Just a few days till I leave for the next part of my cycling trip, but before I give you some short impressions about what I’ve done since I left home.
Since I heard from a friend about trekking in Nepal’s Himalaya, I was very keen to experience that by myself. That made it an easy decision to start my trip with a flight to Kathmandu. Although it wasn’t my first time in Asia, it was the beginning of my trip, and of course I had to deal with many new challenges, so my time in Nepal is still feeling special to me.
After nearly two months I had enough from mountains and I headed over land to India. Where, besides the amazing vegetarian food, especially overcrowded chaotic cities and trains, the omnipresence of Hinduism and even some nice landscapes are staying my memories. Trains were my favorite transportation in India, not just because it’s very cheap, it’s also a good way too come in contact with local people. Usually I was the only tourist my part of the train and it has never taken a long time until someone started conversation. Often I even got a lot of food mostly from families, which were on the way to a wedding. India’s people and culture really fascinated me, even though it’s not always easy as a westerner to get along with the cultural differences.
Although I would have loved to stay longer, my expiring visa forced me to leave India after three months. Next stop was Myanmar, where I also met my brother.
As it was ruled for a long time by the military and opened the borders just recently for tourists, it was definitely an interesting destination. Especially apart from the few tourist spots the Burmese people were awesome, but we witnessed also some restrictions by the government or military. So we had to change our planned route, as it got just recently closed for tourists. Generally there are still many regions, where tourist aren’t allowed to travel and not to mention that the military is nearly everywhere and controls passports, what can be quiet annoying after a while. To the the highlights belong a 25 hours ride on an overcrowded ‘ancient’ train and a two days trip on a boat, loaded with honey casks and other cargo.
After a short stopover in Bangkok I headed by bus to Laos with the main purpose on rock climbing, what I haven’t done since I left home. Three weeks I spent in a climbing camp and luckily the Laos New Year was happening during this time.
Over a couple of days whole Laos is having a huge water fight, so it’s not possible to walk through the city without getting soaked, either through a hose, buckets or water balloons, though in 40 degrees that’s not too bad. Besides of the water fight the people are drinking and dancing to loud music, mostly techno music, which is banging out of big PA systems they set up in front of their houses. Some climbing friends and I went to the nearest town for this festival and we got invited for beers at almost every house, and at one point we could even hop on a pickup of some young Laotians for a cruise. Taking pictures was most of the time too dangerous for the camera, but luckily I could take some shots at a quiet part of the town.
During this time I also developed the idea of travelling by bicycle and I started doing some research on it. Back in Bangkok then I found surprisingly a shop, where I could purchase a good touring bike. Before I eventually started riding I was flying to the Philippines to visit a friend in Manila. Of course I was travelling there as well for a few weeks. In June 2014 my time as backpacker came then finally to an end, when I left Bangkok riding on my bicycle.