domingo, 18 de octubre de 2009
In the blink of an eye our metallic carriages are a mere memory of the past, we must simply await our reencounter in a less inhospitable place, perhaps over a nice fabada or some Catalan crème.
Night falls and the snow begins to draw an artistic work of art yet again. Our wet and tired bodies search for heat that is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find. Tonight will be a cold night. Tonight, the hungry wolf howls accompanying the wind in a deadly duo because he knows that he is also a part of the landscape in the complete darkness.
lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2009
It’s been eight days, eight days we have had to go without showering and have slept wherever we were allowed. The views are incredible, high peaks in the distance, deep valleys with fast-flowing rivers, some blue some a sadder greyish colour. The Afghan border, in this area, is at peace and people wave hello from the other side of the river with even more incredulous faces than their Tajikistani neighbours.
Roads on the other side of the border are even worse and in some cases they simply end at a cliff. At this point, one just gets off and prays to Ala that he will be allowed to pass one more time.
As far as we are concerned, spirits are still high. Our only worries are that our bicycles break, that we may get ill and imminent glaciers. We have been told that temperatures can drop to -10 degrees at night. Do we have the appropriate equipment? Perhaps we do, or perhaps we don’t. Only time and the distances we travel will say.
For now, this is all. There are no photos but we will try again this afternoon.
If the gods above permit it, we will be in touch again in 15 days when we get to Murgab. For the moment, we’re off to have some hot soup which is practically our staple diet these days.
Love to family and friends.
viernes, 11 de septiembre de 2009
Dushambe, its capital is a large village. Here the urban dweller coexists with the farmer and the nomads who might descend from his village in order to sell some of the products produced.
We reach this small capital and the tough part begins. Expensive permits, Chinese visas that just do not come true and a consul who is presently in China.
We have asked for spare parts that will take too long to reach us, but what is time? What does being in a hurry mean? Aren’t we on the trip precisely to forget the hustle and bustle of our lives? Yes, but winter is coming and we cannot spend it in high mountains. Perhaps from these small drawbacks I will learn a lesson, I’m sure I will.
For the moment, all we can do is to spend a few days taking it easy in the company of two cyclists, Ana and Charlie. They also have stories to tell. Many.
Patience, health and peace for your souls. At the moment, I’m having problems with two of tem. Which two?
jueves, 27 de agosto de 2009
We are having many problems with the visas for India, Pakistan, Kyrgizistan but the most difficult is the Chinese one. We already have the Indian visa but the dates are wrong. On Friday we expect to get the one for Pakistan and if a miracle occurs we may ask for the one for China. If another miracle occurs, on Monday, we may get the one for Kyrgizistan and if a third miracle happens we may get the Chinese Visa.
These days have been very trying for us, psychologically, physically as well as economically.
We looking forward to getting on our bikes and getting away from the city.
Peace, courage and may the sun shine in Asturias.
I won’t go into too much detail about historical treaties and about our daily adventures. To satisfy some of the curious followers, here are a few technical facts:
• Flat tyres in Emilio’s trolley – 3
• Flat tyres in Machus’ trolley – 1
• Machus’ flat tyres - 1
• Mili’s flat tyres – 0 one of the wheels simply disintegrated
• Broken radius (Emilio) – 7
• Days that have camped in the open – 8
• Diarrhea (Emilio) – 2
• Diarrhea (Machus) – 2 though less severe
• Sunstroke – not sure but some days our heads are VERY sore
• I have got rid of the toilet paper and now I have bottle of water as my faithful friend in my most intimate moments. Soap is also a must. Machus is still having problems with this and continues to use the sandpaper they use as toilet paper here.
• Litres of water per day per person – 5 to 7
• Problems with Karro – 0
• Problems with CarryFreedom – only one althou it is recurrent
• Number of times we have repeated the word Ispania - not sure but over 1 million.
• Times we have had to talk about our trip – almost as many
• Times our bums have peeled – Emilio 2; Machus -0 (mine is like a little baby’s)
• My worst nightmare – to faint in a toilet. The most horrific are the Uzbeko’s. In more than one toilet we have had to use the floor surrounding as the toilet had been overfilled.
• Average kilometers per day – approximately 75
• Wear and tear of bags and clothes – good to excellent
So as not to traumatize the Uzbeka population we have adopted our niece Natalia and from now on she is our daughter at university. Here, the average number of children per family is 4.
Our next entry will be about Bujara, Khiva y Samarcanda, Some of the mythical cities along the Silk Route.
domingo, 26 de julio de 2009
Today is our last day in Qazvin and our last day with our new yet unforgettable friend, Ali. We have already mentioned Ali on various occasions. Today is the day when something new becomes old. Not as an object would become old but as affection does. True friendships are those that are considered old regardless of time due to the intensity and the experiences lived and shared.
Those people who, no matter how long it’s been, you know will always be there to support you unexpectedly, a light in the dark, a friendly hand to hold on to in times of need. A friend who, no matter how tired he may be, will always listen to you until your soul is at peace. A friend who is courageous enough to tell you that you are wrong even he thinks that you will get angry because he knows what is best for you. Time doesn’t matter because one cannot measure time in aspects as vital as these. Our friendship with Ali has lasted, so far, 18 days, a trully short time to be able to call someone a friend but, what do you call a man who has given us a bed, has fed us, has opened up to us and has shown so much affection, love and sincerety? I don’t usually use the term friend easily as I have often made mistakes will probably continue to make them, that’s for sure, but this time, this sad-eyed man with a broken heart and a wise spirit has shown more friendship that many I have considered to be friends. We have spent hours together talking about an endless number of topics: love, philosophy, politics and culture. We have always conversed with the utmost respect and understanding. Without him, our trip through Iran would have been incomplete as it was an enigma for us and one does not know a country in 45 days, you know it trully when you have lived and have met people and that is what we have doen with Ali.
He might one day visit us in Asturias, we will be waiting for him and I hope I can be up to his standards and that in return, my friends can also be his friends. In current times, it is the only way we have of breaking barriers and of trying to avoid wars and suffering amongst people. It is not the people who declare war but politicians who poison the minds of the wary.
Yesterday, we met a member of Hezbola, today we had a snack with him but that is another story. I could also make a short list of good friends I am thinking of but I would rather they include themselves in my list as I hope they are all considered included in it.
This short story is dedicated to Ali and all those who have considered themselves our