Montag, 20. April 2015

With the car in Mongolia

I'm in late plane from Beijing to Ürumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province in the extreme Norwest China, where is next to the Han Chinese, especially Uyghur, Kazakh and Mongolian. After the view from the window just mountains and mountains and mountains and desert has shown it is quite fast green and then we end up in Ürumqi. I get quite fast my bike and screw it ready for use and then it goes to the heart of the city and Ferry Dublin Holyhead.
A good 30 kilometers are through the rush hour traffic and I still have no idea which area I should look for a hostel. So I buy a map and then search in the vicinity of the railway station, the hotel is too shabby, too expensive and another the next two full, but then I find what I need is a room for 18 € with shower, the wheel remains in the corridor and cost Ferry Cairnryan Belfast.
Directly opposite is a gigantic night - one kilometre after another, a state, a confection after another. Barbecue stalls with meat and fish, stews and small clay dominate bounce between Uyghur with baskets of melons and fresh fruit. This night market here is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, and besides me there is not one long nose far and wide.
The next day, I prefer I go at 9 clock off, the exit from the city is hard to find, as well as the branch in the mountains. But I meet some local riders who just returned from a mountain tour and we get immediately into conversations about cycling in China.
Then I finally got the right street and again it goes to the dry steppe landscape, from time to time there is a Uyghur village, sparse agriculture or a poplar grove. About midday dip on the horizon the first outlines of the mountains, thin blue lines, covered with snow. I slowly come closer to the mountains and then it's already strong uphill pedaling my butt is no longer used or the new saddle and I have a sore spot quite quickly on my butt, on the right side. These two weeks I will be the following function also no longer have to go on the right cheek continue on the new cost Ferry Cairnryan Larne.
In the afternoon, late afternoon, I went to the first side valleys, there are pine forests and green meadows and the road rises properly, the asphalt is poor, but the scenery beautiful and grandiose. This morning I started Ürumqi at 850 meters above sea level, now shows my GPS back in 2000, then I come to a small plateau and then emerge a few chimneys, coal power plant and cement shack spit dirty haze, but it is is the only place with accommodation in the environment. A hotel is not just a run-down, a kind of hostel with water and toilet on the corridor, the rooms are barely tolerable, but horrible gear and toilet, as well as the laundry room like in Prague.
The next morning I start early and move my breakfast, which was a mistake, because in the narrow valley, there is nothing but the raging river below the right and the cliff top left, thanks to a landslide even more truck traffic, which came to the constriction to a standstill, only I could wear over my bike. After 30 kilometers, then listen to the asphalt and the valley opens up a bit, then finally a Kazakh yurt camp and a good plov is quickly warmed up and then has to be enough for the rest of the day and is exhausting.

