Aotearoa to Bohemia (May-July 2009) /under creation/Greetings brothers and sisters, children of planet Earth !!!
Let me tell you that after 67 days journey across half of the
planet I have reached my final destination,
town Ceske Budejovice (called Budejce in local slang) in the south of Czech republic.
The place where I was born some 33 years ago, the place where my parents live, the place where I have spent the most of my life.
I am back again. It is like a return of a lost son... ... for my mom definitely.
Let me briefly tell you about my trip, route, places and countries I had to cross on my "by boat and overland journey". For start I have to mention that due to my train booking from Beijing I had to take a four hours flight to link Australia with Asian continent to catch the train. I was happy to do that knowing (based on my previous experience) that it is possible to find a boat and sail across the ocean if you can effort to search and wait.
I plan to put together more comprehensive report together with some photos I was shooting along the way. I will be probably continuesly adding more memories to this report to make it more comprehensive.
Ok. Ready? Set. Go...
* Yellow Magnetic Warrior (Tue 19/5) day 1 : I am leaving Marahau Valley under several rainbows across the sky. I am on the way to Wellington to get Chinese visa and then further up to Opua to find a yacht to sail towards Australia. Hitchhiking is the way. Good people, easy ride.
* Blue Electric Monkey (Wed 3/6) day 16 : Sailing yacht "Te Vaka" is setting sail and leaving Opua marine with me on board. This 60ft yacht seems to be the right boat for my first blue water experience. Destination Noumea, the capitol of New Caledonia. Four people on board under command of Capt. Tommo Thomason.
Within seven days we get a taste of all kinds of ocean conditions from fine sailing days through stormy big sea to absolutely sky mirroring flat ocean. Very hard to describe, you have to be there...
* White Planetary Mirror (Wed 10/6) day 23 : It is 11pm and we let down the anchor at Port Moselle, Noumea, New Caledonia.
A couple of days later I have to leave Te Vaka and find my home in Youth Hostel. I need to find a boat to Australia. And I will...
It takes a week and the universe provides yacht Slice of Lemon. Captain Rob and Elliot find me in the hostel the day before leaving. The same night I booked and paid my train ticket from Beijing. I was going to buy a flight ticket out of here tomorrow. They came in the very last minute...
* Red Self-existing Serpent (Wed 17/6) day 30 : Slice of Lemon is sailing out of stinking and filthy town towards Bunderberg, Australia. She is only 11 metres long Bermudian cutter with three people on board. Pretty small compare to Te Vaka, but big enough.
* Blue Planetary Monkey (Tue 23/6) day 36 : Six days later after three days motoring through some kind of storm or whatever it was we arriving to Bunderberg. The land is moving...
I am back on land and my next destination is Darwin, the northern city of Australia. I know already that I will fly from there to Singapore as the distance is the shortest possible.
It is overland trip and that is why I travel by bus to Townswille the next day and then via Mt. Isa and Tennant Creek to Darwin. It is more then 3000km.
* Blue Magnetic Eagle (Sat 27/6) day 40 : Greyhound bus reaches Darwin. It is tropical hot here. I can't wait to be out of here...
* Red Electric Earth (Mon 29/6) day 42 : I board a small plane to Singapore. The Earth is really electric. I can see some lightnings as we getting close to the land. There is a Great Bear star constellation (Ursa Major) on the night sky. It is only visible from northern hemisphere. We have already cross the equator.
I am leaving Singapore the next morning by train to Gemas to change train to Gua Musang, both Malaysia. My feet are finally on the big land and there is no ocean between here and my final destination. I will travel by train and bus. My train from Beijing is leaving on Red Rhythmic Skywalker (Wed 15/7). I have 15 days to get there.
There is no plan. Only basic knowledge of the route I need to take. No bookings and not even maps. I stay in hostels and guest houses, I eat on the street, I love all the local fruit for me so exotic.
The next day I travel by another train from Gua Musang to Khota Bharu taking so called Jungle train, along east coast of Malaysia. Then by bus to Sungai Kolok, Malay-Thai border. Overnight train takes me from there to Bangkok.
* Red Resonant Dragon (Fri 3/7) day 46 : Bangkok. It is Friday before long weekend and some holiday. All the trains are fully booked until tomorrow and probably even for the next days. I race to bus terminal to catch any bus out of here up north. People everywhere. Everywhere. Really.
Bus to Lumpang is leaving two hours behind the schedule but it is leaving. I am in a good flow catching one bus after other. I love it. In the afternoon bus stops in Chiang Khong and I need to find a guest house. Look here is one called "Green Tree". That's me. No more searching no more questions. Thank you very much... For the massage too. And beer...
