What a nice feeling. I just had a ice cold shower with water from a little lake. Though showering is quite difficult here.
You get the water in a canister out of the lake because getting in to the lake yourself isn’t possible. The shore is so muddy that you sink in over your knees. With that canister of water you make yourself wet, and then try to wash yourself. But the wind is so strong and warm today that you are dry again before you finished washing. No towels needed:0).
I’ll make a quick resume over the last three days. Today is the 4th of June. The landscape didn’t change much in the last 200 km. Somewhat more sand and some salt lakes make a view that reminds me of the movie “Dune” sometimes. There are even less possibilities to get water and food so we carry about 35 liters and 10 kg of food with us. Yesterday we had to pay in dollars the first time for we hadn’t found any bank or ATM anywhere. Our campinggas is nearly empty so we started cooking food on fire again. The problem is, you can’t find wood anywhere and so we started doing it like the people of Kazachstan, with horse or camel shit. It’s a fantastically good burning material that you can find all over the prairy. Once dried out a little by the sun it burns or glows like cole an you can easily cook on it. Against many assumptions it doesn’t stink at all and even does a great job keeping Mosquitos away. We even built little mobile stoves to make cofee and heated them with horse shit. We found out about this trick by Axel:
Axel is the name of the crazy German guy we met at the bus-stop two days ago. He stopped us on the road to have tea and dinner with him. He is a cyclist as well and started his trip in Chengdu, China, and drives back to Germany, so basically the same then we but the other way round. The biggest difference is that he doesn’t have any money on him. Well, something for emergencies but he doesn’t buy food or water or else. He travels on invitations by friendly people and hunts or gatheres his food in the prairy. Snailes, snakes, grasshoppers, birds, rats and everything that moves. For dinner we had two baby-birds that Axel had found in a nest in the bus-stop. We put them in a soup with pasta which we had left. We talked about cycling, exchanged experiences and got a lot of useful hints for surviving and living a better life in nature. Trough his blind and somewhat naive trust Axel lived very good throughout his whole trip. He told us so many nice story’s about people he met. For me this was really relieving. I noticed that our trip should be much more about meeting people than trying to keep our gear safe. We fear to much the lost of our material stuff and with that stay kind of distant to the people. We should try seeing the experience of meeting people as more valuable than our gear.
We spent the whole evening with Axel and when we left next morning I felt much better and lighter. Axel really reminded me of myself when I once had cycled through Cambodia in 2004. Then I had the best experiences when trusting people. I decided to be much more open minded again in future. When we wanted to buy food in the next town I already noticed the difference. It was much more fun meeting people and not annoying like it was sometimes before.
We bought water, got a fish as present which we grilled on horse shit for lunch, made some nice group foots with Kazachstan people. A side effect of trusting people without prejudice also is that I understood much more of what they said and explained, you get much closer. I was really happy. Let’s go for it.
We camped at this muddy little lake and just as we finished settling a huge thunderstorm came up. High wind speeds and lightning all around us. As the first lightnings started to hit ground only 2 km away, we decided to switch off all electric devices, move away from our equipment and hid in a empty riverbed. It was a very impressing view. In this wide landscape it looks as if they hit ground right next to you. Since there is a lot of iron in our stuff we didn’t want to end up as “blitzableiter”( sorry ,I really don’t know the English word) We sat in this riverbed about half an hour, counting down time between
lightning and thunder to measure the distance. As it moved further we went back to the tent and had dinner, bread with honey because the two dugs we had spotted on the lake had made the decision to fly away when I tried to catch them. Due to the enormous Temperature drop I slept perfectly well. The dust was washed out of the air and this typical fresh after-rain-smell had replaced the thick and steamy heat of the day. Sleep tight.
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