this is Moritz Ecker speaking. I’m a musician from Berlin currently cycling with my old bike and my even older guitar, heading for the other end of the planet.
See you on the road!
Vietnam seemed to me like a sweet version of China, the people are nice and they haven’t built everything up with skyscrapers and motorways. And there are tourists! At least on my first day after a long an fairly steep climb to Sa Pa. After that I didn’t see any more foreigners.
From Sichuan on the climate became wet and and the landscape turned into a real jungle (a bloody mountainous one). Sichuan is an earthquake hotspot and I’m glad none went off while I was pedaling my way through. I imagined being on a road cut into a wall of rock when the earth starts shaking – scary.
The first thing I realized coming from Xinjang to Gansu is that everything seems pretty ‘normal’. No more police controls on every corner, the petrol stations are not guarded like a military post anymore and the internet speeds up from crazy slow like in the modem days to just plain slow.
So, after 4 days waiting at the Chinese border it finally opened on the 5th day. First thing that surprised me after a massive security check was that while on the Kazakh side of the border were only a few small houses in the steppe, the Chinese have built quite a decent town here in the middle of nowhere.
After Bishkek the road leads back to Kazakhstan and it’s only 200km till Almaty the former capital. I parked my bike for two weeks here in Almaty to take some rest, eat and also to flight back to Berlin to spent some time with the two most amazing things in the world – visa applications and dentist visits.
This is after the border to Kyrgystan. I’ve already heard that Cannabis is growing there along the road and I can verify that. I also heard that it’s bad weed and you get headache from it. I can’t verify it. Kyrgystan drivers are just driving too reckless for any experiments like that.
I took a train to Samarkand in Uzbekistan to speed up a bit and to get to the other side of Turkmenistan. There you have some great medieval islamic architecture but I didn’t feel like staying long. After all the waiting for the Turkmen Visa I felt like getting back on the bike.
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