An adventurous Romanian couple finished a mammoth cross-country journey in Albany last week after travelling through some of the most remote areas on the planet on nothing but recumbent trikes. Radu Paltineanu and Irina Repede completed their 11,238 km journey on February 18 at Torbay Head after riding all the way from Far North Queensland. Mr Paltineanu is a seasoned long-haul adventurer, having previously ridden a pushbike through the Americas, from Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, in 2019. After completing that journey, he travelled to New Zealand with Ms Repede, where Mr Paltineanu was running a travel tour, but their plans were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Once border restrictions relaxed and allowed them to enter Australia, they started planning their first big adventure together as a couple. Mr Paltineanu had visited the country before, but it was the first time Ms Repede had been to Australia and pedalled such a long distance. Because of that, Ms Repede, whose last name means “rapid”, opted for a solar-powered electric trike which the couple rigged up themselves. The couple’s trip was much more about the journey than the destination, starting at Cape York, the country’s northernmost point, and ending at Torbay Head, the WA’s southernmost point. “It was a really cool way of seeing Australia, from the pace of a trike,” Mr Paltineanu said. “You see a lot more detail and that’s why we do it the way we do it because in a car, it’s a lot more superficial. “You just always go from point A to point B, and you enjoy point A and enjoy point B but you can’t enjoy anything in between because you’re going so fast. “You’re not going to spot the snakes, you’re not going to spot the spiders, you’re not going to spot the wildlife and the birds.” The couple travelled through remote tracks and roads, including the Tanamai Track and Gibb River Road, and camped and stayed with locals they met. They encountered a few obstacles as they cycled, which weren’t made easier by the remoteness of the areas they travelled through. One of Mr Paltineanu’s wheels “gave way” on the Tanamai Track and when they tried to repair it at Halls Creek, they were sent to the town’s dump to find a replacement as there was no bike shop. Ms Repede’s favourite moments of the journey were finally being able to swim at Ningaloo Reef after other coastal areas they had visited were too croc-infested to swim, and going through central Australia. “The place that is very dear to my soul is all of central Australia,” she said. “I really loved the vibe there; it really made me connect with the land and myself and I wanted to stay there a lot.” Mr Paltineanu’s highlight was kayaking around the Dampier archipelago near Karratha with their local host, where he saw ancient rock art and camped on islands. He said that side adventure, which was unplanned, reflected the ethos he followed for his trips. “What I’m doing is not about predictability,” he said. “It’s about more letting myself be surprised at every turn of the wheel. “Like just spending those extra five days in Karratha — it wasn’t something planned — or just going into an extra gorge or just hiking a little bit more. It’s something that I want to allow myself to do. “It’s not about timeframes, it’s more about really seeing it in detail.” After finishing their journey in Torbay last week, the couple have been learning to sea kayak with local hosts Jenni Harrison and Les Allen. The couple have big plans to one day circumnavigate the world “without using any motorised means”, but for now they are taking a month-long break in Albany before embarking on any more adventures.