It all began when my wife received word that her request for a leave of absence had been approved. Our next step was to decide where in Europe to spend the time available. We were in the process of signing up with a house exchange agency when a friend put us in touch with the owner of a house in NW Tuscany, Italy. After a brief exchange of e-mails, we agreed to rent it for 3 months.
Once or twice a year, my friend John Durley and two or three of his friends, all in their 70’s, pack their bikes and fly to some far country and bike the back roads for several weeks. When they begin in the morning they don’t know where they will sleep that night, where or what they will eat, what adventures are in store for them. And in rural China, India, Tibet, for example, those are major challenges. Challenges to be overcome perhaps by signs or sign-language with surprised or bemused country folk.