Its been a while since i last wrote anything here, so here comes a quick update. I cycled through Germany from North to South along the Elberadweg, a cycleroute following the river all the way down to the Czech border. I arrived In Dresden on the 12th of march and learned in the evening that the Czech republic will close its borders the morning after at 11 am due to the Pandemic. So after a 180 km day to Dresden i left again at 6 in the morning to make it to the border 65 km away in good time before it closed. I Made it to the border at 9:30 very pleased to have made it across but also worried about the uncertainty the next weeks would bring.
It took me another day to reach Prague where i had a Airbnb lined up for a week to monitor how the situation would develop. One week turned into two and i finally had to accept that waiting is not going get me back on the road anytime soon. So i made the tough choice of starting to the journey back home. I cycled the same way back to Dresden and camped one night in a forrest full of wild boar grunting around my tent all evening. Pretty scary when they stepped on branches that gave me a idea of what kind of huge beasts that was hanging outside my tent.
In total i rode 7 different trains back to Hirtshals where my ferry back to Norway departs. Taking a train through the landscape that took me two weeks to cycle was very strange as it all flew by me in a half a day train ride. I concluded that to do it by bicycle was much more rewarding. It was pretty surreal to witness places like Berlin Hauptbahnhoff with barely any people around.
After making it to Norway by ferry i had another expensive taxi ride and a final train ride back to Stavanger before two weeks of quarantine was waiting for me. I was happy to be home as the journey back made me realise that traveling under a crisis is not fun at all. People treat you like your the pandemic itself and there is no help in anyone if you are in trouble. On my last night in Hirtshals before the ferry i was not even able to get drinking water as everything was closed. The wind was insane and i had a hard time finding a sheltered place to put my tent. In the end i slept in a 24/7 solar studio that still had its door open. Pretty grim but funny in retrospect!
Ofcourse i am very sad that my dream of doing a long continous journey has been ruined. I put a lot of time and effort into the project and my girlfriend made a huge sacrifice giving me the oppurtunity to start this trip in the first place. The Fundraiser has also turned to a complete standstill with this pandemic but is ofcourse still open for donations. Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world wich means that the inhabitants are very vulnerable in a crisis like this one. (If you want to make a donation check out the link in the bottom of the article.)
My plan this summer is to ride towards northern Norway to make the best out of the limits my trip has come under. All international travel for 2020 will not happen, at least not for me. I dont think its the right thing to do as my motivation for the trip is to get a insight into other cultures and meet the local people, something that is neither approiate or responsible under a world crisis. I hope i can do parts of the trip in the summer of 2021 and maybe cycle from somewhere in central Asia to Nepal. Only time will tell!
I really recomend you all to try bicycle touring this summer, start small with a weekend tour to see if its something for you. Its definently not always comfortable and easy, but its a great way to slow down life and be present with your surroundings. In a busy world with many distractions its nice to strip down life and only focus on the essentials and to move forward under your own power.
Link to the fundraiser : https://www.gofundme.com/f/norway-to-nepal