat in the Caribbean, as well as plans for a bicycle tour through Europe and beyond. Wed, 24 Feb 2010 11:54:16 +0000 en hourly 1 Catamaran Cruise Fri, 19 Feb 2010 20:04:48 +0000 Roy Last Sunday, Yami and I went on a catamaran cruise along the west coast of Barbados. We went on El Tigre, and had a really good day, with all food and drink included in the price.

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Photo Albums Collection Fri, 12 Feb 2010 19:14:47 +0000 Roy I’ve made some photo albums from Latin America, grouped by country.

They can all be found on the Photography page, but here are the links for simplicity:


Copper Canyon








San Blas


Perito Moreno Glacier




Machu Picchu


Parque Nacional<br />

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Golf at Apes Hill Fri, 05 Feb 2010 19:01:35 +0000 Roy I played my first 18-hole round at Apes Hill just before Christmas. As you can see from the photos, the course is nothing short of spectacular.

My caddy for the day!

yami the caddy

View from the 3rd tee

Par 3 5th

Chipping onto the 13th green

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Sleeping Bags Purchased… Wed, 13 Jan 2010 15:57:50 +0000 Roy To keep up with the lists of equipment purchased, I have a couple of items to add to the list.

First are the sleeping bags. These were bought from Alpkit, and are the Skyehigh 800 for me, and the Skyehigh 1000 for Yami.

Here’s a couple of photos of Yami testing her bag out…

I also bought a Freeloader Globetrotter solar charger from Amazon, to be able to charge camera and iPod and any other small electrical things I might take along with me.

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Flying From Barbados To Dominica Fri, 08 Jan 2010 18:53:40 +0000 Roy Recently I had to go to nearby Dominica as part of work, and as luck would have it, the bosses private 4-seater plane was available, so I got to take a trip from Barbados via St Lucia in style.

Here are some photos from the plane;


Sandy beaches and green hills in St Lucia

Approaching the runway in Dominica

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Guest Interview: Derek Johanson Wed, 14 Oct 2009 19:17:32 +0000 Roy Derek Johanson – entrepreneur and owner/writer of popular blog Live Uncomfortably – has recently completed his first bike tour, and has kindly agreed to do an interview about his experiences whilst cycling.

Firstly, tell us a little about yourself and your trip.

My name is Derek Johanson. Over a year ago, I quit my job because I wanted to live a more interesting lifestyle and accomplish some goals I’d set for myself. A lot of times my life isn’t exactly ideal, but other times – like this trip – I couldn’t be happier.

My friend Clay and I completed a 3 and half week tour down the Pacific Coast Route, starting in Vancouver, BC and ending on the border in San Diego, California. About 2,000 miles in total.

I’d never been a biker and didn’t own a bike until two months before I left on this trip. I did it strictly because it sounded like an awesome story I could tell to chicks in bars.

Why did you decide to do a bicycle tour? And why did you decide to go where you did?

I first considered doing a tour while I was traveling in Colombia. I met a German guy who had bought a cheap mountain bike and set out across Colombia going from town to town. He wasn’t touring in the traditional sense, but I was inspired. He would say, “Why not use your legs when you’re young.”

I enjoy physical activity so I decided touring would be a fun adventure to embark on once back in the states.

Originally, we intended to start in San Diego, CA and go across ending in Georgia. But because of the timing, summer in the US south, I decided against bearing the humidity, and instead favored the coastal route.

What type of bike and gear (pannier, trailer, or backpack) did you use and why did you select those particular items?

I got a used Jamis steel frame roadbike that I found used on for $350 US. It wasn’t a traditional touring bike but it did the trick for this shorter trip.

For storage, I used a rear rack and 2 panniers made by Transit. I was trying to go as light weight as possible so I used smaller front panniers attached to the rear rack.  The main reason I went with Transit panniers instead of a nicer brand like Ortlieb was that they were on sale at the discount bike shop Performance, in my area.

One guy told us about how crappy our panniers were and how they completely broke on him one time. If I were biking for a year or something crazy like that, I’d probably go with a more high end pannier.

Here’s a picture of my bike fully loaded.

Talk about the first couple days of your tour and your state of mind during that time. Was it hard to settle into a routine, and what happened in the first couple days of your tour?

The first couple of days were some of the hardest. We weren’t actually sure how much mileage our bodies could take and what kind of food intake would be necessary. I think the first day we pushed a little bit harder than we should of, and Clay ended up pretty sick (I’m sure most bikers know the feeling – unnecessary coughing and dizziness).

