17.10.2011

Ko Tao

Out of Bangkok… I took the train to make the first kilometers out of Bangkok till Hua Hin. I found a cheap room to stay there one night and tried to get up as early as possible to make some kilometers as I’m running out of time.
The roads are flat and you easily eat miles here – if not the damned knee was start hurting again. So I did till the early afternoon 100km by bike and took the train to Chumpon. Not a city which is worth to stay there a long time. So I just took the night fairy to Ko Tao.
Getting on the see at night is for me right now a awesome feeling. No mountains any more, no smell, the monotone sound of the motor and everything is black around you. You can see lots of fishing boots. You can feel and smell the sea…

13.10.2011

Bangkok

I didn’t planned to stay log here, just wanted to go straight by bike to Chumpon and then to Ko Tao by boat. But as there were some flights canceled my bike was scheduled to arrive on the 12th in the evening. So 2 more days of waiting again. I just took the time to do some sightseeing here, enjoyed the great food and make at least some planning for next days. Visiting the Emerald Buddha Temple was quite impressive. You really feel the energy on those kind of places…

9.10.2011

Kathmandu

The plan was to get from the last 5000m pass in Tibet directly to Kathmandu. From what I heard I was assuming that the road was going more or less only down for 180km except one hill right before Kathmandu. In reality I had on the first day 125km, 633hm meters uphill and 4482hm downhill. And this was a really awesome downhill – it’s the world largest downhill you can go by a bike!

5.10.2011

Way to Nepal

3rd of October

My plan was to make this a relaxed day as I had problems with my left knee now since 3 days already. As I waked up it was damned cold. I had to free the tent from ice again and try to get it somehow dry. Also the sleeping bag is every morning quite wet and has to be dried. It takes every day more than one hour. I’m searching already every day for e nice camp ground which is open to the east so I get as soon as possible sun on the tent. Right now we have about -10° at the night at 4000m. As higher you get as colder it will be.
This morning my cough was getting quite bad and I felt that another night in this conditions would not be an option for me. So I took some painkillers for my knee and tried to get to the last pass at 5100m. As far I know from Bart there should be a open hut where I could stay over night.

2.10.2011

Shigatse to Tingri

30th of september:
I started 8km before Shigatse quite early in the morning. Shortly behind Shigatse a made a small break and was overtaken by a foreign mountanbike group. So I rushed to get into their slipstream. This was a german group from DAV Summit Club and they was planning to make the same tour as me – apart they are planning to go to Everest Base Camp. They invited me to sleep at their camp ground and have dinner and breakfast together. For this offer I couldn’t say no ;)

29.09.2011

Lhasa to Shigatse

I meet 2 Chinese guys in Lhasa which were traveling around China and now are planning to go to Everest Base Camp. As the most part of our ways are the same we just make the tour together. On the 26th  we made 61 kilometers (100hm) and arrived in the dark. We started with sunny weather in Lhasa but got some rain on the way. We just put our tents just beside the road which is not very romantic. All over the night trucks went the road, so sleeping was not so easy for us.

As I right now have the Visa for Nepal I start this afternoon. Even if it’s already quite late (5pm) I try at least to get 30-40km and search for a nice place to camp.
Then tomorrow I will have my first pass (Kamba-La) which is about 4800m, so 1200m uphill.

I really like Lhasa, the city itself, the palaces, the mountains around but especially the people I meet here. After talking to a guided German tourist group I know exactly why I had chosen the permit-free way. That’s the only option to get really in touch with the locals, check out non tourist places and take a look at the ‘real’ Lhasa.

23.09.2011

Lhasa second day

Lhasa is a amazing city. Located at 3600m you notice that the air is getting thinner. But till now I have no problems. I’m trying to drink at least 3 liter each day.
I enjoy the food here. Tibet is the right region for you if you prefer spicy food. Till now I avoided all restaurants with English menu and was going to the small local ones. Or we are cooking here by ourselves.

