Kategorie-Archiv: holar-ENGL-io

Back to mexican mainland

After a not less amazing time than the time I had in the USA unfortunately time has come to say goodbye to the Baja California: Tomorrow´s my ferry back to the mainland of Mexico. I´m already looking forward to cycling again! Although a part of my heart will stay here on that beautiful peninsula: I had a fantastic time and enjoyed every day while travelling all the different deserts and landscapes in a huge zig-zag down from Tijuana to La Paz. I met only great, warm, friendly, hospitable, honest and lovely people – not making any difference if I´m talking about other cyclists or local people. I just wish – as actually I do always when leaving a country – that all those who did bring up a smile in my face will stay in my life! Unfortunately I do never have time enough to really know you now. But maybe, if we manage to keep the contact, we can somehow grow together… I wish we will!

Thank you for offering me nothing but a very good time here in Mexico so far! And thanks to all of you who did travel with me virtually. Please enjoy the pictures of Baja California on my facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1685152455077274.1073741837.1529828253943029&type=1&l=12d349937a

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216_Chepe Garcia & Roberto TNT

„It started with a…“

No, it was not a kiss! My time here in Mexico B.C. started with a flat! After travelling the whole west coast of the US without any bike issues on the second day here in Mexico – after a really long time of not having touched or seen or needed it – I firstly dug out my tools! Nails and glass on the shoulder of the street are not really a tyre´s best friend, as I was reminded that evening. I was lucky that it happened close to the entrance of a nature reserve where Javier, the ranger (hope I may call him “ranger”), did first help me with “pumping” and next with a place to stay: I could camp in front of the entrance of the reserve where I was safe because he would watch over me in his night shift. And where he before doing that would offered me coffee, homemade muffins and a quesadilla – welcome to Mexico!

There was just one thing that didn´t really let me relax that night: the flat was not a big deal as after one hour everything was repaired. But since then there was a real problem! While repairing the tube I realised that the rim of the wheel was sliced open like a tin of beans! …which was finally the explanation for some clicking noise when using the brakes. It sounded just insane but until then I couldn´t see what was really the reason for it. Of course I knew the rims should have been changed already (which I just forgot when I was back in Germany)! Well, and now imagine my situation: I just left Germany (1,5 months ago) and I double-just left the States (1,5 days ago!) when I see I definitely need new rims now. When everybody did always tell me “you´ll see: once you leave America things will be different!” and I still didn´t have a real feeling or personal experience or even idea or imagination of how Mexico would really be! I just thought that now it´s over… I mean: you can maybe get a new chain, or a new tube or some oil here, ok. But rims? And – what´s even more important – a person who can fix them? A real professional?

I really didn´t sleep well. Actually I didn´t sleep at all. (So it was not a problem if Javier did get a good rest that night). In the morning I asked him if there was a good bike shop in Ensenada, which was fortunately coming in something like 20km only! He told me, there was one. But finding it on a city map is still different from remembering it´s pure existence… So when finally I arrived in Ensenada around 11 a.m. I first stopped in a gas station and asked the guys if they could give me a direction. And they could! They sent me to Mr. Chepe Garcia, the gentleman you see on the picture. He´s nothing less than an ex-professional cyclist and now his son is professional enough to bike in the Tour de France! And he was the next step to maybe the finding of a solution for my problem: he had a very professional look at my bike, did very professionally identify the radius and size of the rim by only looking at it for some seconds and finally – by counting the spokes – did very professionally realise and tell me that he couldn´t help me. In very professional Spanish language!

But he also told me who for sure would be able to help me. He explained by speaking very slowly and very clearly and by repeating again and again and finally by even drawing something on a little piece of paper that I must go to “TNT bicicletas”. …or “NT bicicletas”? TNT. No, NT! NT bicicletas! And I really found them! With the first “T”. Next step was done – puuuh! There I tried to explain again what my problem was. Just a pity that by then I already had forgotten all the technical Spanish expressions that Chepe had given me before. And a pity that they were much more busy! I might be wrong but did they get a bit nervous when I tried to tell them in almost professional Spanish what I wanted them to do???

Finally there was that certain man in black. He was the last one who was called to have a look at my bike when all the others had already given up with me. …he did speak English! And he did understand the problem. When I showed him the damaged rim he just nodded. Generally I would say that he is not one of those people who talk much! He just said: “one moment!” while already disappearing in the shop. But when that moment did already last something like 10+ minutes I just hoped that there was no back door in that shop through which he had just escaped! But no: he came back and – ta da: he brought a wheel. A used one. Now I remembered Chepe: “But tell them they MUST give you a new one. Otherwise they will give you a used one! I know them! You want to go far, you need a new one! And if there are any problems, if they don´t want to give you a new one, call me!” …I decided not to call him because the argumentation of the mysterious mister with the black baseball hat was actually quite comprehensible: we don´t have a new one and this one is maybe a used wheel but… actually it is not used. Because it was mounted on a beach cruiser which only had back pedal brakes! Ok, then I agreed. I could even see that the surface had never been touched by a rim brake. And I asked if he maybe had a second one like this. …again not many words, just: “let me see” and he disappeared again.

