9 months of solo travelling to decide to stop and go back home.
1 month to prepare a big joke, like April’s fool.
Here the last 4 days of my bizarre Milan – Bangkok, without airplanes and with a folding bicycle (with the final VIDEO).
And the end of FIRST PART …... Read More
The last part of the journey and of ten months of solo travelling – before the unexpected return home – was devoted to two of the various pearls of Thailand: Koh Tao island, with its pristine beaches and stunning sunsets, and one of the most uncontaminated and breathtaking places I ever visited in my life, Khao Sok National Park.... Read More
On February 24th, I definitively abandoned Vietnam and entered for the second time in Laos.
A brief stage into a country I had already lived in, to meet two friends and to reach – by land – the ultimate destination and goal of my trip.
An exotic and distant goal, thinking about the day I left.
One goal that, finally, on February 28th 2017, unraveled there in front of my eyes: Thailand.... Read More
So many questions I had that day, as I was quickly and abandoning Cambodia and preparing to cross the border with Vietnam.
How will the traffic in Ho Chi Minh be? And the mountains in Da Lat? Will it be worth pedaling to Nha Trang? What is the “TET” holiday? What about weather forecast for the Southern Coast? Will it really be as beautiful as they say, little Hoi An?
The answers would not be too late to arrive …... Read More
Closing the wonderful “Laos Chapter“, the descent continued to the land of the ancient Khmer Empire.
Perhaps because I was still too dazzled by Laos’s surprises, perhaps because the first impact – in a chaotic Phnom Penh and in the terrible recent history of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge – had been distressing or simply perhaps because I was starting to suffer the terrible heat of Southeast Asia (which I tried to soothe for a few days on the beautiful Koh Rong island) … but, unfortunately, Cambodia didn’t know how to give me what I was looking for and I was not able to find what I needed at that time of the journey.
Only 13 days, and then I left for Vietnam.
Primising myself, however, that one day … I would be back.... Read More
After two months in China, Southeast Asia finally arrived.
Leaving behind me one of the world’s largest Nations, once I came to Boten border I thought that the land I was facing would be short, simple, and far from being surprising.
Well, never before I had been so wrong.
On December 15th, I set foot for the first time in a country I didn’t know anything about and that would have been, for a month, day after day, nothing but astonishing: Laos.... Read More
Relying from a day-dream, I realized that my Chinese Visa was about to expire.
The passage for Laos was still hundreds of miles away, and so, on December 9th, I left again.
Always in Yunnan, but southwards.
First towards the blue shores of Dali Lake, then towards the first palm trees and Siam huts in the land border called Xishuangbanna.
My Chinese days had come to the end, and I still remember the sensations of those moments: a great desire to explore new countries, the tiredness of those two difficult months in Zhong Guo (ancient name for China) and a bag of joy and gratitude for all the experiences I had the fortune to live and which I had to list, before going out, in order to be able to believe that I had really lived them.... Read More
8 December, Shaxi (China) | Day 190 🇨🇳
I’m not used to write down the detailed history of my days (as I think it’s boring for me and for those who read me), but today I’ll make an exception.
What will follow may seem coming out of my fantasy, but nothing is invented.
A surreal day, between dreams and reality, which I’ll keep forever among my best memories.
Of this journey, and of my life.... Read More
After 40 days at the Yanghsuo Outside Inn, I felt it was time to move on.
I wanted to walk through new roads and explore some unknown regions; Southeast Asia was very close, but I decided to follow the call of a Chinese region I had so much heard about and which had been nourishing for years my hidden travel fantasies.
Yunnan, for a few weeks, would have been my new horizon.
My theater. My jubilation.... Read More
A town (Yangshuo), a calm river (Yulong), an enchanted valley and hundreds of mountains worthy of the best poems. And then Betty, Laure, Michelle, Xiaoping, the whole staff of a beautiful little Guesthouse and a friend named Ronald.
This, my Chinese “home” for over 40 days: Yangshuo Outside Inn.... Read More
A night train for a Tolkienian border-town named Zamyn Uud, an electronic cathedral in the middle of nowhere as a “gate”, a rusty truck to reach Erlian bus station, a whole night lying on the cot of a night bus to Beijing, loosing my sight on the contours of Inner Mongolia and trying to combine the dots of the stars, under the tender and reassuring look of my first Chinese moon.
This, the first impact with Great China.
Then a glimpse of Beijing and Guilin, and a slow ride between Guanxi‘s green mystic pinnacles.... Read More
When someone asks me “how is Mongolia?”, unfortunately, I cannot answer.
After a surprising month in Russia, in fact, I came in together with the first cold and early winter.
My two weeks in Mongolia were not valleys, lakes, amazing stars, nomadic welcomes and millennial silences, but snow, chaos, traffic, smog, boredom and anxiety for the Chinese Visa which was just a big trouble.
So my Mongolia, at the end, was 11 difficult days in Ulaanbaatar – one of the most terrifying cities I’ve ever met on my way – and two more “escape-days” in Terelj Park, where I had a preview of all the immense splendor of Great Mongolia which … I would have only imagined.... Read More
The first two weeks in Russia had already left indelible signs. St. Petersburg, Moscow and the Transiberian Railway had suddenly moved my journey to another level. Catharsis, out of a sudden.
After 50 hours of wagons and tracks, I finally touched a mythical land: Siberia.
In Novosibirsk, where I would have found summer and the joys of staying in a family.
In Irkutsk, where I would have danced for a few days with the fairy-tale visions from Bajkal Lake.
In Ulan Ude, where my skin would have felt the first cold of the Mongolian steppe, and I would have offered my last “dobroe utro” and “spasibo” before heading South. Towards the belly of Asia.... Read More
After wandering in Old Europe for over three months, it was time to cross a big border.
A morning bus took me to the edge of Tallinn and Estonia, and then towards the beginning of a totally unknown world; a world that would have turned out to be an extremely interesting, varied and complicated one, but that would have also given me some deep sighs of real adventure.
After longing for her and dreaming about her for a long time, there she was.
Finally, it had come: Russia.... Read More
Returning to Poland from my short “holiday” in Sifnos, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me: the Russian Visa.
Russia – perhaps unexpectedly – was no longer a mirage, but became reality: I had 9 days to reach its borders (the entrance had to happen on September 4th).
From Warsaw I decided to cut a part of the road – by bus – to Vilnius (Lithuania) and Riga (Latvia), then to continue cycling along the coasts of the Baltic Sea, where I would languidly discover the beauties of the Baltic Republics and where I would got enchanted by two places called Salacgrīva (Latvia) and Tallinn (Estonia).... Read More
It was August 14th, and I was in Warsaw.
In Warsaw I had to wait 10 days before knowing if the Russian Embassy would accept my visa application.
In Warsaw there were 10 degrees.
So I checked how much was for a Warsaw – Athens lowcost flight and – after I left my bicycle by a friend (in order to say then that at least the bicycle would never take a flight during the entire trip), I decided to indulge my desire for a short vacation.
For ten days … I went home. The Greek one.
I went back to Sifnos.... Read More
At the end of the second month of travel, just after crossing the border with Poland over a bus coming from Prague, I decided that it was time for a small break.
August had just begun and I was kindly conquered by the holiday atmosphere surrounding me.
So I visited some very old friends – in Wroclaw, where I would spent ten days – and started preparing all the documentation I needed to apply for the Russian visa outside Italy.
Then, worn out and cold, I left my bicycle in Warsaw for a few days … to fly to a place I would have really loved for sure.... Read More