Montag, 13. April 2015

On the way to Kumkapi

That there is a risk to cross with a vintage Europe from south to north was always clear to us. That it really would be a premature end - because we never believed. A normal and probably also necessary adjustment, if one wants to achieve his dreams. The technical defect in the bus, who had accompanied us the whole trip, is getting worse. The last required spare parts are all consumed, replenishment is very difficult to get.
We are still a bit to France, then it's over. The Bulli can not start again and it's time to sober and objective to take stock. A detailed failure diagnosis is not on the way to get a repair very difficult, we are the many mishaps far behind schedule, concern for the vehicle pushes more and more to the forefront and becomes the dominant factor of the trip. Increasingly, there is also a race against the time of year - we do not want to risk the far north of Norway late in the year to achieve.
My fingers tremble a little when I enter the numbers in my phone to make the dreaded phone call and everything be decided by the automobile club. All of a sudden I realize the entire scope - Abort - no onward journey - we will not reach the North Cape this year. This means that no new photo film documentary, no lecture tour and no revenue. Occupational hazard.
Success and failure for collaborative approaches, the extraordinary, the projects are. At that thought, but it becomes clear very quickly how much these two terms are in the eye of the beholder. We have not reached our goal, but we have won are the many wonderful impressions and experiences of the past few weeks. This will forever belong to us and be a part of our family history and fast Ferry Holyhead Dublin.
And... the journey will continue. Under new conditions, probably next year. Because one thing has not changed in our minds - Dreams are there to realize it... At the break on the Metz Mountain Bilbo and Gandalf are tied with a long rope to two trees.“Everything that grows on the ground, they may eat", Armin Schneider had declared. In the panniers of bread, cheese and sausage waiting as a tonic to the walkers.
After lunch, the trail leads downhill. The donkey is progressing briskly, the muddy ground seems to matter to them. On the outskirts of Tawern they are always slower, stay and eat every two meters are. They ignore the pulling on the leash, behave exactly as you would expect from two stubborn donkeys and fast Ferry Harwich Hook of Holland.
The walkers are frozen solid, the stable is already in sight. They try to persuade the donkey to go on with dandelion, but the grass at the roadside lights so much greener. Finally, they give the insistence of the human companions after that. Five-thirty, the quartet returned to the stable. Six hours for twelve kilometers - the deceleration worked.
A Turkish friend gave me the tip, be sure to view the Kumkapi district on the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul. There we were given a wonderful insight into the lives of people. Fischer, who took little nutshells out to sea, tea and coffee seller on the boardwalk, families picnicking with a small grill on the lawn, adolescents who shot for a few lira to shotguns to bottles and in the middle my son and me.

Freitag, 10. April 2015

Ferry trip to China

I must have dozed off, because suddenly nudges me peer at the shoulder and mumbles something like this that we are " there" are. I overslept brabbele "Trinidad ? " What is lapidary "almost" dismissed with. And again reveals a detail of the Venezuelan people traffic. The Carritos only drive certain routes, you can not drive across the country with a Carrito. Still on the journey, our driver asked where his passengers have to go, so there is a short communication between the drivers and a flying change in the new vehicle on arrival in Carupano. I then looked at Ferry Belfast Cairnryan discount prospects.
But then it goes on, a new Carrito, this time a Buick, again this bubbling sound of a big block under the eternally long bonnet and around us the slowly sinking in the dark forest. Moment. Dark ? There was something ? This does not look good. While the driver seems to sense our haste and sweeping through the land as if he wanted to take us to Trinidad today, but nothing helps. Until six, when the sun has already gone down, we arrive at Güiria. The driver sets us up at the ferry company office, wishes us a happy farewell and five minutes later, we learn that the whole agitation was not necessary anyway. The switch has only up to five, we have to day it will come back to buy tickets.
But after all, we recommend the clerk, who remained still in office accommodation. And then shocked us to follow up with the information that we can not pay the card in Bolivar. The Venezuelan money would lose its value faster than you can spend it, we should rather pay in dollars or euros. Credit card is not a problem. Where we are now with our hair small remaining Bolivar counted the value of $ 240 like a good Ferry Belfast Liverpool trip, the nice staff can not tell us of course. Venezuelan Bolivar because you do not get exchanged abroad. And even then only at the official rate of one in four. Well clean.
So we check into the hotel and go for a shower on the lookout for ways to get rid of our money. How ironic ! Shaking his head, we go through the deserted streets of this small town and feed us how we were together for fourteen months the money while we were surrounded by a thousand temptations. Now we want to spend money, so it must be almost, and everything has to. No, not today Arepas roadside barbecue stands are too low. No, please no pizza, it should be indigenous, fish would be nice wine would be awesome.
After an hour we pass on. There is nothing to be done. There are no restaurants in Güiria, attired in the evening. Except one. The son of our hotel owner describes us the way. This, too, is not without irony. There is an Asian restaurant. So we spend the last night in Venezuela with shrimp, calamari, beer and halfway chinese -looking interior design, fall ball around in the beds and still have too much money. But, we think, from Christmas is coming, at least we will find souvenirs here.
So hastily got up and went with a cheerful song on their lips the next morning to the ferry. We immediately get our tickets, get way and formalities explained and at the end but then again shocked.