Well finally I got more and more relaxed with that guy they call “the mecanino” on their website. We negotiated the price and he promised me to finish everything ´till the same evening. Although Christmas was close and they had already sooooooo much work. I went into the hostel he recommended me, had a nice and relaxed afternoon there and in the evening – hours after the official opening time – I had it back in my arms. My pink bike. And “the mecanino” as well… I just had to hug him when finally his work was done (very professionally!) and all his promises had been kept. I asked him if he would like to be the godparent of my little Greek duck which still dosn´t have a name (he had told me that usually they are asked to fix those girly stuff on the handle bars of little “Americanas”…, imagine!). But when I told him how honourable I rescued that little duck from it´s death in Greece he loudly laughed (imagine!) and immediately agreed. So dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear followers and readers of my blog: I proudly present the official name of my good old Greek rubber duck: from now you can call him Mr. Roberto TNT!

Since that “explosive” experience in Ensenada I know: Also Mexicans are very honourable, professional and trustable people! And they can even joke! (…though it might take a while.)

Well, just lots of thanks to all of you bike-professionals there in the North of Baja for just a great time I had with you in the end! Thank you for saving me! (…and my duck from potentially dying without a name!)

 

Ensenada, Mexiko (Hostel)

Tages-Km: 29,87km / -Zeit: 1:47h / -Höhenmeter: 181m

Gesamt-Km: 12.709km / -Zeit: 884:36h / -Höhenmeter: 117.563m

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Feliz Navidad!

Dear readers, followers, friends! I have to keep in short today because I´m almost asleep…

Of course I am already in Mexico and of course you missed a couple of good stories! I´m sorry that I couldn´t upload them: I was mostly in the desert and completely without any internet access or mobile signal. But it was amazing! I love Mexico so far! The landscape is just overwhelming and I feel as free as never before. That´s the reason why I didn´t find the time to write: I just wanted to cycle from the first ´til the last daylight. That´s what I did and that´s what I will do for one more week. And so – hopefully – I can reach the goal to celebrate the New Year in La Paz. But still I have a lot of kilometres ahead of me…

I wish you all – if Christian or not – some peaceful and calm Christmas days and some good friends to finish this year with some bright and lovely moments! Be safe and be good and be happy! And thank you for still travelling with me! See you next year!

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Buckingham Palace

After some tough ups and downs – more mentally than physically – through the Hollywood Hills yesterday I arrived at Charly´s and Scott´s. Charly a friend of my brother´s and also one of the world`s best Laser sailors at the time! And for me he and his roomate Scott they are just another two angels on the long ride down to Rio, offering me whatever a girl on a bicycle could need! First of all: huge, soft, comfortable queensize cloud of a bed, extra taken from one of the neighbourhood friends. Then: The unforgotten Poke-Burrito – raw tuna wrapped with rice, beans, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers and a special salsa. Just loved it! Then: Coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. Then: A little check-the-waves-tour to the beach, because Charly is also one of the worlds best surfers (of course he is!) and of course I wanted to see him performing! But unfortunately no waves. So the alternate point on the programme was a ride to an outdoor shop to buy a spectacular solar lamp. Then: Rest on the cloud! Then, when we both were just surfing the waves of the internet: Rob suddenly appeared. “Hey Charly, I´m going on the water a bit. Have to work in 2 hours. Wanna come?” Of course he wanted! And me, too. And Thommy, the honorable sponsor of my matrass (I guess), too. And as so much surfing makes so much hungry the two gentlemen who didn´t have to work anymore for today went for a quick supermarket tour while I could rest again on my princess bed. They just picked me up for having a delicious dinner at Thommy´s house where there was nothing left for me to do but snacking tortilla chips and drinking light beer while Thommy, Bob (his brother) and Charly flew around in the kitchen preparing Bruschetta, Salad and grilled chicken. It was just amazing how everybody did care for me! “You just relax!” was the order. And that´s what I definitely did: I completely relaxed and absolutely enjoyed!

Hey guys, I thank you so much for all your energies you have offered to me! It was just great meeting you all and next time it´s my turn to take care for you. Please give me a chance!

And last but not least: Scott, your headlight is amazing! Scott is a designer and he just couldn’t let me leave without being sponsored by him as well. And so he run to his workplace, got a headlight he (was it you? Or at least his company) had designed and rushed back to another hopefully pleasant meeting that was about to start in 5 minutes.

