Posts Tagged ‘travel


Reiseradler-Interview #5: mit Christian von Terrainterminate


Thanks to Martin from biketourglobal for that interview with me!

Enjoy it!

Originally posted on BikeTourGlobal:

Mit den „Reiseradler-Interviews“ möchte ich euch Menschen vorstellen, die eine aus meiner Sicht tolle Radtour machen oder gemacht haben, die interessante Erlebnisse hatten und die natürlich auch Erfahrungen sammeln konnten, die mitzuteilen sich lohnt. Das fünfte Interview führe ich mit Christian
Christian und sein Rad ©

Christian und sein Rad ©

Den Reisevirus hat sich Christian schon als kleines Kind eingefangen. Irgendwo schnappte er das Wort „Globetrotter“ auf und fragte, was das denn sei. Die Antwort: „Das ist jemand, der viel reist“. Damit war für Christian klar, dass er dies auch machen will und seitdem lag der Atlas immer griffbereit. Es dauerte zwar noch etwas, bis es endlich für ihn auf Reisen gehen konnte, aber nach Schule und Ausbildung ging es dann los, hinaus in die weite Welt. Irgendwann kam dann das Fahrrad dazu und ist mittlerweile so etwas wie eine Leidenschaft für ihn geworden. Momentan bereitet sich Christian zusammen mit Andreas Simon…

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Vacation time

from tomorrow on I’ll walk around this mountain range…


Sikkim part2

In Ravangla I woke up in a chilly morning as the place was covered with clouds and the air was filled with moisture. Progress at the beginning was fast, all way down passing numerous villages, from the turnoff to Tashiding it was more downhill till a bridge crosses the river in that cramped valley. The treasured ascent from the day before was destroyed in less than 2 hours only to discover that the last 13km to Tashiding was all uphill again. The dogs were quiet aggressive in this area, many attacks which were defended due to the fast speed down the hill, but one bastard chased me for more than one kilometer till he finally recognized that I am to fast for him and gave up. And sudden the ascent started again some schoolchildren appeared and had their fun with me while they tear and pull at everything that dangled on my bike which made me quiet furious but that didn´t help at all only to give them cheeky rascals loud laughter at me. The climb went incredible steep, somehow it reminded to Laos, where the ascents were also long and steep and the descents short and fast (but at least here in Sikkim they know switchbacks which are in Laos almost unknown). The road followed forests releasing a sweet smell of the flora and the lovely songs of birds could be heard too. This must be a paradise for botanist and bird watchers, but I am neither of that two so I concentrated on that piece of tarmac in front of my nose and enjoyed the scenery around me. The villages along the way got more and more rugged and still had to deal with the dogs which seemed to take their task to defend their territory very seriously but shouts and stones are working well to keep them in distance. I arrived in Tashiding early around noon, found a cheap room in a very basic nice and cozy guesthouse and called it a day, being lazy for the rest of the day. Tashiding is home to the oldest monastery in Sikkim, but even to visit this place I felt to exhausted to climb up the mountain were it is placed. While I was sitting downstairs at my guesthouse, smoked a Bidi (Indian kind of cigarette rolled in some sort of leaf) one guy stepped out of that restaurant which also operated as a bar as he was obviously drunk for ten and walked like being on a ship in a storm. As he stepped down on the road he couldn´t keep his balance turned around 360degrees feel down and hit his head loudly on the floor. It seemed he is used to things like that and he was gone faster than I could react to help him. Poor guy, sure he wont remember which caused his headache (hope he will give the booze the blame and thinks about his drinking habit). Full drunk people sadly are common in Sikkim, it has one of the highest rate of alcoholism in all of India, as they have loose restrictions about selling whiskey and beer. Late at night rain started again and I hoped for a bright and sunny day. But one cannot be lucky at all of the time and in the morning it was still pouring dogs and cats. Thought about a rest day but went on after breakfast while the rain got less. The road climbed up for the first km and my mind was preparing for another hard day but it came out that this day I enjoyed much despite the limited view through the fog and deep hanging clouds. I felt very cold especially during the downhill parts additional I felt I´m getting a common cold which worried me a little bit. I bypassed Yuksom and wanted to go to Khecheoparli Lake straight. There were many signs leading up to that holy lake but only on trekking routes which are not suitable for bicycles. After a while I thought I missed the turn off up to the lake but suddenly it appeared and a long 10km ascent with some more brutal steep sections were waiting. At the lake, or better to say at the taxi driver stand in front of the lake it was not so easy to find the responsible person for that only lodge there but somehow someone opened the door and rent me a room which I was desperately looking for. The rain only stopped partly and I was wet all over with is not a pleasant feeling with the really cold and humid air. In a nearby tea shop I tried to warm myself with lots of teas and soups and also met some other tourists there including an American who told me the same things over and over.I checked out the lake hidden in a nearby forest (the lake holds the legend that birds collecting all leaves fallen on it to keep it clean and sacred, for real I didn´t spot a single one on it). I lit some butter-lamps in the prayer-hall in front of the lake for my beloved ones and enjoyed the scenery or at least that was visible through the thick fog. I climbed up to the view point but by no question there was no view today. I really had a big issue with the humidity as all my cloth were wet either from the rain or from the massive sweat I produced. I changed into my spare ones and tried to get that other stuff dry, but simply had no idea how as the air was filled with moisture too (till morning most was reasonable dry as I put all that wet things between the mattress and the blanket using my Therm a Rest and sleeping bag on top). Still I prayed for a clear sky next morning as it cannot be raining the whole time.

