The roads less traveled

Adventure traveler Willie Weir is returning to Sequim this week to wrap up this year's Traveler Journal.

This will be Willie's fifth presentation for the series. Over the years he has developed a following of people who look forward to his witty, colorful and insightful presentations on his travels.

I started Traveler's Journal

18 years ago and hosted until last year - and Willie's shows are not to be missed.

If you only see one travel and adventure show this year, or for that matter in your life, make it one of Willie's. He is a professional traveler; he has a nose for finding adventure and a keen insight for what to do when he finds it.

Willie and his wife, Kat Marriner, travel on their bikes and bike traveling allows them to rub elbows with the locals.

Last year, Willie and Kat took their bicycles to Colombia and Venezuela. Most people would be excused in thinking that Colombia and Venezuela might not be good place to rub elbows with locals. For many years, Colombia was ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and most of what Americans know about Venezuela is that President Hugo Chavez does not like the U.S.

However, Willie has a habit of traveling in countries that are not on most people's vacation lists.

He spent five months pedaling around India. He cycled in South Africa in the midst of the turmoil after Nelson Mandela was elected president.

When tanks outnumbered cars in Bosnia, Willie was there on his bike. The U.S. government said he couldn't go to Cuba, but he went

anyway. And he bought plane tickets for Turkey a few days before the U.S. invaded Iraq.

That didn't stop them. They went anyway.

Willie says, "Roads lead to places - paths lead to adventure." So as Willie and Kat prepared for this recent trip to South America, they weren't thrilled that the predominant advice they received was to stay on the main roads.

However, as you travel with Willie in his show "Colombia and Venezuela: Bicycling Beyond the Headlines" Thursday night, you'll see another side of this part of the world.

About the presenter

Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio station KUOW in Seattle and author of "Spokesongs: Bicycle Adventures on Three Continents."

His two-wheel adventures have taken him all over the globe - from the horse tracks of the highlands of Lesotho, to the war-torn roads of Bosnia, to the back roads of Colombia.

He is the recipient of gold and bronze Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers. Each year he speaks to thousands of students and adults, inspiring new adventurers and advocates.

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