Thousand thanks to all of you – you´re just wonderful!

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207_The Johnson Family

There´s always a little hidden corner where I can sneak in and stay over night! But yesterday, when I was already on my way to the Johnsons` house I realised that it would have been extremely difficult to hide somewhere in this area. But again I was just super lucky: It was already around 3pm when I sat down in a Starbucks to have a little rest with coffee and a chance to use the free WiFi: There that certain man, Steve, who suddenly came over to my table and asked me the usual questions: Where are you coming from? Where do you go? … But for one question I didn´t have an answer: Where do you sleep tonight?

Steve turned his head, looked over to his family and told them: She didn´t know where to sleep! And immediately his wife commented: In our backyard she would be safe! Oh man, those Americans are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! A few miles later I rang their bell and was again welcomed with open arms! But not only that I could fix my tent in the safe backyard, no! I was even invited to have a warm shower. And after that they called me in to have a tasty Guacamole & Tortillas Snack with them. And as if that wasn´t already enough Mrs. Johnson finally asked me to come with them to a “group massage”. Of course you´re invited! And so we all jumped into the big car – Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, their 3 sons + girlsfriends and me. And that evening I already had my incredibly pleasant Christmas present: A 60min whole body massage!

When later we all had dinner together I had some time to feel the spirit of that family. And it was just good to sit there with a glass of red wine, surrounded of complete harmony, listening to Christmas music while everybody from time to time hung something at the tree they had bought that day. For us Germans of course it would have been much too early to have a Christmas tree already. But actually it doesn´t matter when you have it. As long as it is “growing” in such a peaceful and unheavy atmosphere!

Dear all Johnsons,

I thank you for what you did in that night! I will not forget your amazing hospitality, I promise! You nothing but proved again that there are incredible people all over the world who not only open their heart for me but even their back doors during the whole night! I wish you will always find open doors wherever you move and that something will protect you in the way you protected me in that night – happy thanksgiving! And merry Christmas!

 

 

Oxnard, Kalifornien (Zelt mit Jose-Miguel = Se-Mi)

Tages-Km: 76,92km / -Zeit: 4:36h / -Höhenmeter: 358m

Gesamt-Km: 12.187km / -Zeit: 851:12h / -Höhenmeter: 114.090m

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205_bird or what?

…just as in times of childhood when a single golf ball was the most precious treasure I had in my toys box I couldn´t control myself today when I saw them lying there in the grass right next to the highway. There was absolutely no golf course in zone! So someone might have lost them from a car… anyway: A golf ball is still as precious as a gold ball for me. So just get them! Get them all!

But this morning after a cool and fresh night I was a bit clearer and my brain maybe working again for asking myself the most important question: What are you doing here? Are you really about to carry 6 golf balls with you? …why???

And of course there was no way to find an acceptable answer. I left them there where I had my nest last night. But with 2 crying eyes!

 

Hinter Lompoc im Nirvana, Kalifornien (Zelt)

Tages-Km: 66,05km / -Zeit: 4:39h / -Höhenmeter: 781m

Gesamt-Km: 12.045km / -Zeit: 842:20h / -Höhenmeter: 113.266m

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204_Happy Thanksgiving

But today it was time to speed up again. Urs and Moni decided to have a day off and after a rich breakfast on the road also Kevin finally left my way around lunch time. From then I had no more excuses for not moving forward. And that´s what I did. But I realised that I already missed them somehow…

But no time for hanging back in past: I have a goal to reach! Happy thanksgiving, guys. Was great meeting you! And… see you!

 

Guadalupe, Kalifornien (Zelt neben dem Zuggleis)

Tages-Km: 70,27km / -Zeit: 4:19h / -Höhenmeter: 476m

Gesamt-Km: 11.979km / -Zeit: 837:41h / -Höhenmeter: 112.485m

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203_Stay with the Crew

As we already had that nice room with the 2 queensize beds of course we had to use them to the last minute. Or let´s just say we slowly started the day. …and gave other cyclists a chance to catch up. Such as Urs and Moni who we met on the street after a while. Great! We did ride together in a group until we found the next spot for… coffee of course! So the day just kept on staying really relaxed. But now I felt a bit like being too lazy since yesterday I didn´t do much more than having coffees and talks and today the same. So when Urs and Moni decided to stay at the next campground I was sure about doing some more miles. But when Kevin saw me saying “good-bye” to them he was like: What are you doing? I explained him about my energy that somehow wanted to be pushed into the my bikes wheels. But he didn´t understand. I would only be a few miles that I could do before the sun would set. So…”stay with the crew!”

