Morgan Bernoux biked from France to India, via Albania

Travel

Morgn Bernoux is a TV director and a true nomad. Having visited more than 100 countries and having circumnavigated the globe a total of three times, his most recent journey took him from France to India on the back of a motorbike. 15,000 km, 12 countries and 2 continents, his epic journey also took him through the heart of the Balkans- this is his story in 1000 words.

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Apres un nouvel an passé en russie je suis aller directement en amerique du sud et durant 6 mois j ai remonté à pied la cordillère des andes depuis le cap horn jusqu a la plage de punta galina, j ai eu la chance d être invité a des assados chilienne de monter la plus haute montagne americaine et dormir sur les plages colombiennes. Puis je suis rentré en france pris une moto et conduit jusqu au Pakistan. La Turquie m a époustouflé avec ses paysages, les iraniens m ont acceuilli comme personne et les pakistanais m ont aidé à chaque etape de mon voyage. Ces deux peuples dont la réputation à travers le monde n est pas flateuse ont été les plus gentil et acceuillant que je n'ai jamais rencontré. On termine l'année avec les fieres pachtounes, et on se met a leur mode. Je peux le dire cette année aura été une bonne année, j aurai beaucoup appris beaucoup vu et j ai hate de voir ce que 2019 me reserve. Bonne annee a tous . . . Photo @rosiegabrielle . . . . . . . @thepeoplewemet #thepeoplewemet #portrait #portraitphotography #love #eyes #sight #boy #people #peopleareawesome #thepeoplewemet #world #worldtraveler #traveler #travelgram #instatravel #voyageursdumonde #voyage #passionpassport #voyageur #generosity #globetrotter @people_infinity_ #people_infinity_ @peopleareawesome #photographer #samsungmobile #samsunggs9 @natgeopeople #natgeopeople #pakistan #pakistantravel #selfi

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He took his first trip abroad at the tender age of 18 and made his way by hitchhiking and working sporadically to pay his way. For two years, he pursued this life knowing that he wasn’t the type that could settle in any place for two long, the nomad seeds were sown. School was of little interest to him and he felt that by travelling he could gain a better and more extensive education from the world around him.

Then, just over six months ago, a friend suggested they do a famous trail between France and Mongolia but after a bit of research, the route appeared to be too tough during the coming winter months. Instead, they decided on India as a final destination with its warm climate providing a much safer option than the impenetrable mountain ranges of Mongoia.

His mode of transport was a trusty 90’s Honda Transalp 600cc. When I asked Morgan why he chose to travel by bike, he replied:

“FREEEEEDOOOOOOOM!”

Explaining that with a bike you are not at the mercy of public transport and you are outside with the world around you, not staring through the glass window of a bus or train. “With a bike you can stop wherever you like” he tells me, “countryside, forest, villages, mountains- you get to see things that you just wouldn’t otherwise”.

Their epic journey took six months in total- some days driving for two hours and some days driving for eight. They passed through France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, and finally, their destination of India. Navigtaing sometimes perilous and dangerous roads, the intrepid explorers made sure to travel only by day, preferring to pitch their tents in the evening and soak up some of the local atmosphere.

“I didn’t like Croatia” he says, when we switch to the topic of the Balkans. 

“The people were not very friendly and it has become so touristic- they don’t treat you well because you are just another tourist to them. Of course there are beautiful cities like Split and Dubrovnik, but to me they are nothing special.”

They arrived in Albania via the border with Montenegro before driving to Tirana, The Blue Eye, Pogradec and from there onwards to the Greek border.

When asked about his preconceptions of Albania, Morgan’s views are unfortunately the same as many other peoples. Mobsters, mafia, and poor people but after travelling through the Northern and central part of the country, he says that his mind was changed. 

“A country full of green, beautiful nature and welcoming people. The Blue Eye was just extraordinary- I wasn’t expecting this kind of nature.”

He continued: “we stopped at one campsite and the owner let us camp for free because it wasn’t in season.”

Morgan explained that it was hard to communicate as much as they wanted to as many of the people they encountered didn’t speak English well but that their curiosity and the international gesture for “come have a beer” allowed them to get by.

The hospitality and the friendliness of the Albanian’s is a well kept secret, experienced only by those that come here and Morgan’s route through the backstreets and roads of the country exposed him to this. When I asked if he would return, he answered “yes” and without a doubt.

“I have to come back to explore more- I want to hike through some of the incredible hills and mountains that I saw. Balkan countries are not very well known and I hope that in a way they stay this way- I want to keep this treasure to myself.”

After passing through the Balkan peninsula, Morgan’s most favourite stops were Iran and Pakistan, with the latter being number one.

“Pakistan has a bad reputation but the people were just amazing. Part of my motorbike needed fixing before I could continue on my way- the guy in the garage told me that if he ordered the part it would take three weeks but he could make it in one day. He did and he didn’t even charge me, telling me that it is his duty as a Muslim to help me fulfil my journey.”

Morgan doesn’t see any of his trips as particularly life changing, but rather as a series of events that all interweave and link together to create his own version of the word. His journeys are the lifestyle he has chosen for himself and each country he visits is just another stop on his journey for knowledge, evolving as a student does after completing each year at school.

When he is not on the road, Morgan lives in a 9m sq apartment that costs him pennies. He is single and has no family to speak of. He chooses to save every penny he can to spend on exploring the world and adding new experiences to his own personal world.

“I have slept on the street, travelled on top of trains, hitchhiked by boat, taken the most bizarre and obscure jobs- all to make what I do possible.”

“But I believe that if you keep smiling at people, they will come and help you. I am 1.85m tall and covered in tattoos, so am not the most approachable guy, yet I smile and they come.”

You can follow Morgan on Instagram here.

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