We also tried to eat fairly healthy – fruits and nuts along the way – and that was a huge mistake. We were burning an incredible amount of calories and the body needs fuel. Whole, healthy foods unfortunately couldn’t really cut it.

We settled down into a routine pretty quickly. Up around 6 or 7, biking by 8 or 9. After 40-50 miles we’d break for lunch. Then we’d finish off the day 20-50 miles and eat dinner. Then we’d lounge around camp until 9 or so when the sun went down and fall asleep.

For the trip we averaged about 80 miles a day with our biggest day being 120 miles.

What was the best experience of the trip?

There were certain moments that can’t wholly be defined but I’ll try my best. This might be overly poetic, but I’d be riding along the cliffs of California’s rolling golden coast and the rhythm of my body working with the bike would lure me into an almost trance like state of happiness. I’d be pedaling along not thinking about anything besides how free and happy I felt to just be alive in that moment.

Beyond those man and nature type of moments, the best experiences came after the riding was done and meeting new people who were touring as well.

Were there any elements of travelling by bike that turned out to be different from your pre-trip expectations?

This is a tough one to answer because my trip was almost spur of the moment. I wasn’t really expecting a lot. I will say this, the California coast is a lot hillier than I imagined and Washington has a lot more rednecks than Clay expected .

Anything funny or crazy happen?

You meet a lot of funny and crazy people on adventures like these and that’s where most of the entertainment comes from. But here are few quick stories.

On our first day a Canadian guy came up to me and asked me whether or not I was gay because of the biker uniform I was wearing.

There was one night when we rolled into a town in Washington at sunset with no campsites. We ended up asking a mom and her 2 daughters if they knew a good place we could ’stealth camp’. They debated for 5 minutes before telling us to just sleep in their backyard. They ended up being bikers themselves who’d done some tours. They also had a keg that the dad let us drink out of.

I got stung by a bee and my lip swelled up leaving me looking like the elephant man.

Clay and I had our one and only crash about 10 minutes from his house in San Francisco. We were riding about 7 miles an hour down a street and a Prius came up behind us and wouldn’t pass although there was tons of room. I decided to try to get further away on the shoulder to let her by. As the Prius passed, I started to return to the road without realizing that the shoulder had lowered and my tire caught a lip.

It must have looked hilarious from the back because I literally just tipped over into the street, frantically trying to get my shoes out of the clips. Clay, who was behind me, didn’t have hands near the brakes so he had to swerve, narrowly hit my head, and then he lost control and went head over heels over the front of his bike.

We both stood up and checked ourselves for injuries. The woman in the Prius, stopped, screamed ‘Are you o.k.?’ We said yeah, and she immediately got in her car and drove off without any further discussion.

Some people may be put off bicycle touring by the idea that you need to be ultra fit to do it. How much of a physical challenge was the trip?

Let me preface this by saying I exercise regularly and would say I’m normally in pretty good shape.

But, I had zero experience riding a roadbike up until I bought my bike about 2 months before hand. I road 3-5 times a week before I left, going about 20 miles per ride. The longest ride I did was 60 miles and it killed me.

Overall, I’d say the trip wasn’t that physically demanding. If you keep mileage under 50 a day, there’s no reason that anyone can’t do it. We felt pretty good even at 80 miles a day. I’d say the key is to just start eating and never stop.

We joked that if you want to lose fat quickly, it’s easy: just bike for 6-8 hours a day.

Did you have a daily budget before setting out and did you manage to stick to it?

I did have a daily budget that I was able to stick fairly close to. I set a budget of $20 a day in food, and anywhere from $5-10 for hiker/biker campsites at night.

Of course, there were events along the way, flat tires, repairs, etc. that upped the cost.

Overall, I’d say $30-$40 per day would be more than enough for a trip like this.

Finally, do you have any further travel plans, either by bicycle or other form?

I would love to do another bike tour in the future through another country outside of the states. Once my business pursuits are a bit more locked in, I’ll be taking off and I’m definitely considering doing another tour.

Biking The Pacific Coast Route from Derek Johanson on Vimeo.

Derek has been described by Jet Set Life TV as the ‘real deal’. His blog is an experiment in micro testing his philosophy (Live Uncomfortably) and creating his personal lifestyle design.

In his own words, Living Uncomfortably is doing the unaccustomed everyday to break the cycle of routine and boredom. We must push ourselves each day to do things that aren’t necessarily within our comfort zones.

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More Equipment Purchased… Wed, 30 Sep 2009 11:59:52 +0000 Roy Although there hasn’t been much activity here for a while, I haven’t neglected planning for the tour. Following on from the previous entries regarding purchasing equipment here’s another entry about the latest purchases, namely a tent, a camera and some handlebar bags for the bikes.

