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In Depth


Random Stats

Makeshift camping in Yehudia National Park, Israel - October 2002Throughout the trip, we will be keeping track of some eclectic bits of information that you might find interesting, strange, or amusing. If you have any other categories to add to this page, please let us know.

After 431 days on the road, here are our combined stats:


---> Pre-trip bag nights (May-Sept 2004): 70
---> Total number of emails sent in trip planning: over 600

---> Continents: 4
---> Countries: 45, including those in transit
---> Time Zones: 13

---> Hours on buses/trains/airplanes: 977/205/57
---> Free rides: 49
---> Different Modes of Transportation: car... taxi... bus... foot... metro... microbus/camioneta/combi/minibus/collectivo/sharut/opelet... back of a pickup truck/bemo... motorboat... John Deere tractor... airplane... bicycle taxi... motorcycle taxi/moto/bekcha/cyclo/becak... train... sailboat... bicycle... rickshaw/tuk-tuk... camel... ferry...

---> Number of different hosts: 44
---> Nights slept outside: 101 (tent was sent home after bike trip)
---> Nights slept in a vehicle of transport (moving): 62

Food and Health...
---> Strangest foods eaten: rabbit (this was at the beginning of the trip!)... cactus... mole... heart (not sure of what)... beef tongue... octopus... eel... inky canned squid... yak cheese... ais kacang (shaved ice with a corn/kidney bean/noodle/syrup/ice cream topping)... seaweed... blood soup... half-developed chicken in egg... Tibetan butter tea... large chunks of fried pork fat... tarantula... worms (silk and bamboo)... grasshoppers... crickets... beef intestine...
---> Animals killed for food: a rooster
---> Sick days: about 10 each

---> Attempted robberies (toward us): 5
---> Successful robberies (also toward us): 3
---> Times we have claimed a Canadian identity: around 50 (majority during 3 weeks trekking in Nepal)

---> EMU faculty/students/graduates we have met: 40
---> Home countries of other travelers we have met: United States... Germany... Ireland... Ukraine... Great Britain... Canada... Switzerland... Denmark... France... Italy... Australia... Belgium... Holland... Japan... Argentina... Venezuela... China... Slovenia... Sweden... Poland... Czech Republic... Brasil... New Zealand... Spain... Finland... Israel... Hong Kong... Taiwan... Chile... Dominican Republic... Puerto Rico... Mexico... Slovakia... Quebec... Finland... South Korea... Japan... Russia... Norway... Nepal... India... Kuwait... Thailand... Malaysia... Nigeria... Singapore... Uganda... Jamaica... South Africa... Texas... Iceland...
---> Photos of us taken by local females: 16
---> Our current nationality, as determined by the locals: We're really not sure anymore...

---> Places of worship visited: around 300
---> Worship services attended: 46
---> Number of presentations given (in churches or schools): 7

---> Current weight of pack: a lot less than when we started!
---> Bribes necessary: 4, that we know of
---> Books Read: 42
---> Items lost: bottle of bug spray... sunscreen lotion... earplugs... glasses... a couple pens...
---> Items found: Transition lenses in Dave's exact prescription... a sternum strap for a pack... blue baseball cap on Israel Trail... daypack in the trash can at a hostel in Krakow... half an umbrella... Japanese flute... a lighter... Israeli swimming trunks...
---> Gifts given to us (besides food, lodging, and money): roll of TP... crochet hook and yarn... a knit beanie... "żA donde vas?" T-Shirt... Spanish grammar books... Guatemala travel guides... Canadian flag pins... assorted antibiotics... care package from The TESK... ¨La Antorcha de la Verdad¨magazines... sunscreen lotion... Peruvian knit hats... care package from Dave´s family... dinner out at a nice restaurant (from Duncan and Julia)... candy bars from Eric's family... USB card reader... sailing experience on the Mediterranean... 2 bicycle inner tubes (Slovakia & Czech Republic)... Tibetan "farewell" scarf... tsunami relief t-shirt... a cigar... anti-itch mosquito bite ointment... Korean figurine and postcards... and the list goes on...

Website Statistics for the Past Year...


