Today was the first day in a weeks time that we went back to cycling as usual. It was quite hard and it made me feel the distance we still have to go. “3950km”says Paul and I immediately know what’s going on. We are short before having about a third of the way. This on the one hand is quite far, on the other means that it is still very far to go,very far. We often start comparing tis distances to other, well know distances like:” from here to shanghai its about the same as going from Maastricht to Berlin and back eight times” or” from here to Berlin is about the same as going to the kiosk in sander Strasse, the opposite of our home, about 200.000 times. That sometimes gives us a relieving feeling, sometimes shows us how big our trip really is.
The wheels are rolling. The landscape is beautiful but so wide that looking up and inspecting it is necessary only every 10-20 km. and most of the time nothing changed. That’s why I didnt notice that suddenly the sky wasn’t blue anymore, but black. In front of us a huge thunderstorm had built up and just as if it was not enough, a second thunderstorm came for the back. This explained the sudden change of wind directions.
In Germany I know how to deal with a storm, I know the extend to which a storm can develop. Here in Kazachstan, in a enormously wide land storms can get much faster and worse. I’ve seen allot of mini-tornados here crossing the land, throwing up dust in the sky. Not that they are dangerous but still impressive and much bigger than I’ve ever seen before. Now we stood in the middle of two thunderstorms about to hit each other and there was no place to hide. Well, think fast. There always is a place to hide. And in deed. There was. Like we did already some weeks ago, we found a waterpipe under the street which gave us safety. Not a minute after hiding in this about 80 cm high and 10 meter long pipe thunder and lighting was all around. With icecubes falling out of the sky and wind-speeds that made the pipe howl and moan like a pan-flute. This time the rain and ice slowly started filling up the pipe and a small river began flowing under our feet. Well, of course you might think, we could have thought about this earlier. Why is there a pipe underneath a street? To give water a way to flow, right. Next time we”ll be smarter and bring a rubber boat in the pipe:0)
Different to us millions of grasshoppers hadn’t survived the ice-artillerie. They all lay dead on the ground and I was sorry for we hadn’t eaten them first. Now they all swam in huge waterholes that could have been a grasshopper bouillon as well.
We drove on to a town called Chromato and filled up our foodbags with fresh supply. We again found a little oasis but this time as so often before it was full with waste and cow shit. Also it was a sandy ground with a little lake in the middle which was full with huge tedpoles, I’ve never seen any like these before, about 15 cm long and heads as big as a table-tennis ball. Kind of funny to lock at. But we stayed any way, cleaned up the place a little, lit a fire and talked about the future.
How will it be for us when we are old and we look back on this tour, sitting in our rocking-chairs with our knitting wife’s next to us( or maybe we are kitting ourselves). We talked about future travels and how we can fit children and family in our plans. We listened to Johnny Cash and the swallows shooting through the night-sky. Then we went to bed, completely satisfied.
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