Picked up my new @extrawheel trailer from @heavypedals today. The main idea to get one was to disburden the backwheel http://t.co/kwbSztiiit
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A new adventure is planned for May 2013!
We'll start from Malatya, where i stopped in 2010, and plan to cross northern Iran by June, continuing through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to the cooler mountains of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
We hope to arrive in Kashgar in western China in September/October, from where we plan to turn south towards Pakistan, cycling across the Karakoram Highway and the literal and geographic high point of this etappe, the Khunjerab Pass at 4700m. If we make it that far, there's a good chance we'll continue to India, where we'll stay a while and see where the roads lead us.
We you may wonder? After having cycled alone for 4000km from the Danube to the Euphrat in 2010, this time my significant other Daniela is coming along on the trip! This means twice the fun for us - compared to 2010 where she chose to stay back in Vienna and both of us didn't have that much fun at times.
Check back on this website in a few weeks and follow me on Twitter!
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Back in Istanbul i had decided i would go home before Christmas and try to get as far east as possible in the remaining time. While i still kept the possibility to continue to Iran and Pakistan in my mind, in the end i came to the conclusion that it would be better to take a long break from cycling.
I had felt more and more numbed by the endless travel and sheer amount of undigested impressions and experiences and i had lost most my curiosity to explore any further - i was burned out and i needed a break to be able to enjoy the essence of travelling again - hence my decision to go home.
Considering the options to get back, my favourite choice would have been a train-ride back to Austria.
It is basically possible to take overnight- express trains via Istanbul, Belgrade/Bucharest and Budapest, costing about EUR 400.- I had tried to get the details of this option via seat61, asked the Austrian Railways by mail and visited train-stations in Ankara, Kirikkale and Malatya.
In the end i had to bury the idea - according to the OeBB bike transport between Istanbul and Vienna was not possible, changing the trains 3 times with my big amount of baggage would be quite a hassle and it was not possible to make reservations in advance - which might have gotten me stranded for a few days if the trains where full.
On the contrary, there was a 6h flight from Malatya to Vienna, with a 2h transit in Istanbul. It would be very comfortable and with EUR 160.- more than half the price.
It is a shame that i chose comfort over adventure and the most dirty means of transport over a 3 day train-journey, which of course would have been the adequate return from a 90day/4000km bike trip.
However, taking the plane gave me a stunning view of a part of my cycle-path from above.
Not Vienna-Dehli for now - but i've reached the shores of the Euphrates.
Going back to the first blog-entries - green pastures along the danube, my first campspot still in Austria, lousy weather near Estergom, the endless plain of the Pusta and Vojvodina in Hungary and Serbia, first hills after Belgrade, the magic valley(My personal highlight of this journey), mental devastation in Bulgaria, stunning landscapes in western Turkey, people and mountains in central Anatolia - there's a lot of passion in these images and this travel - it's exciting i've been able to see so much by pushing my bike across the land, day by day, kilometer by kilometer, slowly and steadily.
I'm still planning to continue further east and i can't imagine not to visit the countries east of Turkey by bike in the close future, no more solitarily though. Maybe this year, maybe next year.