mumbai – part two

i made my first meters on indian streets and got used to riding on the left side quite fast. though sometimes when i was in thought i needed some honking to direct me back to “my” side of the street.

i didn’t stay alone for long this day. i met a fireworks creator who told me about his next jobs – a wedding and of course new years eve. but more importantly he directed me into the right direction to get a ticket to goa. he wasn’t the last one to warn me of his fellow indians. so he was really pleased to listen to my story from the morning including the ‘no tip’ policy.

then a guy with a bullet, a classic motorcycle by royal enfield, invited me for tea, offered me a place to stay and warned me of his fellow countrymen.

on my way to an internet cafe  i was escorted by three youngsters which draw the attention of a lady passing in a auto rickshaw who warned me of…

i had promised to play a song on my guitar in exchange for the company on the way to the net cafe. so i played my first concert in india. a lot of people gathered in the street but i felt looked at more like a sensation rather than as an artist.

i got good directions from the people at the net cafe after being warned… and soon found myself in front of the office of the bus company. after i got my tickets i found time to ride a bit more through the city and someone who repaired two pair of shorts for just 30 rupees.


i spent only 12 hours in this city but had my share of adventure for the day!


mumbai – part one

i arrived in mumbai with a lack of sleep because i had to change planes in bahrain. but when i got my bicycle back in one piece i felt a big relieve and thought i was ready to hit the city.

some luggage man offered me to roll my bicycle out of the airport while i carried my guitar. there i was intercepted by a security guy who asked me where i was going to, which hotel i was about to stay in and all in a manner of an interrogation. he said he was ‘there to help me’ but as i wasn’t that cooperative in that matter i was forwarded to the next security man. ‘impossible’ was his reply on me telling him about my plans to cycle to goa. he would arrange a transfer to a hotel and the hotel will take care of the bus ticket to goa. as i was really tired and was offered a free ride to the hotel i decided i could as well take a look. the luggage guy still standing next to me bragging something about a ‘tip’ all the time didn’t help either in making me feel more comfortable in this place.

once in the car i was assured that the transfer is really free of charge but a ‘tip’ will secure my eternal luckiness…

in the hotel everyone got busy getting my luggage and bicycle out of the car and into the hotel. as i wanted to know about the price first the hotel manager took me aside for a talk. pen and paper where his weapons of choice as he explained, wrote down and underlined all the services i was about to receive. i can’t remember everything but it was quite a list which summed up to 150 dollars when all i wanted was to take a shower and then hop on the bus.

i left and was told for the second time in one hour that it was impossible to cycle as far as goa. i didn’t start trying to explain that though i arrived by plain in india it was by far the start of my trip.


first flight

in preparation of my first flight on this journey i went to get some cardboard as protection for the bicycle. after another indian meal in dubai i set out for the airport. i wondered at first why there was only a terminal 2 and 13 until i asked someone and was told that the 13 is rather standing for 1 and 3. well, one can be in quite a stubborn mood if one has to catch a flight and takes no time to think.

once at the airport the security wanted to x-ray my bicycle with all the luggage. there was no way it could have fit in that machine. they tried anyway for 5 minutes. woha!

so, to another counter with a bigger x-ray machine. then no x-ray at all. fine!

at the check in, the lady first raised an eyebrow. but after some calls my bicycle was taken away by the luggage man. he did that just like one would lead an animal out of the circus ring after its well done performance.

i was glad when i could lean back and just wait…

locations thinking...


i stayed in the youth hostel of dubai, the only budget accommodation in town. ove with his motorcycle fetched me the next day and we went on a city tour.


the burj al arab seen from one of the many shopping attractions dubai has to offer. here’s another one…


a big shopping mall themed around the travels of ibn battuta, kind of a marco polo of arabia. what can i say… it’s bigger. every mall has it’s gimmicks but in the end you get tired of shopping there as well.

we also went to see the palm jumeirah. part of the palm islands which will, once completed, extend dubai’s shoreline by 520km. which is really impressive and expensive! some of the projects already came to a halt. already finished on the far end of the palm and facing the sea is the atlantis hotel…


while back in iran dangerous construction sites weren’t even marked and you had to watch out not to end up in a ditch, here the signs are bigger than the site itself.


the sign reads:

“maintenance work in progress

sorry for any inconvenience caused”

maybe this is just funny when you have visited iran before. in esfahan for example we had to balance around a construction site to get to the hotel and one step in the wrong direction would have ended with at least a broken leg. well i guess they would have been sorry for this inconvenience.

dubai is really made for motorized vehicles. there are only few pedestrians in the streets and it adds to the artificial feeling in the city.

i turned to my books for the remaining two days before my flight was going to mumbai.

postcards thinking...


i stayed one night in sharjah before making my way along the highway to dubai.


the emirates look good, especially on photos…


arabian “schimpfwortzüchter” sharjah


music travel

check out iran 22pm

it was a pleasant suprise with how little difficulties the bicycle was checked in at the port after what i’ve heard from ove and his trouble with his motorcycle. they didn’t even charge an extra. once on board i settled myself on one of the benches to go to sleep. which was more difficult than i thought. there was some miscount in the passenger’s list and it took about 2 hours and lots of shouting to get it solved…or being considered not too important after all. then it was time for a late dinner which was plain bread for me. chicken, mouldy cheese and overchilled lemonade was the rest of the menue. it was quite funny to see half of the passengers trying to get some liquid out og their bottle by sucking on it like crazy or to melt the ice block inside.

the next morning i took a walk on deck in the morning light and was soon invited to play a concert. after 2 songs and a little chat with the audience i was called for greater glory. i was being approached by one of the crew members and asked to play in the saloon. hihihi, saloon…

after i was done playing, a guy from the baluchestan province grabbed the guitar in a rather odd fashion and sang a traditional from this region. very nice sounds!


when we arrived in sharjah i could take my bicycle straight from the ferry and without much trouble got my stamp from the bureau of immigration. welcome to the united arabian emirates!

postcards travel

indian visa waiting time

after arriving in bandar abbas and applying for the visa at the indian consulate, we had 3 days time to either spend in the city in “not so nice and not so cheap” hotels or to take the boat to quesm island and turn to camping again. we choose the latter. it was a fun ride with the speedboat over to the island.  just before we left there was a chance for a concert once more. you will find a photo in this post, somewhere in the middle. and here are some impressions of queshm…






after 3 days of relaxing and hardly any cycling we said goodbye. i had to collect my visa and get to the ferry to sharjah since my flight vom dubai, from where i am writing now, will be before christmas while morgan and battista will stay in the emirates and catch a flight afterwards. we’ll probably meet again in goa around new years eve. cheers!


industry vs. tourism

the weather is perfect, at least around this time of year, the water is inviting and the beaches aren’t that bad either. but you don’t see any tourists. oh the sunsets are nice too….




to the persian gulf

after crossing an area only inhabitad by nomads,


some nice sleeping spots with campfire in the evening and misty mornings,


 the last 30km were going straight down. without having to pedal once, one has to keep the body occupied…



the weather changed so fast that i felt weird swimming in the sea again and looking out for shades…