Here are all Blog entries of our time in China

Tue

19

Aug

2014

Day 33 - "Welcome to Kazachstan!"

Farewell China
Farewell China

19th of august was the day that we marked in our plan as the day we gonna leave china. I would have never believed it...but we gonna get over the border on that exact date... If the chinese bureaucracy allows it. We heard some horror stories about a long procedure and some expensive documents that we dont really own. But we where confident that we can talk our way out of this and drove off to the border in Huoergosi.

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Sat

16

Aug

2014

Chinas wild west

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Fri

15

Aug

2014

Day 31 & 32 - The last days in China

It took us a while to get out of the city the next day. Because of the motorbike ban in urumqi nobody wanted to sell us fuel and on top of that the whole city like the rest of china is under construction. So it was already eleven when we where all filled up and ready to head to yili. Our last stop before we head to the chinese border and cross to kazachstan.

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Thu

14

Aug

2014

Day 28-30 -Time out in Urumqi

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Wed

13

Aug

2014

Day 27 - The dirt road to Ürümqi

One main advantage of traveling west and therefore closer to home is: the breakfast at hotels gets slowly, very slowly more and more towards a more tolerable level for our sensible European bellies. 
As we leave Korla we joke around. We slept like stones after our longest day yesterday through the desert. We are well rested and expect to arrive in Ürümqi soon. "Today is gonna be an easy day", we say. Damn, were we wrong!
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Tue

12

Aug

2014

a small video of our way to Labrang

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Tue

12

Aug

2014

Day 26 - The longest day

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Sun

10

Aug

2014

Day 24 & 25 - On the Moon

Next day it was decission time. What road to take to Urumqi. Our first big stop where we gonna service our bikes and a few days time to sort things out. That would be our last big stop in China. We either take the highway for 1000 km. smooth roads. Plenty gas stations. Or we make a detour to Ruiqiang and cross the taklamakan. 1600km straight trough the desert. Planning the trip we talked with some kind of scar-yrespect-excitment about crossing the taklamakan. Are we now men or pussies? Of course we are pussies. But we took the long way trough the desert anyway. Its now or never.

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Sat

09

Aug

2014

Day 23 - Dunhuang, Tourist trap!

This morning we slept long in the hostel. Being lazy and having no plan other than visit the famous magao grottoes and stroll around the city felt good. After a big breakfast we arrived at the entrance to the caves at three in the afternoon.

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Thu

07

Aug

2014

Day 21&22 - Through the Hexi corridor

In the morning the nice spy lady stuffs some breakfast into our faces, after asking us in her whispering voice if we want eggs and veggies while showing them with pantomimic hand movements. She makes it clear to us that we need something in out stomachs if we want to ride bikes.. "waaaaaaah!" is the motorbike sound that she makes. 
We set off with a very warm farewell of spy lady and her laoban. and all of our initial suspicious feelings against her seem silly and embarrass us. 

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Wed

06

Aug

2014

Day 20 - The best comes by surprise and the spy granny

From Qilian to Sunan it's only 170 km, so we expect to arrive there in the early afternoon and still have plenty of time to go see the Danxia Landform park - an area of brightly colored layered sandstone cliffs, hills and canyons. But as so often the highlight of the day should come by surprise..

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Sun

03

Aug

2014

Day 17 - No fun in Xining

the tall monk tries chris tall bike
the tall monk tries chris tall bike

Next morning we got on the road quite late. Labrang was hard to leave. The hospitality of the people and the interesting scenery made us very curious about tibet. Maybe one day we can make it to the source of this interesting crazyness - xizang (Tibet, at one point tibet was on one of our alternative routes, but chinese government made it way too expensive for foreigners to go there on their own).

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Sat

02

Aug

2014

Day 16 - Restday in Labrang

Today we took a day off from riding and relaxed in Xiahe. This place is famous for the Labrang Monastery, The city itself is very interesting. We enjoyed Tibetan food like Yakjoghurt and Tsampa with the locals. Tibetans are very nice and kind people. The culture is very different from anything we have seen in china so far - I would say there is no connection to China at all...just that they have life in China. You all know the history. But seeing now in person how strong the people are and how deep the culture and pride is embeded in every single person walking on the streets puts a wholedifferent light on the whole story. 

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Fri

01

Aug

2014

Day 15 - Walk like a Tibetan

Langmusi
Langmusi

This day we planned to ride to labrang. There is the biggest tibeatan monastery outside of tibet. As the chinese government didnt want us to go to tibet we will go there. Its just 220 km so we still have time to find a good breakfast and do some sightseeing in the town. Langmusi is a very interesting mix of chinese and tibeatan cultures living together. A small town shadowed by the buddhist monastery and chupa with golden rooftops. That is all surrounded by green meadowy mountains.

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Thu

31

Jul

2014

Day 14 - Why we wear astronaut uniforms

The morning starts with the sound of heavy rain and we both play with the thought of just staying in our beds and wait it out. But that's not what we are here for. 

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Wed

30

Jul

2014

Day 13 - Tourist mode on

Next morning we went to the park. I was a bit worried as i heard horrorstories that the touristmasses that come every day. (1.2 million people visit the park every year) would have ordered all the tickets already online weeks ago and for us there would be just a big "meiyou" at the ticketcounter.

