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FRANZ KARL CYCLINGTOURS
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here are most of franz karls emails listed, which give a short impression of what he expriences on his tour.

reports 1-13 of 13   page 1 of 1
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13.   after the crash [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:27:30.0 (GMT+1) from: vienna/austria km: 14000
it takes time, but on and on my animal spirits are getting back. staying in vienna since 10 days. really a shock. and i have to get used to it.
on that special day a few weeks ago i mentally and physically felt very good. all of a sudden a landrover-taxi cropped up, hit me and the situation could have been lethal for me. i had no chance at all to prohibit the fatal crash. i cycled on HW 7, about 230 kilometer southwestern of varanasi/india and 27 km before rewa, to where i finally were driven by emergency-car to hospital. but not by the driver who nearly killed me. this man was kept "busy" by other things. after i was catapulted into the windsreen of the landrover, lying on the engine bonnet - the car was going about 60 km/h, as a passanger of the taxi told me later on - some indian people of the sourroundings were "treatening" the driver first. Regaining after a short consciousness i became aware of wild shoutings and scuffles. obviously they were beating the driver, before the police was able to protect him.
the first days i was staying in rewa?s hospital. the radiographs showed a broken thumb, unfortunately on my left hand, and i was unable to move my right leg. there was quite a lot of blood in my knee, and my hip was cracked a little. after i was moved to a hospital in new dehli in a train, i was operated two times. it took two weeks to get back to vienna/austria.
now i am really hoping to get healthy again. to get like before the crash, to get like the "old" franz.
best regards franz
12.   cycling in the land of the cyclists [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:27:00.0 (GMT+1) from: varanasi/india km: 13600
leaving kathmandu, it took me 7 days to reach benares-varanasi. you wrote about millions of people in india. now i know what you meant. here in india the daily fight for survival is carried out on the roads. basically people are overtaking always and everywhere. i have to leave the road in order not to finish my tour and life.
on the day before leaving kathmandu i had a bad experience. in the overcrowded streets of thamel many cars are driving on very high speed. one such driver, using his horn constantly, was very aggressive. so i lost patience and kicked the car with my feet. suddenly two men were attacking me. and i had to defend against the two guys. luckily the fight stopped as suddenly as it started.
i reached the border of india on the day my nepalese visum was running out. the border was totally overcrowded and it took me more time finding the immigration office than the official entry to india itself. i am surprised about the good condition of the roads, only sometimes it turned to gravel. india is a total change of climate and landscape. tibet - always over 4500 meters in altitude and many high passes. india - 80 meters(!). the last time in that altitude was in istanbul/turkey when i crossed the bosporus. climate is quite good, not too hot, about 23 degree celsius. i am planning to cycle rewa-japalpur-nagpur and maybe mumbai-bombay. i think to take a flight to bangkok from one of the big cities mumbai, madras or kalkutta. here in varanasi i got the information that only cargo-shippers are going to thailand.
best regards franz
11.   back in kathmandu [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:26:28.0 (GMT+1) from: kathmandu/nepal km: 13100
just returned from a 30-day trek in the everest region. actually i never planned such trips but it was a great recreation from cycling. together with malcom from new zealand we reached jiri after a 9-hour ride by bus. the first few days walking with my 20-kilo backpack was very painful, but then i got used to it and only my knee-joints made problems. obviously the acclimatisation from tibet was gone, because when we reached gorak shep i got strong headache. getting even worse when walking on kalapattar (5560 m) and everest base camp (5370 m). it took me 2 trials to reach the base camp. reaching the giant glacier i was totally exhausted. taking supradyn helped me very much. malcom took a 96-USD-flight to kathmandu, so i hiked solo to jiri. in nepal the political situation is still tense. about 20 soldiers from the nepalese army checked my identity.
back in kathmandu i am resting now for a few days. rudi and luc, the two belgians, already took a flight to bangkok. jochi, the austrian guy, already started cycling to india 10 days ago. i will follow his route and maybe meet him somewhere.