I opted for the Robens Voyager 2 tent. I chose this make and model as it is a good size, a relatively light weight at 2.6kg, and has a waterproofing level or Hydrostatic Head of 5000, which compares very well to other tents in that price range which come in at about 3000.

Robens Voyager 2

I’ve also bought a camera, a digital SLR so I can take some better photos of this trip. I went for the Nikon D40x, an entry level digital SLR camera that gets good reviews almost everywhere.

Roy's Camera Selection

The handlebar bags were from Halfords, seems ok, here is a link to them.

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Around The World On $2 Fri, 11 Sep 2009 14:21:50 +0000 Roy Who says it takes a lot of money to travel?

Keiichi Iwasaki has spent the last eight years travelling. In that time he has managed to cycle across half the world, yet he set out with the equivalent of US$2 in his pocket. He makes money along the route by doing magic tricks on the street.

Read the report in The Telegraph here

And his website here

Keiichi Iwasaki – Photo: SWNS

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Business Travel to Guyana Tue, 28 Jul 2009 14:27:01 +0000 Roy A few weeks ago I travelled to Guyana on a few short trips with work. I stayed a few days each trip, the majority of the time spent in or around Georgetown, however we did travel to Linden, about 100km south of Georgetown, away from the coastal plains into the rainforest.


Horse and Cart

An interesting place, Guyana reminded me a lot of Central America, with the main population out of Georgetown focused around the one road from the airport. This road runs parallel with the Demarara River, a huge expanse of water flowing from about 350 miles inland in the rainforests of Guyana, before emerging into the Atlantic.

Road to Georgetown

Road to Georgetown



Flying into Guyana is an eye opener. The rainforest spreads out to the horizon, a thick canopy of green broken only by the brown water of various rivers slowly meandering towards the sea.


More Rainforest

Flying over Guyana

As far as the eye can see…

Georgetown itself, like any capital city, is noisy, dirty and full of hustle and bustle.

Demerara River

Demerara River

This doesn’t mean to say it is not a nice place though. The locals were friendly and welcoming, and the Sunday afternoon/evening lime on the seawall gives them a chance to let off some steam. The majority of the buildings are constructed in wood, a resource in which Guyana certainly has no shortage. This construction includes the one of the tallest wooden churches in the world, St Georges Anglican Cathedral, built in the 1890’s and situated in the middle of town.


St Georges Anglican Cathedral



The Government offices and Prime Ministers official residence are also constructed in wood.



Linden is a town built for the mining industry, and it has the atmosphere of a frontier town. It is on the banks of the Demerara River, but the river is a lot smaller this far inland. The road to reach Linden is fairly good, however it turns to a mud road soon after and all the way down to Brazil.

Road to Georgetown

Road to Georgetown


Horse and Cart


Splashmins Resort

The rest of the photos can be seen on my flickr account, a small slide show is here.

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Link Love – Touring Blogs Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:49:12 +0000 Roy Travel blogs are not only an interesting read, they are useful to research places & equipment for anyone planning a trip. I regularly read a number of blogs, and as there is not much going on with my own tour at the moment, I thought it might be a good idea to post some links to other sites to read in the meantime.

Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Bike trip, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

NameBicycle Touring Pro

Site tagline/description – Inspiration for a new generation of bicycle travellers

Where in the world? Currently in Montenegro, Albania And Kosovo

Latest post -Travel Expenses From Montenegro, Albania And Kosovo

Views from lower slopes of Col du Grand Colombier

Col du Grand Colombier – photo from Flickr

NameDown The Road

Site tagline/description – The continuous around the world bicycle touring story since 2002 + no plans to stop

Where in the world? Currently in the US, but have toured extensively in Latin America, South East Asia, Australia & New Zealand.

Latest post - Cindie’s Daily Journal (on Twitter) Weekly Updates for DownTheRoadORG

Cycle Tour of Chile &amp; Argentina 5-22

San Carlos de Bariloche – photo from Flickr

NameListen to Africa

Site tagline/description – Recording african sounds and voices

Where in the world? Just crossed the Sahara desert…

Latest post - “What on earth are you doing out here?”


Reflection – photo from Flickr

NamePeter Gostelow

Site tagline/description – Adventure Cycling, Photography, Speaking, Writing

Where in the world? In sunny England, but only a month or so until he sets off to tour an as yet unknown route through Africa

Latest post - One year on, five weeks to go

Well that’s it from me for the moment, hope you enjoy reading some of these blogs.

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