* Yellow Planetary Seed (Mon 6/7) day 49 : It is raining and I give up my initial plan of getting boat and sail up stream Mekong river to China. I cross the wide yellow river to Lao. Bus takes me to Louang Namtha. Chinese border is closed and thus I wait till tomorrow.
* Red Spectral Serpent (Tue 7/7) day 50 : Welcome in China. The land of rice, corn, tea, concrete and steel. Capitalism with Communist face. That is being really brief...
I go by bus to Jiangcheng and then overnight to Kunming. The main town of Yunnan province. The land of green tea. I love the stuff and I stock up.
In China is essential to book a train otherwise you are not going anywhere. I go to Xi'an. Overnight again. Over two actually. Going overnight seems to be the way unless you know the scenery is worse seeing.
I am close to Beijing and I will make it in time. I know it now. I can relax a bit. Time to visit old town, market, hire a push bike and cruise amongst the people, bikes and cars. I have lots of fun. And people stare at me no matter what I do, wear or look like. I simply don't look like Asian at all. And they don't grow beard very well. I do ;)
All trains for Sunday are fully booked but Monday is fine. I will stay in Beijing only one night and I am happy with that. I only need to pick up my ticket for train K3 going from Beijing all the way to Moscow. Oh yes the famous Trans-Siberian railway is part of my journey. I take the Trans-Mongolian route through Ulan-Bator.
* Red Rhythmic Skywalker (Wed 15/7) day 58 : Beijing, 7:45, sitting in carriage number 11, berth 11, the weels of train K3 are turning. We are in motion...
We stop every now and then to pick up and drop passengers, cross borders, buy some food from local sellers and then we go again.
Six days and five nights later the train arrives to Moscow. Supposedly the most expensive city on the planet. Oh well I go with it. Policeman on every corner. They ignore me. I am simply so suspicious-looking that it can't be real I would cause a problem.
In my favour my younger brother happened to work here and I will stay this night with him. He just got back from the top of Caucasus highest peak Elbrus (5,642 metres) and his mates are staying too. We meet after more than five years but we are both full of our own fresh experiences that it doesn't really feel like that.
I leave the next day by train to Lvov, Ukraine. Directly from there to Chop. Train border crossing to Slovakia. I am getting close to the land I know.
There is European Rainbow Gathering only about 100km from where I am now. Elis the Swedish guy on train told me that. Shall I stay or shall I go? It is between me and my parents who are waiting for me. It is significant synchronicity being here and finding out about the event at this very moment. I try to make decision whether to take next train to Uzhgorod or wait till morning for the train to Slovakia. I am tired and I feel like staying on my mission and that is to get to Budejce where my parents live. And that is what I do...
* Red Magnetic Dragon (Thu 23/7) day 66 : I am the only passenger on the train from Chop, Ukraine to Cierna nad Tisou, Slovakia. I enter European Union. It is the first time I am asked to open my backpack. Fortunately not to take everything out. Getting across this border is a big circus. There are at least five men searching various parts of the train. We must be in Europe.
Slovakia used to form Czechoslovakia together with what is Czech republic today. This is basically the country were I was born. The prime ministers drew a line between the countries in 1993 and there is none again now as both countries are in EU. I can speak Slovak a bit and they understand Czech.
Cierna is a small village and I don't feel like hitchhiking yet and so I take a train to Kosice. I am not in a hurry and I have confidence to hitchhike thus I walk across the town to the main road heading west.
It only takes one nice person and I am out of here. This manifestation has worked for me every time. It flows. It's amazing.
To make this end brief I just tell you that I made it pass Budejce that day. It was late and raining and it wouldn't be the best time to wake up my parents and meet them after five years.
I stayed in Cesky Krumlov and got a ride the next day almost to the doorstep.
* White Lunar Wind (Fri 24/7) day 67 : I meet my mom and dad after more then five years. Everybody is happy.
The journey was great adventure and challenge. I have seen a lot and I have met lots of people.
Our Earth, our home is truly beautiful place to live. I have seen lots of gorgeous places. I have seen many scars on her face too.
Let's take care of her. She needs it. We need it. It is time.
One Planet, One People, One Time, One Love.Aroha
PS: Am I coming back to Aotearoa? Of course I am. I will be back before summer. Get ready... ;)
PS2: Are you wondering what are the fairy names of days I use? They come from 13 moon calendar I follow...