beste regards franz
10.   namaste [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:25:50.0 (GMT+1) from: kathmandu-nepal km: 13100
staying in paradise now! after 5 weeks of privation in tibet my friends and i reached kathmandu. in ali - where i emailed before - it was really impossible to go further by your own. we had to change the transportation and had to pay 2000 yuans for two landcruises. on the road it was not very comfortable, we had a lot of problems - including a total breakdown of the back suspension. the driver "fixed" it with a tube - and at the end the car was able to carry us to darchen at mount kailash. at the checkpoint the chinese army didn?t want to pass us for hours. we hadn?t not that much time, but managed to hike up to 5200 meters for a great sight on holy mount kailash (6670 m). strong headache the whole day.
at manasovara lake on the next day we stayed in a monastery - strong wind and good sight on the holy mountain. for the tibetans the hard times of the year are just starting - i saw tibetans hacking holes into the frozen lake. beside the cold temperatures, it was a pity not able to cycle the fascinating landscape of westtibet. on the lalung la (5050 m) - the last high pass with hundreds of praying flags - we had to say good bye to the roof of the world. the snow-capped road made hundreds of serpentines until it reached the last checkpoint nyalam. at bordertown of zhangmu the landscape had changed: it was amazing smelling the fresh green of of thousands of plants after so many weeks on the frugal highlands of tibet! from zhangmu we cycled! freedom! but the road was awful.
warming sun on my skin  ...
[go on reading...]
9.   ali [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:25:13.0 (GMT+1) from: ali/west tibet km: 13000
what i couldn?t believe - we have reached ali now! but since rutok not cycling anymore. at nyak lake the chinese police - the frogs- demanded our passports for the first time. but we managed to cylce further to rutok. the night before we got caught the police, they let us know - "we are looking for you all night". and the PSB-frogs were beating rudis bicycle in anger, also because we showed them only copies of our passports. in rutok we had to start bargaining with the police. first we thought of taking a truck back to kashi because of the 500 yuan per person they wanted us to rip off. but they showed interest in getting us to ali because of money. so we checked on the second day a 4WD-toyota for 300 yuan for bringing us to ali. on the next morning - when we loaded the jeep - the frog-bastards forced us to unload all luggage. the negotiations were starting again. at the end we reached ali for the same price. it is really unbelieveable how this small town in the middle of nowhere is growing - new buildings everywhere!
nevertheless we were forced to pay 350 yuan for travelling illegal through china since kashgar - but we got no permit for further mount kailash as you did last year. the problem is that - since the beginning of the afghanistan conflict - the chinese are very restrictive against foreigners travelling through tibet. i heard of an american sended back to kahsgar from mazar and two german guys who were forced to get back from darchen (mt. kailash) to ali. to get further into west tibet is quite impossible because of the checkpoints along the route. we risk to loose our bicycle (confiscating) and get thrown out  ...
[go on reading...]
8.   kashgar [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:24:42.0 (GMT+1) from: kashgar/china km: 11700
happy to read that your start for the big journey around the globe is only just 10 months away. would be great to arrange a "globemeeting" sometimes.
well what happened since gilgit. the KKH was the most beautiful part of pakistan. countless serpentines and the accompanying indus and gilgit river later on were something special! in sost - the pakistani border town - bad news: the border to china is closed! luckily on the next day it was opened again, for the time the americans don?t start any military actions in afghanistan. so we were forced to take a bus to the 130 km away tashkurgan - this new rule exists for about 3 months. at the 3150meter, very chilly tashkurgan we started cycling in china - 4 persons now! joachim, the two belgians rudi & luc and me. 4 policemen checked our passports at night and said: "you move to tashkurgan!". but we ignored them and drank our tea with 80% rum which i carried successful through all islamic countries. on any "small" 4000?pass my head aches - it will take time to get used to the altitude on the "roof of the world".
on the way to kashgar we met 8 touring cyclists - mostly "just" on the way between islamabad and kashgar. while making lunch 3 military helicopters were approaching and observed us only from a distance of about 70 meters. luc said: "this makes me feel beeing in the movie "accopalypse now" ".
on the karakul lake we choosed a jurt for the overnight stay - it got quite chilly at night. unfortunately the peak of the 7546 meter musztagh ata was hidden behind thick clouds.
since 3 days i am in kashgar and therefore crossing your route from last year for the first time, living in the seaman  ...
