I found Shangri-la...

Many passes between Litang and Shangri-La
Many passes between Litang and Shangri-La

Shangri-la is really not very easy to access. At least not from the north: After seven passes on 450km from Litang, climbing 6'600m in six days I finally reached Shangri-la. These days I was cycling through beautiful, hilly and very remote areas of the Himalayan forested valleys. There were more or less no guesthouses or hotels on this stretch and camping was very easy in these high coniferforests. Although tough riding sometimes definitely one of the highlights of my journey.

 

My first impression of Shangri-la: A lot seems to have changed since James Hilton's times... ;) But still a nice town to hang out some days, clean the bicycle after dusty roads, relax the tired legs from only going up and down the past six days and extend the visa before Chinese holidays beginn on the first of October.

Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 12
  • #1

    Lisa Funk (Mittwoch, 28 September 2011 20:49)

    Hi Bruderherz
    Immer wieder schön, deinen Reiseblogg durchzustöbern. Lehrerkollegen wollen dich schon anheuern, um von deiner Reise zu berichten. Einer ist total begeistert und kann's kaum erwarten, wie ich übrigens, bis du wieder zu hause bist.
    Love ya

  • #2

    Judith (Donnerstag, 29 September 2011 15:59)

    Hallo Philipp

    Nach Hong Kong war das bestimmt ein riesiger Kontrast - oder umgekehrt auch, oder? Es ist schön deinen Bericht zu verfolgen. Fast hätte man das Gefühl dabei zu sein. Natürlich ohne die Strapazen.
    Noch weiterhin alles Gute für deine Weiterreise. Hast du das Buch übrigens gefunden?

    Gruss
    Judith

  • #3

    Martin steiger (Donnerstag, 29 September 2011 18:07)

    Wow habe erst vorgestern gekuckt, ob schon etwas neues von Dir zu lesen ist und jetz Shangri La. Diesen Leckerbissen spare ich mir für heute abend auf. Das möchte ich in Ruhe lesen können. Du schreibst übrigens sehr gut und lebendig, es macht nir grosse Freude Deine Berichte zu lesen. Vielen Dank dafür und für die echt tollen Fotos.
    Als Lehrer würde ich Dich auch engagieren, das gibt doch den Jungen Visionen, dass man sich das Leben selbst heute noch interessant gestalten kann. Alles Gute Gassho martin st.

  • #4

    fred/wendy (Freitag, 30 September 2011 13:39)

    Hey buddy

    When we see some photos of you next time we hope you haven't lost any weight.
    Certainly sounds like a hell of a ride.

    You really R a Masheen.

    Take care

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Coming home 2

Coming home 10 months after I have left
Coming home 10 months after I have left

Going for a big journey is one thing, but coming home is another. Just today I've got a qoutation from Albert Camus from a cycling buddy:

 

"What gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we have... Far from our own language, stripped of all our props... we are completely on the surface of ourselves. But also, soul-sick, we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value."

 

I think this is very true and gets the very point of the adventure of going for a big journey. And now coming home is another adventure. And it breaks down another inner structure again. After so many months on the road with no home but the tent or a hotelroom, the routine of getting on the bike every morning, looking at the sky and the weather, the impression of so many so different people, animals, landscapes, sounds, smells coming home is like another big adventure. An adventure at least as big as the going away. Coming home with all these impressions, life will never be the same again.

 

After two months of asylum at my parents house in the north east of Switzerland I found a place to stay in Zurich in April. So it was time to go for the last bit of my journey: riding the 80km back home to Zurich. I took some small roads through the hills of the Hinterthurgau, crossed the Lake of Zurich on a ferry and reached Zurich Wollishofen almost exactly 10 months after I have left the town by bike (see photo).

 

This is the end of my journey.

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From +30 to -20 degrees Celsius

Snowcovered hills back home
Snowcovered hills back home

Taking a plane with a bicycle always makes me a little bit nervous since there seem not to exist any definitive regulations and it always depends partly on the goodwill of the clerk at the check-in desk. After organizing a carboard-box for the bike and a taxiride to Bangkok International Airport I was checking in as early as possible with 38kg instead of the allowed 30kg. The woman at the counter did some phonecalls but in the end gave me boardingpass and ticket and I didn't have to pay any overweight!! Yeeeesss! It could have been 40$/kg overweight!

 

After one night in Colombo my plane to Switzerland took off at noon on February, 3 and by sunset we landed in Zurich. The temperature outside: minus 11 degrees Celsius and still dropping! And it dropped as far as minus 22 degrees the following night. The next day - exactly eight months after my departure - I cycled the last few km back home through a beautiful snowcovered landscape.

 

Total time: 8 months

Total km: 8'864 km

Total countries: 7 (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirgistan, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand)

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The dewdrop has reached the ocean

After more or less eight months and 8800km of cycling I have reached the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

 

After two weeks in Chiang Rai I missed my bicycle. So I took a bus down to Bangkok again just to take my bicycle on the train and head for the Cambodian border at Aranya Prathet where I crossed the border three weeks before. I decided to make a little detour through Cambodia before heading south to the sea. I passed through the colonial City of Battambang and continued from there south to the borderprovince of Pailin, known for gemstones and beeing the last "Khmer Rouge Resort". From here I cycled straight down to Trat at the Gulf of Thailand and took a boat to the remote jungle-island of Koh Kut (picture).

 

The Island is the perfect lonely-beach-paradise and endpoint of my pilgrimage from the Central Asian deserts over the Himalayan Plateau to the jungles of Southeast Asia. So I pass my remaining days here at the white beaches of Koh Kut.

 

On february, 2 my flight leaves at 7 p.m. from Bangkok International Airport direction Switzerland...

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