Into a Desert Place: A Talk With Graham Mackintosh

In remote fishing camps, a few older fishermen remember a red-haired Englishman who tramped through 30 years ago, disappearing around the next point

Wild campers must beware of landmines in the Balkans - though locals may only warn of bears.

Crying Wolf Among Motor Vehicles and Landmines

Five drunk young men—the first visibly intoxicated men I think I've seen in Turkey—began dancing in the highway to Turkish music from the car’s radio

Wild camping is first-class lodging in rural Turkey, where dinner is had in bed and nights are passed beneath the stars.

Zen and the Art of Sleeping Anywhere

By camping wild, we bypass unloading the luggage, taking off our shoes at the doorstep, and all the other logistics of dwelling in a well-groomed society

The author with his packed bicycle at San Francisco International Airport at the outset of the journey.

Beam Me Home, Please

Putting one’s means of transportation into a box while miles of travel remain is as clever as stepping into a shopping bag and attempting to carry oneself

The setting sun showers Spil Dag National Park in a dusky, rosy red.

The Final Sprint to Istanbul

The townspeople ogled the tourist he’d captured. “From America,” the cop boasted, like he’d shot me at 400 yards with a rifle

Figs like this one, so ripe it's bursting, dangle by the millions along the roadsides near Izmir and Aydin.

The Figs and Mountains of Izmir

Travel horizontally in any direction and you see no change in landscape; Siberia remains Siberia from Finland to Kamchatka

The author runs on empty as he pushes his bike over rough terrain in the Murat Mountains.

Rose Hips and Hard Times

Sultan packs me a goody bag with tomatoes, cheese and peppers so hot I can’t even touch them. I suggest paying and she tilts her head back—"not a chance.”

Sunlight bursts through a ceiling of rainclouds above the lonely west shore of Lake Burdur.

Gandhi’s Wisdom Falls Short

Then, from behind me, came a staccato war cry—“Aaaack!”—as my host sent a boot into the dog’s rib cage

The author stands amidst weirdness in the Cappadocian village of Zelve.

Cappadocia’s Fairy Chimneys and Cave Dwellings

Doorways still lead into cool, cozy chambers where people grilled kebabs, served tea and worshiped until 1952

They may look friendly, but be warned: These village men will smother travelers with kindliness and drown them in tea.

The Long and Bumpy Road to Cappadocia

Of all the bizarre landscapes created by water, wind and time, Cappadocia is among the strangest

No doubt about it, bears had been in this area.

The Bear and the Bullet

The truck came by slowly and a spotlight swept the river bottom. "My God—they're hunting me!"

Turkish tea

Tea and Bear Talk in Turkey

"It's too dangerous," said a villager. "There are bears." His boys growled and clawed the air

Water in the Black Sea’s northern reaches gets as cold as seawater can get—31 degrees Fahrenheit—and as warm as the 80s in summer.

The Wild World of the Black Sea

Visitors come for the place and spill onto the beach and pose exuberantly under umbrellas and wrestle with colorful inflatable toys in the brown waves

Fishermen pass the hours along the Bosporus Strait. They occasionally catch sardines.

Istanbul: The Maddest City in Europe

“That’s the fattest stray dog I’ve ever seen.” A lot has changed here since Mark Twain wrote about the city, but there's still plenty of mayhem

The great Selimiye Mosque of Edirne

Where to Go when Greece Says No: Turkey

That evening a man walked into my bush camp with a gun, marched straight at me as I gaped in shock and sprawled out beside me on my tarp

A relic from the communist era lies along the road to the Kabata Hut.

Uphill All the Way in the Rhodope Mountains

I have my dinner—cheese, a four-pound organic tomato, a sack of figs and a jar of pickled chanterelles—and I’m ready to get lost on the mountain roads

Spring-fed fountains are refreshing rest spots in the Bulgarian countryside.

What to Drink in Bulgaria

The fountains are a marvel of local social infrastructure; the spouts pour out spring water along almost every mile of mountain roads

My bicycle, ready for its Bulgarian adventure

Why Go To Bulgaria?

Packing for an adventure to a place layered with relics from the Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars, Ottoman Turks and Soviets


Ride a Stage of the Tour de France

You may not be wearing the yellow jersey, but taking a bicycle on the world’s most famous race is still thrilling

Legendary bicycle builder Craig Calfee working on a handmade bamboo bicycle.

Turning Bamboo Into a Bicycle

A cycling entrepreneur has turned to the durable plant as a low-tech and affordable option for building bikes

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