Archiv für August 2010

MONGOLIA!

sorry, no photos again, but just wanted to tell the world that we are FINALLY CROSSING THE BORDER TO MONGOLIA. today! see you on the road, or in Ulaanbaatar on September 7!

Ulan Ude

After 4 long days in the train with a vicious conductress who yelled us constantly and told us we are dirty f***ing punks, we arrived in the far east. We still managed to rehearse two new songs in the train: „one way road“ written by our Tobi and a new version of „anthem for the already defeated“ from Rock Plaza Central, this time with cardboard guitars and skeleton masks — our zombie song :-) Recordings will be posted… eventually, along with photos… And we performed on the station platforms in numerous short stops over the four days. We can gather a good-sized crowd and make a decent amount of money in 15 minutes between waiting trains and rushing travelers!

Now we‘re getting our Mongolian visas in Ulan Ude — the rules have changed recently — it’s no longer possible on the border. You have to get a visa in any Mongolian consulate or embassy beforehand.

Tomorrow we‘re cycling to the Baikal Lake for a few days before catching a train to Naushki, Mongolia. Then we plan to cycle across the border and the rest of the 400km to Ulaanbaatar, our long-awaited goal for this part of the journey!

New -old- plans again!

We‘re making the leap!

The trains are difficult and expensive, but we found out about a direct train from Moskow to Ulan-Ude with „bagazhni wagon“(!!) and about the possibility to get Mongolian visas directly on the border. (finely, after three or four days non-stop-asking at the trainstation).

So, we‘re off to Moskow by train and will ride the Trans-Sibirian Railway all four days to Ulan-Ude. On the way we‘ll reand or buy two bikes for our filmcrew so we can cycle all together, from Ulan-Ude, shortly seeing the Bajkal lake, down the road to Ulaan Baatar. (around 670 km in 15 daus). That’s good for us, good for the people joining us, and good for the documentary film.

It’s not the slow road any more, but like we planned from the beginning, if we want to work with kids in Mongolia and try yak butter while singing gutterly in an yurt, we‘d have to take the train. We‘ll be 13 peaple in Mongolia and 7 going on afterwords.

And more good news:

2wheels4change is also heading south – 5 people and cycling to ANAPA, and two (Louisa and Verbena) will continue the project in Turkey, possibly going to Israel as well.

We‘re going on --no-- we‘re CYCLING to Turkey!

(Emphasis on the -cycling- … )

We say it like this, because if we would continue to go to Mongolia at this point, we would

1) send 4 groups of 2 people hitch-hiking 5000 km from Rostov to Irkutsk (aprox. 10-15 days on the road), and
2) send 3 people on a train for 5 days with all 10 bicycles, because
3) the only available tickets on all trains until October cost 300 Euros per person, plus 130 Euros for the bikes and bags. We simply don‘t have 3000 Euros for everyone to take the train.

If we hitch-hiked now,
A) it would still cost us 900 Euros,
B) 4 people would leave the group now, because
C) they would need to return by train from Irkutsk one week after we arrived — for another 300 Euros per person…
and
D) if the hitch-hiking takes too long, or
E) if the Mongolian visas in Irkutsk take longer than expected, or
F) if the bicycles on the separate cargo train via Moscow take too long — or go missing completely,
G) we would need to take a bus from Irkutsk directly to Ulaan Baatar (950km)
and . . . what about our bikes then?

So yeah, we‘re ALL staying together now until our Russian visas expire at the end of September!
Felix, tyle, Tobi, Anja, Bruno, Jakob, Verbena, Oli, Jeremias, Louisa, Lena, Ballak, Jassi and Yuri (who recently joined us in Taganrog, Russia).
Our photos are on the contact page.

Here are a few images from last week, when we met Viktor, a songwriter for a popular Russian band and one-time drummer with InExtremo, and his son:

We‘re skipping Kazakstan because
Q) only 4 of our bikes would survive the steppe/plains/prairies…
W) one less visa challenge…
R) we would have to take a train to get transit visas for Russia for the people returning to Germany and then take the train out again, and finally
Z) we don‘t want to get stuck in Siberia or in the mountains this winter.

That’s why we‘re heading SOUTH for the winter.

We will cycle to Sochi, Russia, over the next 3 weeks.
Frannie and Kat with the video documentary and two more friends will join us on bicycles, which will make us 18 people soon.
We want to stop in all the little villages to perform our songs and clown sketches. Also orphanages and schools we pass will have a chance to learn from us and perform with us.
At the moment we have 4 accordeons and 3 guitars! a flute, clarinet, slide-trumpet, horn, tuba, and a broken monkey percussion section.

2wheels4change lives on, migrating in a different direction!

From Sochi, we‘ll take the boat to Trabzon, Turkey, and begin the visa process for Iran, Pakistan, India . . . you know, the -slow- road to China, maybe Mongolia, and Japan.

We are 8 musicians who are continuing the project after September and will travel to Asia in 2010/2011. Some of us are still planing to go to North America by boat from Asia when we get the chance.

Contact us if you want to get to know us!