He said that as of course that was the only thing to do for me now. …doing some more miles…who would do that? And actually he was right. I agreed. And stayed. And we had some more really good hours there with a Eucalyptus-campfire and a bright full moon, coyote and children´s crying and music favourites…

 

Moro Bay SP, Kalifornien (Zelt mit Kevin, Urs und Moni)

Tages-Km: 47,09km / -Zeit: 2:47h / -Höhenmeter: 325m

Gesamt-Km: 11.909km / -Zeit: 833:22h / -Höhenmeter: 112.008m

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196_San Francisco & Santa Flora

The night was more a nightmare than a dream to be honest: The wind became so strong that at a certain point I wasn´t sure if the tent would be able to resist any longer. For a while I tried to hold against the sharp storm attacks by pushing and leaning against the “roof”. But finally I realised that the risk was simply too big and dismantled half of the tent: Basically I turned it into a flat Biwak-Sack because hiding from the wind was just impossible up there on the exposed rock! What a crazy night!

But I was payed already a few hours later with an unforgettable sunrise. I watched the sun coming up behind the hills of Oakland and San Francisco, illuminating inch by inch the big red steel construction with her golden light that finally gave the bridge it´s name: The Golden Gate.

After breakfast which was a delicious sourdough bread with blueberry jam and an extremely pleasant talk with the brilliant photographer Yishay from New York – as pleasant as the time with Tomek, Anna and Simon the evening before – time finally has come: Time to leave. Or let´s say it in a more positive way: To continue my way. Which today would lead me to Flora, the angel who appeared just a few days ago in my email folder: We knew each other in Jerusalem – when she had saved me already for the first time – and she just remembered me and invited me to stay with her in San Francisco. Flora: You´re the best! Thank you for everything you did and please come to visit me in Germany! You´ll always be best welcome! So there was not time for a big “good-bye” to the bridge. But who cares: What was expecting me was nothing but to cross it finally.

It felt fantastic!

 

San Francisco, Californien (bei Flora)

Tages-Km: 21,22km / -Zeit: 1:27h / -Höhenmeter: 185m

Gesamt-Km: 11.468km / -Zeit: 804:45h / -Höhenmeter: 107.381m

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195_The Golden Gate

Today´s a great day. It´s one of the most important days in my life maybe! It´s because I realise – by arriving on that simple vista point with that amazing view to the “Golden Gate Bridge” – that I really did it!

I had that dream 3 years ago for the first time: Me and my sister were visiting our brother and his sailing friends for the Youth America´s Cup taking place in San Francisco. On one sunny afternoon my we grabbed a bike and rode over the bridge to that vista point and back. But that was not enough for me! Of course it was a great feeling to cross the bridge! But actually we didn´t have to cross it. It was nothing but a voluntary exercise. But from that moment I wanted the bridge being a part of my way. I wanted it to be a real bridge! One that I had to cross if I wanted to continue my way. One that connected North with South. And now time has come: I arrived after more than 11.000 km and am ready to cross it!

Seeing this bridge in front of my tent entrance means that I really managed to realise my dream! And as it is part of a cycling tour around the world that I was dreaming of for much more than 3 years it also means that I didn´t lose that dream either! But it was sometimes hard to keep it. When I had great times at work with my colleagues (which I actually had every day!) or with my friends and family. Everything seemed to be perfect in my life (except from the fact that it appeared a bit difficult to find the right male part…): Nice job, best boss and best colleagues, healthy and well, a lovely apartment in the centre of Munich, amazing friends… But still I was not happy. Something deep inside always complained. My reasonable brain tried to fight against it! But finally my heart and my soul won. They made me decide to give up everything and to just try it. Because some things you must simply do. No matter if you fail. But then at least you know that you tried! Of course it was a risk. Would it really be as good as in my dreams? Would I find a way back if I had to give up? What if the result of that decision was to realise that I have lost everything?

But still something deep inside of me didn´t let me be in peace. Until finally I bought that beautiful bike and started riding. Through the winter, trough cold and heat, through storms and nights sometimes. It was quite a struggle sometimes, believe me! But now – right in that moment when I saw it again the famous red steel construction – I realise that all is forgotten. The balance that I draw today is just positive. All I feel is just light as a feather. I´m free! I followed my inner voice and I won. The bridge just let´s me know that I have taken the right decision(s). And all that before seemed to go wrong before now feels so right. Because if these things didn´t go “wrong” I would not be here today.

I´m happy!

 

Golden Gate Bridge, Californien (Zelt)

Tages-Km: 56,15km / -Zeit: 4:15h / -Höhenmeter: 921m

Gesamt-Km: 11.447km / -Zeit: 803:18h / -Höhenmeter: 107.195m

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