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--- News and reports---

 

Nr.I: SW-ASIA, 05.02.2007 - 04.04.2007

 

11.04.2007, Cairo (Egypt): We are speeding down 1200 meters of altitude from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. After the chilly days in Israels capital, sweat is running down our bodies when we are on the lowest point on earth at -400 meters. Israel is by far the country where we are pushing the most meters uphill in the shortest timespan. After a bath in the Dead Sea, which reminds us more on soaking vegetables in salt-leach, we are again pushing another 1200 meters up until we reach the higher areas of the country. It is dry and warm and we are hiking for a day through gorges and canyons. While our first desert storms are howling in the streets, we are guests in the desert university of Ben Gurion. Then we are cruising down to Eilat on the Red Sea. We dont have a visa for Egypt (jet). In Amman and in Tel Aviv we were told that we dont need one. We didn't believe it and spent half a day to get to the egyptian embassy in Amman. But they didn't give us a visa ("You will get it on the border!") and sent us out on the street again. Finally now in Eilat they tell us that we - of course - need a visa, so we spend another day with getting it. By the way Eilat is an awful city - a mixture of Miami Beach and a redneckbeach in Italy. Before we are allowed to enter Egypt on the 04.04.2007 we experiance a great bordercheck and all (!) our luggage is opend and we have to explain what a leatherman-tool and a spare-chain are and how to use these strange things. On Sinai we decide to take the northern desert-route. Beautiful deserted landscapes and almost no traffic. Only us, our buzzing bikes, the sun (who is getting more and more our enemy) and ...SANDSTORMS! "Khansim" are these fellows with up to 150 km/h windspeed called. They occure mainly in May and April. Great timing! There is an average of four of these per month. And we experience two of them so far... The first starts in the afternoon and we want to escape into our tent. With the temperature of 35 degrees and the hot desert wind our tent becomes an oven. With the perspective of dying by overheating under the canvas, we prefer to sit beside it in the storm and wait for the sun to go down. The second storm is also catching us while we are on our way. Its almost impossible to bike, but we make it until Suez where we take a hotel with cold showers - but good enough to get off our bodies the coat of sunscreen, sand and dirt from the road . Since three days we are in Cairo - almost only running from one embassy to the other and back again. From Austria we need a letter of recommendation, from Sudan and Ethiopia a visa. That just needs some time...

   

   


26.03.2007, Jerusalem (Israel): We are leaving Amman. From top of Mt. Nebo we are looking - as Moses did a couple of years ago - over the Jordan and decide spontanuously to cross over to Israel. Our euphorism is stopped when we get to the border: it takes us 6 hours to enter the country. It is evening and we are tenting in some ruins at the Dead Sea. In the next morning we are biking from -400 up to 800 meters above sea level and reach Jerusalem. It's a great city! A refreshing multicultural mixture of people from all around the world!

 

 


19.03.2007, Amman (Jordan): A day with snow-shower (!) in Damascus. After that we are heading south. The weather is still on the rainy side and we feel like being back in Finland, the Baltic and Poland. In Jordan the country gets hilly and several times we have to fight the bikes uphill for several kilometers. Huge archeological sites on our way, and we finally reach Amman. The weather is sunny and warm again!

 

  


13.03.2007, Damascus (Syria): After five days in Aleppo we are heading south. The warm sun is shining from a blue sky. Beautiful citys like Hama, christian pilgrim-places like Maaloula and disgusting hotels like the Al Khayyam in Homs are on our way. The land is getting more and more desert-like, and we are diving into the smog of Damascus, where we found shelter at the Austrian couple Markus and Natalie. Mosques, bazaars and nice teahouses...

  

 


03.03.2007, Aleppo (Syria): Fighting against the wind we are getting further east towards the Syrian border. On the Turkish side it takes ages until we get our passports stamped. But then... "Welcome to Syria"... and we are in a new country. As guests of Ahmed and his family we enjoy our first days in Syria in Aleppo. It's a beautiful city with an amazing castle and a glittering bazaar...

  


28.02.2007, Antakya (Turkey): We are driving eastwards along the Mediterranian sea. The landscape is exciting and wild. Mountainroads and summer temperatures make us sweat. Beautiful spots for tenting - there is nothing better than a campfire in the end of a day! The country is flat again. We get used to the "Hello! Where are you from?" shouted by children when we pass. Finally we are crossing over a 700 meter pass and reach Antakya, our last stop in Turkey. Christians, Moslems and Judes are living here side by side peacefully and on Sundays they play poker about who is first: the church bell or the Muezzin...

  

  


05.02.2007, Antalya (Turkey): We are hiking for a few days around western Crete, and continue riding along the northcoast eastwards. Warm and sunny weather is good company. With the ferry we are shipping over to Rhodes and further on to Marmaris in Turkey - Europe is lying behind us :-) In Marmaris we run into the first other bikers - Christine and Stefan. They are on their way to Australia and for four days we are pushing pedals together - across lots of hills towards east. Check out the english version of their page: http://www.radfahren-gegen-krebs.de/en/ After we separate rainshowers accompany us (yes, splitting was hard, also the sky is crying...) and we reach Marmaris...

  

  


  

   

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