[go on reading...]
7.   gilgit [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:24:15.0 (GMT+1) from: gilgit/pakistan km: 11100
10 days passed since we left islamabad. on the mountainous road to murree at 2000 meters i enjoyed cool temperatures for the first time for months. heading to muzaffarabad, the capital of the pakistani part of kashmir, we were refused to cycle on by the police - though they granted us a few days before to let us pass. back on the karakoram highway i really enjoyed cycling all those serpentines - including making a lot of altitude. gilgit is the tourist-center of the region with quite a lot of other touring cyclists. tomorrow we start to reach the northern border of pakistan - the 4560 meter kunjerab pass.
best regards franz
6.   islamabad [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:23:49.0 (GMT+1) from: islamabad/pakistan km: 10050
it?s time to let you know some news. i am now in islamabad - after cycling 2 weeks from quetta. and i have to tell you: it was the most difficult section of my journey so far.
in the area of ziarat at 2500 meters i had my second accident while cycling down a gravel road. my hands were ripped up and some ribs were bruised, breathing is still aching. so cycling was no fun you can imagine. moreover our tent was flooded because we put it up too close to a river. unfortunately i lost my sandals, a drinking bottle, a SIGG pot, my bike-spectacles, tachometer and my beloved CD-player. at this moment i thought about finishing my journey. but cycling further on to islamabad gave me time to recover mentally. but it was hard. since dera ghazi khan we were cycling at 400 meters in altitude - extreme humidity and extreme heat.
2 days before islamabad i made the mistake of taking a photo of a nuclear power station. armed soldiers forced us to follow them to their camp. one man tried to open my camera violently in order to confiscate the film. luckily - before the situation got out of contro l- an officer calmed down and let us go - after noticing our personal datas.
here in islamabad there is always something going on. we met dutch and belgian long-time cyclists. especially interesting is rudi, a belgian guy who cycled with ernst meister - a swiss cyclist i met in northern canada in 1998 - in africa. what a lucky chance! those belgians also have a site (www.2-belgian-globebikers.yucom.be). maybe we are taking the same route on the KKH.
my mother sent me some eqipment by DHL, which was quite expensive. the mavic D 521 ceramic is real shit  ...
[go on reading...]
5.   quetta [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:23:02.0 (GMT+1) from: quetta/pakistan km: 8900
we are happy to be in quitta now - after 12 days cycling under extreme heat and sand. bam - the first destination til leaving kerman in iran - has like persepolis ancient locations. just outside the town lies a 2000 year old construction made of loam and straw. 200 years ago it was used in nomal fashion, today many tourists walk around the area. the old new renovqatedcastle set beautifully on a hill and has a great view of the city. we ate a lot of dates - a important source of energy for cyclists! and that was really necessary - in the border area of iran and pakistan the temperature never drops under 45 degree of celsius at daytime in shadow (but didnt exist!). when we tried to escape the enormous heat and crawled under the small bridges the wind covered us with sand. friendly truck drivers supplied us with water. entering pakistan was no problem at all - but the road conditions were extreme: from good asphalt to small, gravel paths. sometimes covered with sand. this caused some injuries as joachim fell with his recumbant. truck drivers were as usual - fast and ignorant. fortunately the area was not that remote, so we often got water and biscuits in small villages. now we use the water filter regulary, so we are able to avoid indigestions. before quetta the quantity of curious kids running beside our bicycles and begging for pens was increasing every day. now we try to relax a few days and then heading to islamabad and further on - hopefully under chilly weather conditions - the karakoram highway to kashgar. best regards franz
4.   kerman [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:22:28.0 (GMT+1) from: kerman/iran km: 7500
after 6 six days of cycling, joachim - my travel compagnion on a recumbant - and i reached kerman now. on this section i was struggling with strong diarrhoe. the amount of water we have to to drink is increasing. therefore we are forced to take every possibility to get water we can find - maybe the reason for that mess. jochi has diarrhoe since siraaz, getting on the bike early in the morning - to enjoy the comfortable temperature - was very hard. on the remote section between neiriz and sirgan (where we passed no village on 110 km) we were forced to drink 45-degree-celsius-water.