Trekking the Himalayas:
---> Highest Elevation reached by foot: 5,545m
---> Highest Elevation reached by bus: 5,325m
---> Total elevation climbed on trek: 13,750m

The Subcontinent and Southeast Asia:
---> Hours on trains in India: 142
---> Different languages encountered: ?
---> Nights spent sleeping on wooden floor: 27
---> Saleswomen in Bangkok trying to sell us wooden frogs: too many
---> Consecutive meals eaten at same restaurant in Chiang Mai: 6 of 7


Biking Eastern Europe:
---> Total distance covered: 4240 km
---> Longest day: 181km
---> Top Speed: 73.1 km/hr (Kurt in Slovakia)
---> Highest mountain pass: 1200 m
---> Flat tires: Dave 8, Eric 2, Kurt 2
---> Dog attacks: none that were successful
---> Wrecks: Kurt coming out of a grocey store, over-the-handlebars style
---> Turtles hit by cars: 8+ (all in Greece)
---> Number of oranges eaten in Greece: 48
---> Strangest campsites: Greek Orthodox churchyard... a town park... inside the fence of a water pumping station...under the roof of a town park's concession stand, near a flooded mining shaft, under the roof of a huge overhung cave, a bus stop in Croatia, at a monument/tomb in Czech, half-constructed gas station in the rain...
---> Acts of hospitality: six oranges... three cups of Greek coffee... an evening of food and fun in Tirnavos... picture frames from a supermarket manager... chocolate with coffee and drinks... coffee from a minimarket owner... cherries... free phone calls...sausages grilled over a fire, wonderful dinner with a Croatian family... and countless more...

Middle East

Sailing the Mediterranean:
---> Distance traveled: 684 nautical miles
---> Hours logged: 151
---> Top speed: 7.1 knots
---> Nights at sea/anchorage/marina: 3/4/20
---> Roughest conditions: 3-4 meter waves, near gale-force winds

Israel National Trail:
---> Hiking Days: 25
---> Hours on the Trail: around 180
---> Total kilometers hiked: 650 +/-
---> Hot showers taken: 4
---> Israeli school groups encountered: 9
---> Wrong turns made: lost track...
---> Military training operations encountered: 5
---> Rainy days: 1
---> Different animals seen: lots of birds... ibex... mouse... rabbit... cat... dog... horse... groundhog... scorpion... donkey... deer... lizard... assorted bees and insects... jackal... turtle
---> Number of thru-hikers met: 11
---> Sucessful hitchhikes: 22
---> Gifts given to us on the trail: water... army-ration cupcakes... sandwhich and soda... internet... cookies and coffee... oranges and a Diet Coke... chocolate wafers and a Jewish blessing... a place to stay!... bag of sandwiches... hot tea... pita bread with zataar... three more nights of lodging... BBQ cookout dinner... Swiss chocolates and potato chips... free tour of a taxidermy museum...

---> Security checkpoints: probably near 100
---> Prejudiced comments overheard: ...did we really think we could keep track of this???
---> People we've seen for a second time here: 17

Posted by Dave at December 15, 2005 05:06 PM


Randomly found your website from one of your sister's blogs on EMU's site.........I remember you two.......Lord knows if you remember me. :)

Anyways, great to read that some fellow alumni are reaching beyond US borders as well.

I've been teaching in the Dominican Republic for 3 years now. Shortly, I'll be signing my 2 year contract again.

If ya'll ever need a connection here in the Dominican well as: Mexico, Belize, or Ethiopia (just went last summer to Africa and LOVED it!!!!)....let me know!

Dios les bendiga.
Great site.

Jennifer Gutshall

EMU '03
Art Education

Posted by: Jen at December 13, 2005 09:20 PM

i just was remembered when you guys were here in Colombia and i thought " i have to see their homepage" and wow you really are living life. Every picture has a lot of "significado y pasion) i enjoyed it.

Posted by: natalieth at December 1, 2005 02:12 PM

It's good to read your latest reports and know that God has been with you as you have had different experiences. You guys will have to get back together and update your stats before the end of the trip. Blessings, Chris and Rose

Posted by: Eric.s Dad at October 21, 2005 06:15 PM

Wow. . .I see that I posted something a year ago yesterday. How time flies! You'll never be the same. Blessings to you as you make your way home and continue to live the journey.

Posted by: Dean Mast at October 5, 2005 10:37 AM

Hey Dave and Eric!
Having read these stories, bios and motivations, I feel rather stupid for not taking the time for a good conversation back in Istanbul... Just wanted to let you know that your stories and this website have really got me thinking about making a similar trip myself. I wish you all the best of luck, strong faith and a blessed experience. If you ever need a place to stay in Holland...