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Tue

29

Jul

2014

Day 11 & 12 - from Shaanxi into Gansu and Sichuan

The rest day was good. Almost too good! we don't wanna leave this peaceful place, but we also want to push on and see what other amazing things are yet to come. 
What a fortunate coincidence: we are having breakfast with Bruce and a friend of his, a photographer who's already traveled all over western china and even rode his car to Italy not long ago. together we look on the map and eagerly circle places and roads worth traveling. His advice easily covers our route planning for the next week. We fire some test shots with his crazy powerful slingshot into the rice field and get going. 

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Sun

27

Jul

2014

Day 10- Relax like a king between ricefields

Some pictures of our restday

 

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Einige Bilder von unserem Pausen-Tag

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Sun

27

Jul

2014

Day 08 & 09 - The worst enemy and best friend

When we woke up the next morning the tourist machinery was already on full throttle and we where surrounded by a lot chinese tourists who where eager to do some touristy things.
The sun was up, but on the mountain it was fresh and not hot at all. A good change. The day started off very good. The road looked like it was just finished a few minths ago and the tarmac was perfectly smooth. We drove trough winding roads, music in our ears - just perfect. After lunch the roads got worse and worse and we come onto at a bumpy strech that was just being prepared to be a big new road again. But not yet and the bumpy road took its toll-we met our worst enemy. the flat tire monster. It is time consuming and frustrating and doesnt take "no" for an answer.

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Sun

27

Jul

2014

Day 07 - The 3 Gorges Dam

the friendly captain

Next morning we left the comunist hotel after a quick breakfast. The buffet was vast but we could just find a few things that fit the western breakfast taste. Some might say- come on guys- eat what the locals eat- you are travelling!... But if you ever had congee with stinky tofu for breakfast you might think different.

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Sun

27

Jul

2014

Day 06 - get me out of Wuhan

We get going good in time and are eager to leave Wuhan behind, go on the highway and get the kilometers to the mountains done. Out of the crazy city traffic and out of the stagnate heat of this broad flat valley. 
But soon Matthias' rear brake makes problems. 
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Sun

27

Jul

2014

Day 05 - Sightseeing in Wuhan

We felt shattered getting up in the morning. the heat of the past few days just took its toll and the thought of our rest day as planned seamed suddenly like a very good idea. 

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Mon

21

Jul

2014

Day 04 - On the Highway to Wuhan

Next morning we woke up and saw the scenery in all its beauty. There was even a small buddhist temple on the other side of the lake. The sun came up early and strong and there was no way for a long sleep. We took a nice morning dip in the reservoir... In the meantime came another member of the gang on his BMW and delivered breakfast for all of us.. The hospitality just doesnt stop. We had some nice mantou and bouzi and packed up. Then sun was hot. Wuhan - our destination for today showed 37 degrees - so we where wet already when we finally left the camp and drove back into the city to meet some other members of the gang.

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Mon

21

Jul

2014

Day 03 - Across the mighty Yangtse

Chris doesnt really like his breakfast
Chris doesnt really like his breakfast

Today we slept like dogs and a liitle bit too long as we where superdead from last day. We rode 2 hrs longer than we actually planned and that took its toll. So rise and shine in huangshan. After a quick chinese breakfast that we pimped a little bit with our instant coffee and cookies we where off to jiujiang - our next point on the map. 

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Mon

21

Jul

2014

DAY 02 - It all works out somehow

We definitely have to work on our morning routine. Even though we got up at six it took us 3 hours to  get going. 
But the swim in the lake just before getting into our astronaut uniforms again was too good. 

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Mon

21

Jul

2014

DAY 01 - We're on the road!!

We're finally on the road!! Yeah!
After once more a last farewell beer with our friends in front of our favorite convenient store last night, a restless night and a morning of saying bye to our girls we met on the outskirts of Shanghai in the late morning.
The bikes are so heavily loaded that we both thought we'd have flat tires when heading out. We had to get used to the new handling so we took it slow and easy on that first day.
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Thu

17

Jul

2014

Minus one day - again!

We got news from the embassy. Matthias can pick up his visa by today and we can finally start on friday. The three days delay was not that bad. Thuesday was raining heavily the whole day and we had time to sort things out and have another - probably already the fith- farewell drink with friends.

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Minus einen Tag – schon wieder!

 

 

Wir haben Nachrichten aus der Botschaft. Matthias kann sein Visum heute abholen und wir können endlich am Freitag starten. Die drei Tage Verzögerung war nicht so schlimm. Am Dienstag gab es den ganzen Tag starken Regen. Das gab uns Zeit, Dinge zu sortieren und eine weiteres - wahrscheinlich schon das fuenfte - Abschiedsbier mit Freunden zu trinken. 

 

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Sun

13

Jul

2014

Minus one day

This is the last day in Shanghai...tomorrow we will start the trip. At least we hope so.

Its still a lot of stuff to do and packing for the trip and moving out of the appartment at the same time was a challenge and its still not done completely.

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