Brigitte and Dieter cycling all the way to China and back! I was driving along a mountain pass when I saw two cyclists negotiating the ruts and holes along the track. I wanted to stop for a chat but hesitated not wanting to disturb their slow progress. However, curiosity got the better of me and I pulled over.
Brigitte Muench and Dieter Roth had been on the road for more than one year and had cycled from their home in Switzerland to China and were now on their way home. Brigitte and Dieter's story was so interesting that we stood transfixed by their tales for about an hour. I was already late so I asked them both to stay in Ojdula for the night if they had not already made plans. They said they would see how they progressed, and agreed to meet me in the village guest house bar if they decided to stay.
Several hours later after a nice visit to Putna falls I returned to Ojdula and found that Brigitte and Dieter's bikes were parked up against the fence, so had obviously decided to stay for the night! This was great as I heard many more tales over a nice cold beer.
Brigitte and Dieter followed a strict routine each day to make sure they maximised their mileage. Each evening they set up camp off road, cooked, slept and then started the whole process again the following day. Their average daily distance travelled was 80kms. They were so relaxed and friendly and the one thing that grabbed me was the human element to their journey and story. They said the best part of their trip so far was the people they had met on route, the generosity they had experienced, and hospitality and warmth displayed to them wherever they went. During their time on the road they had never felt in any danger. So often people fail to fulfil their travelling ambitions as they tend to hang on to what they hear in the news, especially the isolated incidents of robbings and muggings. So to hear of such a trouble free trip gives hope that not everyone on route is out to get you and take advantage.
They told me one great story about a young man that they met in outer Mongolia who was participating in the Mongol Rally. He had a film crew with him and a personal doctor! They crossed paths in the middle of a desert, they on their bicycles and the young man as part of a motorcade. He was so interested in Brigitte and Dieter's journey that he decided to stop and film them. They didn't have a clue who he was and what all the fuss was about with his big entourage of staff, so at an opportune moment they asked his doctor who the young man was. She was amazed that they didn't recognise him, Jack Osbourne the adrenalin junkie!
Brigitte and Dieter were tired as they had only managed a few hours sleep the night before. They were very aware that they had entered bear country and were concerned a bear would smell their food. They were even more surprised when I told them there were approximately 150 bears in the surrounding area! They were very much looking forward to a peaceful nights sleep in my summer house with solid walls around them.
The following morning after a quick breakfast on our summer house doorstep, they packed and were gone within an hour. I was sad to see them go as they were such an entertaining couple, so full of life.
Why not check out Brigitte & Dieter's fascinating journey on their blog