Our favourite campgrounds tend to be run by municipalities and national governments. They make the most of their natural surroundings and seem less prone to late night parties or the drone of generators that plagues more commercial sites.
Planning a route with one of the friendly WarmShowers hosts who gave us a place to stay during our world bike tour.
With New Friends
Everyone you meet is a potential new friend and many are willing to let you stay for a night. To arrange a night with a new friend, start by checking out sites where people offer free accommodation to passing travellers. Of the many such sites on the web, two stand out: WarmShowers e and Couchsurfing e.
We have dozed behind churches, in schoolyards and beside official buildings like police and fire stations. We’ve also laid our mats out in the common areas of mosques and monasteries and enjoyed free camping in America’s local parks. Just ask at the town hall and beware of sprinklers set to come on in the early hours of the morning! Since most of these options involve private land, always ask permission if at all possible. If you can’t find the person responsible for a building, ask the neighbours. In small communities (and these options work best in villages), they’ll know who to contact or will just give you permission directly. When you can’t spot anywhere immediately obvious, ask the locals if they know of a safe place where you can put a tent for the night. The wording is critical here. Don’t ask for a place to camp, or they may assume you want to stay for several days. Make sure they understand you’re just passing through. By asking around, we’ve ended up sleeping blissfully on the floors of factories and under the disco ball of a Greek bar. z
A few of the different places we’ve slept while touring: in restaurants;
Turkish village and in Danish free camping site. Photos by Friedel & Andrew, www.travellingtwo.com
overlooking a a hut in a
18 | Bike Touring Basics - 2012 Edition
66-page guide to bicycle touring