World-famous explorer stays at chalet Maison Jaune in Chamonix

It is not often we get to meet famous people.

Ok.  So Paul McCartney carried a pail of water for Helen back in 1974.
And Leighton went to infant school with one of the members of Bad Boys inc.

Ever heard of them?

Nope? Nevermind.

When we heard that Japanese cyclist, Keiichi Iwasaki, was passing through Chamonix with his girlfriend, Yuka, we thought we’d offer him a bed for a night or two.

In case you haven’t yet heard about Keiichi, he is a very humble chap who, one day in 2001, decided to quit his air-conditioning repair job in Japan, and start cycling…  He enjoyed it so much that he just sort-of kept on going…  through South Korea, China, India, Nepal…up through Pakistan, Iran…. and onwards into Europe – like a non-fictional Forest Gump.

Keiichi and Yuka with Helen and Leighton at Maison Jaune

Keiichi and Yuka with Helen and Leighton at Maison Jaune

What makes it more unusual is that when he started, he had less than two dollars in his pocket to fund his trip.

He does magic tricks on the street to earn enough to eat.

On his journey of 28,000 miles covering 37 countries, he has spent a year in Nepal training and then successfully climbing Mount Everest.  He rowed the Ganges from source to sea.  He singlehandedly rowed across the Caspian Sea – taking him 25 days!

Keiichi and Yuka just leaving Maison Jaune

Keiichi and Yuka just leaving Maison Jaune

Keiichi is now on his fifth bicycle.  Two having been stolen.

While he stayed with us, we found out that he hadn’t tried any of the local specialities..
So the following night to rectify that monstrosity, we prepared a huge tartiflette with a large, crisp, green salad.

Keiichi then proceeded to give us a demonstration of his magic skills – managing to make a bottle of Rosé appear from a hankerchief.  This man definitely knows how to impress!

While in Chamonix, he climbed Mont Blanc solo – camping on the Dome du Goûter. 
After leaving us, he was headed to Zermatt – then onwards further south to escape the winter cold… Italy… Africa..

We were delighted to have met Keiichi and Yuka.

Heading out...

Heading out...

Good luck with the rest of your travels, Keiichi!
You can follow Keiichi on his website: