j.k.adventures

On August 27, 2016 I'm starting a bicycle journey from Munich to Nepal. With my journey I raise money for a new school in Nepal. A quakeproof school will cost 27.000 €. Now its on you... Make your donation and become part of an outstanding project.
  • Day208

    Temples, Heat and Magical Sunsets

    March 22, 2017 in India

    German Version and more photos: www.cyclingfornepal.com

    I had long considered, where I should start my 30-day stay in India. Due to the size of India, a month is just enough to travel a small part.

    At first I looked dir auch ferry connection between Sri Lanka and India. The two countries are very close together. On the Internet I found out, back in 2012 a connection had existed. Thus only a flight came into question.

    Two places in India appealed to me: Goa and Hampi. Goa is a state in India and borders directly on the coast. Hampi is a temple town, which is located in the interior of the country, about 350 km away from Goa.

    During my stay I wanted to do two things in any case. Learn kitesurfing and experience the holi festival in Goa, which is celebrated in the middle of March in India and Nepal.

    The visa required to leave the country by airway. I wanted to keep an open mind about the airport I was going to fly to Nepal. At the airport in Sri Lanka came the nasty surprise. My airline requested a departure ticket from India, otherwise they would not let me get into the plane. I had no choice. I had to book a flight ticket from Goa to Kathmandu/Nepal. Curiously, the visa officer in India did not ask for a departure ticket. Ultimately, the entry went without problems and I had arrived in Goa.

    The first night I spent in Panaji, the capital of Goa. Even before my trip to India, I had the idea to change the bicycle for a couple of days against a motorized two-wheeler. More specifically, I wanted to borrow a Royal Enfield. The motorcycles are made in India and look just great.
    I have to mention that I have been riding a motorbike, but I do not have a motorbike license. With the driving license, however, the Indians do not take it so accurately, so I quickly found a landlord who would have given me a machine for 12 euros a day. Since I was anything but in practice and I had a lot of respect for the Indian traffic and decided for the smaller version, the scooter. The motorcycle adventure I have to pick up for a later trip.

    With the scooter I went to the north of Goa. I found a cheap hostel which also had a pool in the garden. As in Sri Lanka, accommodations and food are very cheap. For 10 euros a day, you can live very good in India.

    In the following days I Drive to all the beaches of North Goa. Each beach has something else to offer. From party to hippie flair, or a quiet spot on the beach. There is something for everyone. I let the soul dangle and enjoyed the magical sunsets.

    After I was fully rested, I drove back to Panaji, and started cycling towards Hampi. Before me lay about 350 km through a national park. There was also a mountain range to cross.

    What made me particularly concerned this time was the very dry heat. From Sri Lanka I was used to hot weather. Although it had an average of "just" 30 Celsius, India felt much hotter. On top of that there was the wind, that pushed against me.

    This time, I had to plan the route exactly, because on the way there were not many accommodation possibilities. Since I had no tent, I had to reach my daily goals. The wind was so tough. The circumstances made cycling a torture.

    What always charmed me, though, were the people I met on the road. Two situations I will remember for a long time.
    It started with a stop at a mini market. In front of the market sat an older woman and a few children. They asked me in bad English, where I came from and what I was doing here. More and more children and Teenager came from the village to see me. A girl told me, many children had never seen a foreigner from near. Accordingly, the children looked at me with huge eyes.

    The second situation occurred on the third day of cycling. It was still 30 km to my day's destination. The wind was so strong that I was just as fast when I walked. I put my thumb up, and the first vehicle already stopped. There was a mini-bus packed with kids and adults. The bus had 8 seats. It is no joke, there were 13 people Sitzung in the bus. How should I fit in there? The young driver said: No problem, it works. His buddy and he fastened the bike on the roof, I squeezed beside the driver's seat. In the end, we were four people sitting in the front. The ride was anything but comfortable, but still better than fighting the wind. The people were incredibly nice and the ride was still really fun. The driver even drove me to my accommodation. The next day, it was again biting teeth and biking against the wind. In the afternoon I arrived exhausted in Hampi.

    Hampi is a small village surrounded by temples. Since 1986, Hampi has been part of the Unesco World Cultural Heritage. The region is home to tourism, which means that one guest house is next to the other. Nevertheless, Hampi is not overrun, whereby a pleasant Flair prevailed.

    On the third day it was time. I had eaten in a restaurant and half an hour later I had to throw up. It lasted all night. The next morning the worst was over, but I was exhausted and completely dehydrated. Bicycling was no option.

    Every night, a night bus leaves Hampi towards Goa. I decided to take the night bus and then, in Panaji, I'd think about what to do next. The bus trip was amazingly pleasant and my stomach felt much better again. The bus arrived at 6am in Panaji. I waited till it was bright and then cycled to the village of Morjim, which is 40 km away. I checked in the Wanderers Hostel, where I spent a few nights at the beginning of the trip to India. I liked it so much, that it would be my base for the last two weeks.

    Not far from Morjim is one of the few kitesurfing schools in India. Robin, the owner of the school, comes from England and has been running the kite school for several years.
    This time, Robin did not teach me alone, but was supported by Jill, who trained as a kite instructor.
    On the first day we started to get to know the material and how to control the kite. In the beginning, I imagined the steering much heavier than it really was. After a short time I felt very safe with the kite, so we went to the water the next day. But before I went on the board, I had to practice body-drag and starting the kite in the water. The body drag allows you to get pulled by the kite through the water without a board. This is particularly important if you have lost your board and must collect it again. On the next day was too little wind, so it went on two days later. Now it was time to take the board. Now, however, came the most difficult part in my opinion, the water-start. You have to fly with the kite a Powerdive. The kitesurfer gets a strong pull and rides away. It took me some tries, but finally I glided my first 100 meters over the water. It was great feeling. Over time, I got better and could go longer distances.

    I took a two-day break with the kite surfing, because I got a visit. Adi, a close friend of mine, flew spontaneously from Dubai to Goa. He had only 5 days, but we did the best of the short time. We went bodyboarding, visited the night market, relaxed by the sea and tasted the nightlife of Goa. I did two more kite sessions, while Adi snapped photos of me. Again, it was a really fun time.

    Slowly the time in India came to an end, but a surprise still awaited me. Mark messaged me, that he will also be at the Holi Festival in Goa. I had met him in Turkey, where we travelled for a longer time together.

    Holi, also called the "Festival of Colors", is one of the oldest festivals in India. On this day all the barriers seem to be lifted by caste, sex, age, and social status. It is celebrated overtly and people throw coloured powder on each other.

    Meanwhile, it was Mark and me the fourth reunion during our trip. To celebrate Holi together was something very special.

    The good thing about a big country like India is, that it takes several trips until you discover the whole variety of India. I want to come back. Maybe again for a bike ride or even a motorcycle trip with a Royal Enfield. But then with driving license.

    Cheers Janosch
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  • Day205

    A country to feel good

    March 19, 2017 in Sri Lanka

    German version and more photos: www.cyclinfornepal.com

    Before I report about my experiences in Sri Lanka, I would like to tell you, why I continued my cycling trip in Sri Lanka. Anyone who has followed the project from the start, knows that I have started with the goal of cycling the complete 12000 km from Munich to Nepal.

    After I decided in Turkey to fly back to Munich, this plan had disappeared.
    (In the blog entry: Turkey - Among the same, I reported on the reason for my return to Munich)

    During my time in Munich, I had to think about how I would go on with the trip, but also make a decision on what my future career depends on.
    For the last two years, I studied a second school subject, to become a full teacher. Before I left, I had final examinations. Unfortuneately I had not passed one exam.
    I was really down, because it was my goal to leave Munich without any time pressure and obligations. For a long time I displaced the decision, if I make a second attempt. In December, however, I had to make a decision: Either to repeat the exam in June 2017 or to study two years for free and to travel without time pressure. It won the reason, so I will be back in Munich in April 2017. This meant that I have a time window of 3.5 months to arrive in Kagate / Nepal.
    I opted for a completely new route. Visit my friend Adi in Dubai and spend one month each in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. I still wanted to continue to travel by bike, but also experience other things.

    The journey is thus no longer a continuous cycling trip from Munich to Nepal. Its more experiencing countries by bike with the final destination: Kagate in Nepal. The 12000 km mark I will no longer crack. How much distance I ultimately traveled, I will tell in my last blog entry.

    In Sri Lanka, also called as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, I landed with the plane 6 o'clock in the morning. In the beginning I had booked a hostel near the airport. Actually I wanted to spend another night there, but I could hardly wait to go to Hikkaduwa, which is 130 km away. It was my first destination right on the coast. I put the bike together and took only the most necessary. Camping is in Sri Lanka is good as impossible and cooking utensils I did not need to drag along, since the food in restaurants is extremely cheap (2 € to 3 € for a dish). So I could leave a lot of my equipment behind.

    My path led south along the coast. Right at the beginning I made the acquaintance with the Sri Lankan traffic. Especially the truck drivers and bus drivers driving without regard for losses, so I made several times a stop in the road trench.
    Having arrived in Hikkaduwa, I was looking for a hostel and immediately met other travelers. The first days I spent surfing and snorkeling. One of the main attractions on the beach are three large turtles swimming at the seaside during the day.

    Among the hostelmates was Alex from Germany. The chemistry was right. He also wanted to go further south. Next we met in the village of Merissa. Alex took a bus, I continued cycling.
    Merissa has a beautiful beach known for its beach shacks. A surfspot is also just around the corner and there were just ideal conditions. We liked it so much that we stayed 5 days. I was on the water every day and was regularly infected with surfing.

    On my arrival I had heard of a festival, which takes place in Arugam Bay, in the east of the country. The Internet did not reveal how much a ticket costs and what music direction is played. Alex and I thought it was worth a try. I left my bike in the hostel and finally I was able to enjoy a bus ride.
    Before us lay 280 km for which we will need more than 8 hours. Astonishingly, time passed by in flight. We were literally overwhelmed with impressions.
    The bus drivers drive like mad. In overtaking maneuvers they making from a two-lane road, a three-lane. Partially, the bus was so crowded, that I sat on the top over the engine. Or I stood in the front door, and the wind blew through my face. It was my most adventurous bus trip so far.
    Not far from the festival grounds we had booked our accommodation. On the bus we met Domingo from Chile, who spontaneously joined us.
    In the evening we went to the festival ground. From a distance we already heard the music: trance. I'm not a fan of trance, because the music is too monotonous. There was only a 5-day ticket to buy, which cost 120 €. Since we had taken the long way, we still wanted to enjoy the festival. Without problems we sneaked along the beach on the festival ground. Most visitors were pumped up with drugs and danced in trance. It was an interesting experience, but one evening was enough.
    The next day we relaxed on the beach. Then our paths separated again. Alex went on to the highlands. Domingo stayed for another day, but we met a few days later in Weligama. For me, I went by bus back to Merissa, and from there one town further to Weligama.
    I checked into the hostel Weligama, which had opened only a month ago. It was immediately a family co-operation. I liked it here so much, that it was difficult for me to continue riding.

    But I wanted to see more of Sri Lanka, so I took the off again. I cycled along the coast to the southernmost point, Tangalle. From there I went on towards the highlands. My next goal was Ella, where I would need three to four days. On the way to Ella I met incredibly nice and open-minded people. They were always given a smile.

    Unexpectedly, I passed a national park known for its wild safaris. The next day, I sat with a Norwegian couple, and three friends from Austria in a jeep, and we set off for an 5-hour safari. We got to see many animals. Especially the elephants posed perfectly for our cameras.

    The next day I was back on the bike and reached Ella in the evening. The small village is surrounded by a diverse mountain landscape. A famous peak is the "Liddle Adams Peak", which is reached within an hour and guarantees a great view.

    After two days of stay, my next destination was "Adams Peak", one of the main attractions in Sri Lanka. The mountain is near the city of Hatton and is best reached by train. It is not just a train ride, its one of the most beautiful train journeys you can do in the world. The special feature is that you can sit directly at the door.
    Actually, Steph from Australia (I met her at the hostel) and I wanted to go on the same train, but I had to take a train later because of the bike. We met later in the village at Adams Peak.
    From Hatton it was again 40 km with the bike to Adams Peak. On the way I got invited to a volleyball game, which I could not refuse.

     
    The Adams Peak is a "Must Do" for both, tourists and locals alike. Before you are on top of the 2243 m high summit, 5400 steps must be conquered. Locals of all ages go to the mountain to pray at the summit.

    In our accommodation we met Weston from China. At three o'clock in the morning, we three of us started to see the sunrise at 6.30 a.m. on the peak. Unfortunately it was cloudy on this day, that couldnt shot the sunrise photo.

    Adams Peak was my last major destination in Sri Lanka. On the same day I made my way back to Negombo. The last 130 km were hard but scenic. Two days later I went on to India.

    I liked Sri Lanka so much, that I have to come back. The beaches, the mountains, the people ... I felt like home.

    Janosch
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  • Day193

    One week in Dubai

    March 7, 2017 in the United Arab Emirates

    German version and more Photos: www.cyclingfornepal.com

    After my winter break in Munich my trip finally started again. But before going back on the bike, I made a one-week stopover in Dubai. There lives Adi, a very good friend from my college time. Adi has been a personal trainer and moved to Dubai a year ago.

    What was built in Dubai in a comparable short of time is very impressive. The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world and is located in down town, next to the largest shopping center with over 1200 shops, an ice hockey field, an aquarium and much more. And that is not the end. The city continues to grow. For example, the "Dubai Mall" getting enlarged by further 1000 stores.

    Dubai has 2.1 million inhabitants. It feels like that more than half of them are not locals, instead people from all over the world.

    Adi lives with four other roommates in a large house near the harbor. Life in Dubai is not cheap. Especially apartments and houses cost a lot of money, which is why residential communities are not rare.

    The week itself should not be an ordinary city trip, where you can see as much as possible in a short time. I'm not a big fan of "sightseeing" anyway, so the week was a good mix of action, sights, beach and nightlife.

    Dubai is an interesting city, which is characterized by the modern architecture and proximity to the beach. The season should be well chosen, because 50 degrees are not uncommon in the summer.

    A big thank goes to Adi, Haryot, Andrea and Corinna for the great hospitality and fun activities.

    Next blog is coming soon: Sri Lanka

    Janosch
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  • Day125

    Among like-minded people

    December 29, 2016 in Turkey

    German Version and more photos on www.cyclingfornepal.com

    Since my last entry, a lot of time has passed. You're probably wondering where I am right now! More on that later.

    After my arrival in Turkey, I began to reflect the previous journey. I had been traveling for about 80 days. 65 days I was on the bike. As with any type of travel, traveling by bike has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is surely the sporty aspect, the kilometers traveled driven by their own strength, the constant proximity to nature and the quick contact with locals, who stop you out of curiosity on the roadside.

    In spite of the hardships that often accompany you, I still believe that traveling by bicycle is the ideal pace to get to know a country and its culture. Nevertheless, there is a big drawback, which always catches me: the lack of social contact to like-minded people. The journey has been so far as I had imagined. Cycling lonely mountain roads, set up the tent under the stars, and find proximity to the locals.

    Nevertheless, I realized that I am not happy with the current situation and must change something. So it was on the time to slow down the pace and find like-minded people. Where do I best meet them? Either you meet somebody by chance at the supermarket, like Ruggero and Brian, with whom I cycled together through Greece or you do not leave it to chance and stay in a hostel.

    After arriving in Fethyie I checked into the hostel "El Camino". It was low season and not busy. But I immediately got to know some people, including Marc. He had given up his job in July, packed his backpack, and took an plane to Greece. There he had spent almost three months before he went on to Turkey. Marc does not have a precise schedule, just an approximate goal: Japan. Marc also writes a blog, which is worth reading: www.schillis-roadbook.com. The next day, we decided to make a hike though a canyon, which became more adventurous than expected. This should not be our last joint venture.

    In the evening I met a young couple in the hostel. I told them about the trip and the fundraising. As coincidence has brought us togehter, they were still looking for a way to make a donation for a good cause. They quickly picked up their laptop and immediately gave a donation to "Cycling for Nepal". Chapeu!

    Actually, I wanted to take the pace out of the trip, but I was little under time pressure, as I would meet my father in Antalya three days later. So I had to start the next day again. But before I made a paragliding flight on recommendation from Marc on a nearby bay. Afterwards, I went back to the bike with a stiff stomach, but it was an unforgettable experience.

    I would have liked to stay longer in Fethiye, but I was also looking forward to see my dad. After a three-day trip along the coast, I arrived in Antalya in the evening. A short time later also my dad reached the hotel and the joy of the reunion was very big. We had a lot to talk about, enjoyed the sunny weather and looked at the city. Of course, a bit of action could not be missed. So we did a rafting trip in the nearby national park, which also joined Marc, who had also arrived in Antalya. After a week, it was time to say good-bye. Thank you Franky for coming.

    Marc and I had already made new travel plans: First we wanted to stay at the small village of Olympos and then continue to Geyikbayiri, the hot spot for all sports climbers who want to escape the winter. Olympos is a small ancient city on the east coast, about 70 km from Antalya. Besides historical ruins, the picturesque location by the sea and the cabin-villages giving the town a special flair. In the summer, festive backpackers from all over the world meet here to celebrate and dance together in the surrounding cabin-villages. On recommendation from other travelers we stayed at Kadirs Tree House.

    Due to the low season we were only a group of 20 people, but we enjoyed the relaxed and quiet atmosphere. In the high season, up to 300 backpackers make their way to the Kadirs Treehouse. Olympos also has a lot of activities to offer. So Marc and I took a kayak tour along the coast and went climbing in the surrounding rock faces.

    The great thing about hostels is that you quickly meet like-minded people from all over the world, who like to travel and are open to any activities. Among them were Dave, Helene, Simon, Marija, Deniz and many others. Over time, we all got along so well that it was difficult for us to move on to Geyikbayiri.

    Before we went on, of course, we had to look at the nearby main attraction: the Flame Mountain. With Marc's Guitarlele (quote Marc: Guitarlele = When a guitar and ukulele have sex) on the back, we set off late in the evening to the Flame Mountain. At first we were all still somewhat skeptical, but when we arrived we were totally from the stool. There were flames coming from the ground, without smoke. We made it around a fire place and Marc played his best campfire songs.

    It was a great ending of an outstanding time. Next stop was Geyikbayiri. But Marc and I were not moving on alone. Dave quickly reversed his flight and joined us. Simon and Marija also came along. With a packed car we drove on to the one-hour distant, Geyikbayiri.

    Geybairi is a world-famous climbing spot. Especially due to the warm temperatures between 20 and 25 celcius, the area is ideal for climbing. There are 5 climbing camps, where you can either pitch your tent or rent a cabin / caravan. Marc and Dave moved into a hut, and I pitched my tent. The area is extensively developed with routes and it never gets boring.

    I had climbed a lot during my sports studies, which was 5 years ago. Even though it was a few years back, I had already licked blood again in Olympos. Our days were quite simple: food, climbing and relaxing. Everyone had his projects. The motivation increased even more as soon as one had completed his project.

    You could get used to the lifestyle, but unfortunately it was time for our paths to separate. Marc had to go to Ankara to look after the visa for Iran (he has now arrived in Tehran / Iran). Dave, Simon and Marija have flown back to Innsbruck/ Austria. I had a memorable time in Turkey and have made great friendships. Through these beautiful encounters I had fulfilled my plan to find like-minded people.

    My original plan to travel through Georgia was no longer a question. It had already snowed. In thought of my homeland, I thought of a very special person who I wanted to see very bad. So I decided to fly to Munich.

    Of course the journey is not finished, because Kagate in Nepal is still my goal, which I am looking forward to. By the way, the school building in Kagate makes significant progress (Photo).

    How are things going on now:
    On January 10th I fly to Dubai to visit a friend. A week later I continue to Sri Lanka. There I will try to work on my surfing skills.

    I would like to thank all the supporters who have shaped the donation project and the journey so successfully. Thanks to your great help, this donation project is realizable.

    I sincerely wish all the like-minded a Merry Christmas and a good start to the new year.

    Janosch
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  • Day84

    Land of Surprises

    November 18, 2016 in Greece

    German Version on www.cyclingfornepal.com

    The rainy weather in Albania and Macedonia had been bad on my mood. It was time to enjoy a few sunrays. Greece is known as an autumn domicile and so I went on with my trip to the Greek border with full euphoria. In Macedonia, I had thought about my further route through Greece. My dad suggested that we meet in Antalya, enjoy the sun and spend some relaxing days together. This sounded great and so the approximate direction was fixed, south to Athens.

    On the way to the border to Greece I met Keith from Canada on the roadside. He has been riding a singlespeed bike (only one gear) for several years. He was just assembling a smaller chainring to the crank because several climbs followed. The effort would be too way too much for me, but he probably belongs to a handful of people who are cycletouring like this. After it was raining again, we decided to look for a suitable place to stay. We found an abandoned house on a resting place, exchanged our travel experiences and let the evening end with good food. The next day, our paths separated. I cycled further south to Greece, Keith to the north.

    The following days in Greece were very rainy. At first I was still on gravel roads, but I remained stuck in the mud, so I switched to paved roads. In the evening, I fortunately found in a canopy, under which I could sleep. I just arrived at the new sleeping place, two small dog-puppies ran out of the abandoned side building. There was no trace of the mom.
    Both dogs, who I dubbed Blacky and Whitey, spent the whole night with me. I would have loved to take both with me.

    In the morning the sun finally came out and the landscape became greener and more mountainous. In the late evening I arrived in the small village of Meteora. The name sounds very special and so is the landscape surrounding the small village. Huge ridge towers rising in the air as if they had fallen from the sky. I stayed couple days to go hiking and enjoying the views.

    After three days I set off again. I stopped at the supermarket and to my surprise I met two other cyclists. Ruggero from Italy and Brian from the USA. Both of them met in South America and went cycling together for a month. Meanwhile, Ruggero has been on the bike for two years and is about to end his trip. Both had arranged for a trip to Greece and were also on the road to Athens. We decided to go to Athens together, which was a great pleasure to me. We three were immediately on a wavelength.
    We cycled through lonely mountain roads, fought rain, found shelters in churches, were invited by local people to have breakfast and a Ouzo (which usually amounted to three / four). The people were incredibly friendly and helpful.
    Arriving at the sea, we took a bus to Athens, where we spent two days together and walked through the city. Then our paths separated. Meanwhile, Ruggero has returned to Italy. Brian is now biking in Central Asia.

    My path now led to Turkey. There was the possibility to take either a fly or a ferry. I chose the ferry, which is much more relaxed with the bike. The ferry drove over night to the Greek island of Rhodes. I arrived at noon, but on the same day no ferry left for Turkey. I checked on the mobile phone the size of the island, which is with a length of about 100 km is not too big and decided to circumnavigate the island in two days. The sun burned down and the 32 degrees caused my first defect on the trip. My tires had too much pressure, whereupon the front tube burst. In the parking lot, where I just changed the tube, a couple tried to get their scooter to run. A tube on the engine was torn and my broken tube was quickly misused. A few minutes later the scooter ran again. Apparently, it was no coincidence that this should happen at this parking lot.
    After 220 km in the legs I arrived the next day on time at the port and took the ferry to Turkey.

    Greece was full of surprises and everything came out quite differently than I had planned and expected. These are the moments that make such a trip so special.
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  • Day57

    A Tough One

    October 22, 2016 in Albania

    German Version: www.cyclingfornepal.com

    First of all: Albania was a tough one.

    A few kilometers behind the border between Montenegro and Albania lies the city of Shokdra. Already on the way there I felt like in another world. On the street, horses gallop and there are tons of garbage in the streets where street dogs looking for food. To my delight, however, I was no longer the only cyclist. In Albania the bicycle is a much used means of transport and transportation.

    As a first stop I had a campsite in Shokdra.
    I am often approached by other campers where the trip goes and get invited for a coffee or lunch. Also at this campsite, where I was invited by a German couple. I am very happy about the interest and the company.

    Already in the days before I felt not fit at all. That's why I took a two-day break to get me out and plan my next route.

    When I started my trip, I thought I just start without major route planning. But now, route planning has become an important component for me. Especially when the weather is bad or the legs do not have the power, the stage destination is often my last motivation to continue riding. In addition, I feel most comfortable in the mountains, which requires more planning regarding food storage and weather.

    After two days of recovery I felt much better and started again. My route led to the village of Koman, which is surrounded by mountains at a lake, from where I took a ferry the next morning. On the way to Koman, a cyclist from England overtook me. Peter was on the road with a 16-person cycling group, which also had the ferry as their destination. We talked and rode the last piece together to Koman. For his middle 60 he was in a very good shape and hung me up in the climbs every time. To my defense, I must say the travel group was supported by a luggage transport :).
    With a few beers we let the evening end and I was glad about the good company.

    The next day we went early to the ferry, because this only leaves once a day. After a three-hour drive through a sensational landscape, our paths separated and I took the road to Kukes, the next major city in the east of Albania.

    When I was on my own again, my mood was Not good at all. It just makes more fun to ride together. A short time later, I was also hunted by two shepherd dogs. From then on, the pepperspray was always handy on the handlebars, only for safety. Throughout Albania, several more "dog attacks" followed. They never bite after me, but always came dangerously close to me. It seemed to me that the four-legged animals had been looking for people on two wheels.

    From Kukes I took a gravel road up a mountain to the Kosovan border. I had problems with navigation because there were ways that were not on the map. So I needed longer than expected and arrived at the border in the late afternoon. Then the shock followed. The border officer could not let me pass because he does not have a stamp for the passport and the border crossing is only for border residents. The frontier officer was really nice and called his manager. But nothing could be done, I had to turn back. It was already late and started to rain, so I pitched the tent a short time later.

    The next morning it was raining heavily and it lasted for the next two days. I cycled to the south of Albania and thence to Ohrid Lake in Macedonia, with the hope of better weather. The rain and the cold were exhausting, but I was lucky and the sun was shining in Macedonia for two days. I really needed that.

    In retrospect, I must say: Even if Albania was a hard one, the hardships were definitely worth it. Albania has a breathtaking landscape and people are extremely helpful and open minded.

    Your Janosch

    Ps. The boy on the last picture I met in a small mountain village. The air must have been out of his tires for a long time. We pumped it up and he followed me a few meters. Unfortunately, the air was soon out again. He's probably driving better on rims than on pumped tires :).
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  • Day47

    Cat and Mouse Game

    October 12, 2016 in Montenegro

    Deutsche Version auf: www.cyclingfornepal.com

    My anticipation was great. Finally I went to a country which I had not visited yet... Montenegro. After I had passed the border without problems, the road led directly to the city Herceg-Novi at the sea. Instead of talking the busy coastal road, I cycled up a lonely mountain road, whereupon a descent to the sea followed. The detour was really worth it. A great view and a fun descent. After coming down, I was completely exhausted. Luckily there was a campsite where I pitched my tent.

    After a two day break I took a ferry to the other side of the river. I came into conversation with a travel group from Scotland and made advertising for the donation project.

    Then I went some kilometers along the coast, past hotels and tourist places. In the afternoon I made a swivel in the direction of Lake Jezero. But I should not be able to see them until the next day, because there were almost 800 m of climbing before me. Just in time for the dusk, I arrived at the pass and found a plateau 100 meters further, which was perfect to spend the night. The place was very special. I had a great 360 degree view of the mountains and the sea.

    In the meantime, it is getting dark very early. But I am usually so K.O., which I immediately fall asleep as soon as I lie down. After the meal I shoot a few photos and then go to sleep. So also this evening. After a short time, however, I heard sounds as if something were sneaking around my tent. I figured it was a Capricorn, and I was talking wildly to scare the animal. But the sounds did not stop. Armed with my torch, I crawled out of the tent and peered a fox. But he did not let himself be distracted by my lighthouse and looked at me in amazement. To scare him, I threw a stone next to him (not at him). A little later, however, he reappeared. The cat and mouse game had begun. But unfortunately I was in the case the cat. I threw at least 5-6 stones, but the fox always appeared again. Then he even tried to steal my sweaty bikeshorts. At the last moment I threw a stone and he let off the pant. Tormented, I grabbed all my stuff into the tent and went to sleep, with the hope that the next day air will be still in the tires.

    Fortunately, my bike remained undisturbed, so I started the next morning towards Jezero Lake. From there, a hilly road led along the lake to Albania. The lake with its many small islands is definitely a must-see, if one travels to Montenegro.

    In the late afternoon, I crossed the border to Albania and noticed after crossing, that some things are quite different here. But more to that in the next entry.

    Ride on.

    Janosch
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  • Day38

    Up and down through Croatia

    October 3, 2016 in Croatia

    Deutsche Version auf www.cyclingfornepal.com

    Yesterday a month ago I started in Munich. It doesn't seem so long ago, because the days on the bike go around really fast. I was hoping the time is ticking more slowly during my trip, but in things that you do like, the pointer rotates faster.

    After a short break in Trieste / Italy, my route led through Slovenia for a day, then on the Croatian Coast to the border to Montenegro. The route along the coast had properly called grains. It went uphill every day at least for 1000 meters. Up - down, up - down. But at any time I had a wonderful sea view.

    After a two-day break in the Paklenica National Park, I drove a stage within the country. No Tourism at all which was an interesting change.

    Mostly at 5 p.m I kept an eye out for a suitable tent site. Previously, I always had the right nose and had sensational camp spots.

    Shortly before the border to Montenegro, I could set up my tent at Markos place. I contacted him over warmshowers.org, a platform for cyclist, who fellow travelers give a place to sleep - for free. He lives in the mountains with a idyllic sea view. Situated on a plateau I could put up my tent. A Swiss couple has lived there for two months and building a hut. So who wants to lead a dropout-life is that an interesting place. At the point I'm not there yet :).

    Still, I just enjoy the feeling of freedom: Not having much and to pitch up the tent at amazing places.

    Now I am heading towards Albania.

    Ride on.
    Janosch

    PS. Unfortunately, my laptop stopped working. Therefore first have to serve the cell phone photos. Hopefully I get it running again :(.
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  • Day29

    Arrived in Croatia at the Adriatic Sea

    September 24, 2016 in Croatia

    Deutsche Version auf www.cyclingfornepal.com

    Six days ago, I started my journey alone again. My next big goal was Trieste/Italy on the Mediterranean Sea. First I wanted to make a few kilometers and had decided on a route with less uphills. So it took me about 600 km and 4000 meters of climbing to get to Rijeka/Croatia. My path went to Switzerland, back to Austria and several days through Italy. During my trip through Italy I cracked the 1000 km mark since my start in Munich. Yeah!

    At the Italian city of Trieste, which lies on the border to Slovenia, I visited a campground for the first time. There were also two cyclists from England and Lukas from Germany, who has hiked in 1.5 months the Alp Adria Trail. After the days where I was traveling alone, talking to somebody felt pretty good.

    When I camped in the outback, I found super nice places and it was no problem at all. Only in one night I had lain down without my sleeping bag in a park. Half asleep, I heard the collar of a dog strum. I straightened up and a Husky was 10 meters away from me. At first, we both did not know who was afraid of whom. But the Husky turned out to be very peaceful.

    Yesterday I set out in the pouring rain in Trieste/ Italy. Before me were laying 60 km through Slovenia and remaining 20 km to the Mediterranean in Croatia. My mood was good until I changed money at the Croatian border and the total mishap happened. I had forgotten to close my handlebar bag with all my electronics and after a short storm, the bag was completely under water. Fortunately, everything is still working.

     Now I am at a campsite right by the sea. Unfortunately the weather is rainy and the prognosis is not better.

    Today, I will only take a short stage and again consult a campsite to plan my further directions.

    So far, my trip is great fun and it runs just as I imagine it. Only the feeling not seeing my family and friends, is still in my mind.

     Cheers Janosch
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