Posted by: Elske at August 3, 2005 03:37 PM

Hola Eric and Dave,

May the Lord continue to give you safety through your journey. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers. And don't forget to continue to take LEAP's of faith. :)

With much Love,

Que Dios les Bendiga!
M.E. 2002

Posted by: Gievanne at June 28, 2005 08:50 AM

Rock on!
What an awesome trip. I've heard so much about your site I had to check it out. Keep on keepin on.
You are in our Prayers.

Posted by: Mark @ Ruth Leatherman at June 12, 2005 11:58 PM

At this time of graduation for our class, you as graduates are an inspiration. Your journey seems so incredible that I think many wish to be in the same position. Keep up the faith, and God bless.

Posted by: Ben Weaver at April 19, 2005 10:25 AM

We are blessed following your trip via your web site. Excellent photography! You will never be the same after this trip. We pray Psalm 121 for you. Bob and Bonnie

Posted by: Robert and Bonnie at March 7, 2005 03:12 PM

My land, it seems a marvelous trip. I am inspired.

Posted by: Isaac Franks at March 2, 2005 12:05 AM

Well friends, keep trekking. Prayers are many for you and with your pictures and words as obvious proof, they are being abundantly answered. I am jealous of your views and so glad you're sharing thwm with us all. :) Love and blessings as the adventure continues!

Posted by: bean at December 27, 2004 09:46 PM

It is nice to see you are still doing well. I am still praying for you health and saftey as you go on your way. I enjoy reading you travel stories very much.

A travelor in Nicaragua.

Posted by: Shelly at December 23, 2004 05:04 PM

Hey Eric and Dave,

Excellent website. How can I do something like this, perhaps not as elaborate. Enjoyed meeting both of you in Guatemala, and Eric it was a pleasure to work with you "making Mud". I will live through your trip vicariously. I think that as two young men, it is a wonderful journey you're both on.

May God Bless and keep both of you, and return you safely to your loved ones.

Karl Lange

P.S. Will be following in your footsteps via this medium. Take care...

Posted by: Karl Lange at December 1, 2004 01:49 PM

Why are you doing this?

Posted by: A person at December 1, 2004 11:54 AM

Thanks for sharing this journey. For me it is a journey back in time, so far, to places where I lived and traveled from about 1966 to 1987. Apparently there are roads today where there were none then. In El Salvador I hope you can look up some of the Beachy Amish folks. Give my greetings to Saul Pacheco if you see him. He is the bishop of the Beachy Amish church. You won't find him in a cathedral.

Posted by: Herman Bontrager at November 23, 2004 08:28 PM

Hey guys! Prayers are with you as you continue on your journey. May this be a time of refreshing and renewal for you. Things here in H'burg are good. Enjoy the warm weather, it is cold here!

Posted by: Crystal Heatwole at November 8, 2004 03:42 PM

Hey guys, just a friend of Pat Kennel's here who heard about your trip. I don't know if you remember meeting me, Dave? But I was the one who hitchhiked to CA earlier in the year, and I was wondering if you guys intentionally ditched some gear, yet? I think my pack started around 60 lbs and ended up around 40 lbs by the end, and you're going to be carrying those things longer than I did. :-) I was impressed that you have that much stuff in there! Good that you are splitting it between 2 people. If you need any pointers on how to lose some weight, let me know! My current hitchhiking pack is less than 20 lbs after I got back and did some more experienced revising. I'll definitely be checking out the site. Much luck to you both. I totally support the adventure!

Posted by: Ryan Scheuermann at October 31, 2004 06:39 PM

You guys are to be laughed at and admired. Looking forward to seeing you guys! Guatemala awaits you!

Posted by: Bean at October 28, 2004 07:58 PM

Dave and Eric,

You have obviously done a lot of planning for this trip as well as the web site. May you sense God's leading this year as you travel the world. It is a blessing to be able to share this experience with you, even if it is only "virtually".

Posted by: chip and jan foderaro at October 24, 2004 05:34 PM

How about adding "Total dollars spent on our journey" and "most expensive item". also "items lost" (list) and items found or obtained. (list)

Posted by: Darwin at October 8, 2004 02:20 PM

Maybe you should list "Total Animals Killed" with subheadings of

for food:
in self defense(large spiders count):

Looking forward to watching your trip around the world! Stay healthy!

Posted by: Dean Mast at October 4, 2004 03:50 PM

How about adding: "Animals killed for food?" Or also adding "Different types of transportation".

Look forward to vicariously "living the journey".


Posted by: Eric Musser at September 27, 2004 07:32 PM
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David P. Landis & Eric S. Kennel