The last days were kind of chaotic for me. The train to Lhasa should go at 10:11 from Xi’an. I arrived at the train station at 8:30 and tried to check-in my bike and a big bag with all my other things. I thought about many possible problems but not they wanted to see my permit.
Anyway, somehow I was able to convince them to just let it go through and as it was already 9:45 pointing to the departure time was a quite good argument :) In this trouble I just forgot to change my shoes. So my ‘normal’ shoes are already gone and I had the fun to spend the next planned 34 hours in my bike shoes which are not really optimized for walking at all…
So I arrived 10:00 at the waiting hall and on the board was my train not mentioned at all. Damn! Did I really missed it? I meet a girl which was speaking at least a little bit English. She had another train but said I should just be relaxed. Honestly, this sounds like a joke to me…

I don’t know what else can happen to stop me from this tour…
First of all it was more or less impossible to get sleeper tickets from Beijing to Lhasa. So I was going together with Lia (a girl from Columbia, met her on the great wall trip) to Xi’an. 14 hours on a hard seat.
Now I got the ticket and there is a big earthquake in Himalaya, quite close to my planned your.

14.09.2011

Visiting Great Wall

Eigentlich wollte ich mit dem Bike einem Abstecher zur Great Wall machen. Aber irgendwie haben mich ein paar Leute  aus dem Hostel doch überredet mit dem Bus mitzufahren… Ziel war ein nur teil-restaurieres Stück der Chinesischen Mauer bei Jinshanling welches wohl nicht so häufig besucht wird.

Es war schon sehr eindrucksvoll. Leider hängt über der ganzen Gegend immer noch eine Dunstglocke so dass es keine wirkliche Weitsicht gibt. Irgendwie ungewohnt wenn man nur die klare Luft der Alpen gewöhnt ist.

Es sieht so aus als ob sich die Tour nach Tibet doch etwas interessanter gestaltet als gedacht… Das es nicht einfach wird war ja abzusehen aber anscheinend hat sich die letzte Zeit doch einiges getan um es noch etwas herausfordernder zu machen. Zumindest sieht es so aus als ob ich ggf. noch 11 Tage hier in Beijing festsitze bevor ich weiterkomme.

12.09.2011

Beijing, erster Tag

Nach 31Stunden auf den Beinen bin ich jetzt erst mal bei einem kühlen Bier hier zur Ruhe gekommen…

Der Flug lief wider Erwarten mehr oder weniger ohne Probleme ab. Von Moskau nach Beijing haben wir dann kurzfristig noch einen anderen Flieger bekommen und sind mit einer Stunde Verspätung los aber der Gepäck hat es dann doch rechtzeitig nach Beijing geschafft. Der Bike-Karton hat wie erwartet recht gut gelitten aber zwischenzeitlich habe ich da ja beim Verpacken etwas Übung. Das Bike hat es jedenfalls gut überstanden.
Beim Zusammenbauen vor dem Flughafen kam 3 mal die Security vorbei um zu sehen was ich da anstelle. Geld tauschen hat 20min gedauert, nachdem ich 2 Formulare ausgefüllt hatte, Pass und Visum gecheckt und kopiert wurden. Theoretisch hätte ich auch eine aktuelle Aufenthaltsadresse in Beijing angeben müssen. Also wer Probleme mit der deutschen Bürokratie hat sollte mal einen kleinen Ausflug machen…

11.09.2011

Es geht los…

01:18 morgens…
So langsam wird es doch noch recht spannend. Bisher war ich zeitlich doch recht gut eingebunden und hatte gar keine Zeit mir irgendwie Gedanken zu machen. Aber jetzt kommt doch so langsam die Nervosität durch… Obwohl ich ja doch eher ein Verfechter der Spontanität bin hat es sich doch mal wieder ausgezahlt einmal ganz langweilig nach Checklisten zu arbeiten…

Letztes WE stand ein kleiner Testlauf an, also mit dem ganzen Gepäck auf einer 90km Tour nach Oberammergau. Rückfahrt dann ganz traditionell mit dem Auto… Heute beim durchgehen der Packliste habe ich dann doch noch die Iso-Matte aus dem Auto geholt.

Vielen Dank auch noch mal an meinen Onkel, der mir noch last minute einen Laufradsatz für die Tour gebaut hat. Den Cross Country Rädern wollte ich die Tour dann doch nicht zumuten… Jeweils recht stabile 36er, vorne mit Nabendynamo, damit ich noch eine Sonnenunabhängige Stromquelle habe. Die Räder kamen am Samstag um 1 Uhr morgens per Mitfahrgelegenheit aus Berlin an. Also wirklich last minute… Aber wer mich kennt, den überrascht das sicherlich nicht sonderlich.

31.08.2011

Equipment…

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