to be continued…


Sikkim part1

I took an overnight bus from Pokhara to the border, quite a routine affair, practice Buddhist patience squeezed in a seat designed for Asian shortness and not for legs like mine (actually I am not that tall but in comparison to the locals I am). Arrived in Karkabhitta early in the morning surprisingly fast, despite the puncture we had along the way (safety first, one tire had a whole as big as a human fist in it and they changed it wisely). Quickly made it to the border post for check out of Nepal. The Immigration officer was obviously very unhappy about my overstay and demand very rudely an excuse, I told him some alibis (punctures, strike, unreliable public transport blablabla) which satisfied him or he was simply to lazy to do all the paperwork which is necessary for cases like that, even he didn´t fine me for that (which I was expecting and also prepared for, as it is an offense against the law without question). Lucky bastard I am. Nearly missed the well hidden Indian immigration, which was a very quick affair done by the most friendly Indian official I have ever met. Later followed the only road leading away from the border and into the state of Westbengal. I wasn´t exactly sure what to do, going direct to Darjeeling or have a rest day to recover from the bus trip. Decision was made after I missed the turnoff to Mirik, along a minor road up to Darjeeling. So I ended up in Siliguri, a typical dusty, crowded, chaotic town in India. Got a room for a good rate and enjoyed Hollywood propaganda on HBO (watched some movies in a row, some CIA commercial, another about genderism and one about the importance about having a mobile phone which can track you down wherever you are) . The night was ok but got fast remembered that India is a country of inconsideration while other guests made noise like a wildgone school class on vacation. Wanted to leave the plains as fast a possible but decided to go to Sikkim first instead of Darjeeling just to avoid that I´ll get stuck there as it happened many times to me, wasting time in a convenient place. So I ended up on the Highway for the first part of the day and reached the first mountains soon. It was a steady up and down and the Teesta bridge was reached fast, actually I wanted to stay here the night but it was still early and I went further to Rangpo, the gateway into the small Himalayan state Sikkim. In Rangpo itself the first thing to do was to get an Inner Line Permit (ILP), Sikkim is a sensitive area caused to the closeness to chinese occupied Tibet. To get the ILP it’s rather a routine thing and issued very quickly and actually wanted to check for a hotel there. Somehow I found myself out-of-town and to Singtam the next town was only 10km away so I went on. Suddenly strong wind appeared and big branches of trees fallen down next to me gave me a kick to pedal much faster to get out of danger, before the heavy rain began I was in Singtam bazaar road confronted to find a place for the night. Why all bars and restaurants call themselves hotels is a big myth to me and it was not so easy to find a real hotel suited for accommodation. A conversation I had while looking for a room:

Me: Hello, do you have a room?

Girl: no we don´t have rooms at all.

Me: Ok, but you have a sign that says here is a hotel.

Girl: Oh, yes we are a restaurant.

Still didn’t get it…

Finally got one in a real hotel, a nice one and HBO was already there…

My hopes from the afternoon became true as rain in the mountains mostly cleans the hazy sky and a blue one greeted me in the morning. The view was nice and lifted my mood a little bit, as the first feeling of Sikkim was not a pleasant one for me. Also it was time to gain some altitude. The road went high and higher following countless of hairpins and the views down the valley were nice if one can ignore all that constructions which are going on there: Waterpowerplants and distilleries for the nation seems to be the parole here. In the distance my planned destination could be seen already but it was still a long and sweaty day, all uphill while the road winds into every hidden corner of the mountain range. Two boys accompanied me on their way home from school for some 5km or so and they had not big trouble to walk next to me the whole time and after all it was a funny conversation as they didn´t ask the tons of same questions which every Indian has in store whenever meeting a foreigner and they also kept the barking dogs at distance. The climb went long and longer and I  drown myself in endless litres of any kind of soft drinks in so-called fair price shops. The last 10k´s was such a mess and I was more than happy to reach Ravangla (aka Rabongla) in the afternoon. This day was an ascent of more than 1800m in less than 40km, if this will be every day maybe suicide will be a better way to life. Ravangla is a small town which not much to do, I searched a telephone shop got sent from one shop to another and ended in an Internetplace where I sent some mails instead of doing phone calls. No telephone but internet, strange, but what to do.

to be continued…

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