What wolfgang flaschner has been through in the past 29 days is best seen on his hands: calluses and cracked blisters run down all his fingers. Good 10.000 kilometers he covered on his motorcycle, plus the transport of his bike and those of his companions martin scheerer (55) and henning willig (54). However, it was not on well-maintained tarred roads, but through the desert and over gravel: "you drive constantly with absolute high concentration", he reported. And the hands inevitably cramped up. Therefore the blisters.
The trip through central asia had it all: the three adventurers drove at 45 degrees in the deserts of uzbekistan and minus 5 degrees at the kyzyl-art pass on the border to kyrgyzstan, 30 meters below sea level in kazakhstan up to almost 4700 meters at the ak-baytal pass. "The motorcycle might still bring 20 percent of power", reports flaschner. To keep the mixture ratio right in the dark air, the bikers had to keep changing the carburetor jets.
"The journey was more difficult than expected, but also much more fascinating, says flaschner in retrospect, and: "that was at the limit, for man and machine exhausted: more would not have been possible." the car ride to donezk alone was a real experience a feat of strength: the three drove for a good 36 hours to cover the 2600 kilometers as quickly as possible.
Departure often already at 5 o'clock
"We usually started the day's stages at 5 o'clock in the morning to take advantage of the morning lull", tells flaschner. What fascinates him is the vastness and emptiness of the country: along the old silk road, in cities like bukhara, chiva or samarkand, you meet people from all over the world still tourist groups, but further south, in the border region to afghanistan almost nobody was on the way. For flaschner, it was all the more strange when suddenly, once a day, a lonely cyclist was on the road: a man from upper franconia cycled alone to india, an egyptian to hong kong and a german to peking.
And there was also an unusual reunion: "we met two italians that we had met two years ago in mongolia had met, that is already scurrilous." also curious: a chinese-spanish-brazilian motorcycle group traveling from china to portugal via a motorcycle rally in garmisch-partenkirchen.
Accident in the uzbek desert
"I got off once, too", wolfgang flaschner can laugh about an accident after his return to bad bruckenau: in the wustensand he lost the control over his motorcycle. Even if the yamaha tenere XT 600 weighs only 160 kilograms, plus 40 kilos packed: "alone I would not have come up there more." he was also spared an injury. Several river crossings with a depth of half a meter and a width of 20 meters also became an obstacle: "it was not always possible to avoid tipping the motorcycle over on the smoothly polished roll in the riverbed, which resulted in an involuntary bathing in the cold water" goes along", laughs flaschner.
The ride through the semi-autonomous mountain region of kuhistoni badakhshon was also adventurous: "it was difficult, but there was no danger to life and limb." in any case, the adventurers could still enjoy the panorama: "in the wakhan valley, the mountain ranges of the hindu kush and the pamirs meet and you are constantly surrounded by mountains far above 7000 meters high", schwarmt flaschner. "That is intoxicating."
With russian police escort
There was a very special experience at the end: back in russia the three germans met a noble hunting party. After their own attempts to push and a celebration, one of the hunters called a police escort to accompany them to the next town. "It's just like you'd see in an agent movie," says flaschner, flaschner is surprised.