i jochis speedhub makes big troubles. shifting is nearly impossible now. he is waiting for an E.M.S. parcel with new equipment. i am writing this because your travel compagnion in western tibet used the speed hub for three months on very bad roads without any problems. technical problems on my bike had been not serious yet. well i already cycled just 7500 km...
we are staying now a few days for relaxing and are then heading into the desert of belucistan, bam and finally to zahedan - the last city before the pakistani border. best regards, franz
3.   franz from siraaz [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:21:50.0 (GMT+1) from: siraaz km: 0
sorry kept you waiting so long but internet access in iran is hard to get - emailing is possible just in the big cities, and even that is not for sure. while cycling in this country for 3 weeks now, i?ve met some other cyclists. from germany, france and - i cant believe - joachim from wels (upper austria) travelling on a recumbant!
i was forced to go on the main roads. which means heavy traffic and mad truck drivers. especially when they use the horn when passing me...i cant stand that. throwing stones is the only to way for defence.. i am happy then to find a quite place to put up my tent in the evening. getting a bigger problem every day - the heat, getting 40 degree celcius or more! i should try to get up very early to avoid getting grilled, man. especially when i think of belutschistan...
the next destinations will be kerman and zahedan. best regards franz
2.   reached agri now [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:21:02.0 (GMT+1) from: agri km: 4600
after 3 though days of cycling i finally reached the last city of turkey. gravel roads and passes up to 2900 meters in altitude were quite demanding, signs for orientation not existing. I realized I was travelling through a remote area after erzurum, a 300 000 inhabitant city. first of all, the houses were very poor, the kids enjoyed throwing stones. moreover I had a "special" visit last night. 3 men, armed with kalaschnikovs, checked me, the tent, my equipment. luckily nothing happened and they went off after a while. in a few days I hopefully will enter a new country: iran. best regards franz
1.   franz on tour [ PRINT ]  [ READ ]
date: 2002-07-30 13:20:33.0 (GMT+1) from: erzurum km: 4400
Dear Friends!
I"am sorry that I did not let you know earlier from my bike trip so far. To all they did not know me. My name is Franz karl Krenn. I"am living in VIenna-Austria. So far I did bycicle trips since 1992. The most impressionable trips I did were in South America. There I had especially at the anden massIve deep impressiones. It was just sky and hell at the same time to make that ex- perience by your own power. With a friend of me we did in 1996 a 3 months tour from santiago de Chile to lima Peru. In that time we cross the andes about 4 times. Especially the paso de san francisco was an amazing experience It takes us almost 7 dayes from copiapo to tinogasta to cycle and often push the bIkes up to 4760m. The landscape there was, I will say compareable to the red planet mars so strange seems the sourrounding death area. There we passed the highest Volcan on earth, ochos de salado when I remember right. In that time we did 450km on gravel and sand roads. But by my honest I have to say, we couldn"d to that if we had not very helpefull persons on the way whom we "stole" there foot when we run out of it after 5 days. Beside the impressionable landscapes it"s also an amazing thing to meet so many diff  ...
[go on reading...]
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