Do not hate me too much


Game Over


Dear friends,

I got to Istambul and that means my Eastern Trip is over. I crossed the Bosphorus from the Asian Side and now you can say I am back to Europe. It has been such a long and hard journey. What can I say? It has been horrible and beautiful, I met the worst and the best people, I felt really alone in the middle of nowhere and very happy with all kinds of new friends.

But Istambul is like a good prize. I have not enough words to express my emotions staying in Bizancio, Constantinopla and Istambul. This city is History it self, is two Worlds touching each other, it is three cities and is also a very special place to be. And is also chaotic, noisy and deeply Turkish. I feel at home here. I have had a good rest here but is time to keep moving.

Be well.



Just a moment to share this.

Enjoy. I almost fell down.



Dear friends:

I am in Georgia. It was a surprise because in the Georgian Border at Lagodekhi no one shouted at me, no one asked for money and no one looked at my passport searching for any sort of fake, criminal signal or lack of validity. No visa needing for European Citizens and easy getting vehicles. And after the short procedure, they told me: Welcome Georgia. And I really appreciated what does it mean when just few km I stopped in at a small bar. There were 8 guys, big as castles. They invited me to join them for eating and drinking. All of them hated Russia. We were at the North of the Country and the Russian Invasion was really near in the time. The Russian troops are still in South Ossetia, where is forbidden to go for foreigners. These Minor Asia region is a puzzle. Armenian Troops, supported by Russia, are in Acerbaijan territory of Nagorno Karabagh, so the border is closed; is also closed the border between Armenia and Turkey. So you have to look properly the map to not going into the wrong place.

Georgia is very good. Poor country but green and wet. Very good watermelons here. Afer so long riding deserts, I am really happy riding forest mountains, bends and twisted roads. From the road, you can see the castles and monasteries on the hills. There are haundreds beside the rust and abandoned factorys. I also visited Gory, Stalin´s Birthplace. A mad nightmare to celebrate the most dangerous guy on Earth. He married two times and his two wifes died before. The last one killed herself, I can guess why. But nothing about purges and crimes is told in the museum. Even when Georgia has moved away all the communism staff which is still visible in Ukrain, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Finally I got the Black Sea shore side, which is more or less their California beach road but with no palm trees and no bikini models walking around, but is Ok, because it means I am arriving Turkey.



I am in Baku, at last. It took us 5 hours just in the customs. Inept officials, stupid protocols and too much paperwork. My friends left yesterday but I stayed to see Baku. Acerbaijan capital is a crazy city, the petrol money runs free on the streets and there is high consumption fever. The most expensive cars, the most exclusive shops, the highest skyscrapers just beside the old Muslim town. I met three Scotish guys last night. Baku is full of them, it´s called Little Aberdeen. They work in the petrol business and spend one month here working and drinking and one month off at home, drinking as well. We hit of and had good drinking night. But today I leave to Shaki, a little town on the Caucasus mountains and tomorrow go to Georgia, the small country in permanent cold (and sometimes hot) war against Russia. Georgia makes good wine and is the birthplace of that great killer called Joseph Stalin. I will visit his village, Gory, and his museum. It gonna be interesting.


The love boat


Dear friends.

We are in the ferry expecting arriving Baku by 2 pm. It had been just five days waiting. I meet Sam and Silvan in Aktau three days ago. That morning I was running along the beach and saw two dirty beggars sat on the walk side. When I approached, I realised it was them. We spent the night at my room and the following morning went into the port to ask about “parom” (ferry). It was expected to arrive by noon and leave by the evening . Great happiness. But that was Kazakhstan.

Of course, the ferry left the evening, but in the following day. So we camped in the parking and we waited. When we bought the tikets started the research for the 1000 stamps they need to be good for travelling. Customs, police, veterinary, firemen… three stamps each one and different colours. The most difficult issue was finding the right guy for the right stamp. 40 degrees of heat and to many guys to look for.

Then, when the ferry arrived at morning, passport control. Like animals, one by one was checked and kept in a cowshed. Few hours passed till we went out. The ferry, Merkuri 1, looked crappy and rust, but beautiful in the sun. Perhaps we can go into, we desired. Too good to be true. We had to wait in the parking lot till they put off all the wagons kept in the ship´s hold. Few hours passed. Then, another control. The soldiers were going to check the luggage looking for drugs and guns and radioactive material and forbidden portraits of their sacred president having sex with a sheep. But they were not really interested but in getting some money. No way, friend, I told to them when they asked for “tengue” if I wanted not to be checked. I have time, said. So you should do your work. I opened my suitcases and menaced to spread all the staff on the floor. Davai, davai, they gave up.

What about the boat? Not the Love one. In the hold, no ropes and no help to tie the bikes. I did it my self with my own straps. Sweated like coming up from a Turkish Bath, I went into the reception. The four ugliest women in Earth were waiting in the front desk to give us the key and take our passports. No smiles at all. A customer is always a suspicious guy. Still in the Soviet Thinking Way. Of course, the cabin not was so dirty, hot and humid as you are imaging right now. No, it was much worse. I the lesson of my Central Asia Trip: expect always the worst and you will get it but even worse. Only because I am mad I find it funny.

Keep safe and do not travel ever to Central Asia.



Dear friends:

I am again in Kazakhstan waiting for the ferry to Baku. Nobody knows when it could sails. If I have to wait for a long, I will camp on the Caspian beach because hotels are not cheap here. Finally, I rode alone from Kungrad to Aktau, 800 km of a real desert between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It took me just two days to ride it. No towns, nor fill stations. Nothing but dust. The road was really terrible: gravel, stones, sand, bumps… Back to the Moon. The Chinese bikes could not ride it. They will be destroyed, so I took petrol, left them behind and went forward having a lot of fun. I enjoy riding the worst roads. It is something special when you feel the only guy on Earth in the middle of nowhere.

But this is not the end of Silkside Story. Sam and Silvan have put the bikes in a train to arrive Aktau. Our trips are very different and each one of us has to do his own adventure. Hope to see them tomorrow, when the train arrives here. The city is Ok, restaurants, bar, people, beach and sun. We can have some fun trying local vodka and leaving the bikes having a rest. They really deserve it. My little fat will need new rear shock after this trip (she is craving for Ohlins) and a very good and deep bath. I will give her everything she needs in Instambul, where I hope be arriving by the end of july.

Keep safe.



After Bukhara, the desert starts again. About 500 km of almost nothing. Even my friends, the Uzbek Policemen, didn´t stop me as usual. Too much hot to move their arms. I met a group a British bikers. They were fifteen leaded by an experimented guide and they have also a 4X4 car with spares, tyres and tools. And they even have a mechanic guy travelling with them just in case they burn a small lamp. They ride with a big organization of bike travels and I guess they have paid a big amount of money to do their lifetime adventure. All of them were wearing the most expensive BMW equipment and riding the most prepared bikes. I felt like a little poor guy riding alone and wearing a sweated and dirty T Shirt. Same travel, very different experience.

Now I am in Nukus, capital of the semi independent Republic of Karalpalkastan. The Tashkent Hotel is like a war zone. Here I can imagine the Sarajevo Hilton in the worst days of the Bosnia Conflict. I felt like a guest in Hell. Everything is broken, rust and dirty. Empty bottles of vodka in the wardrobe. No running water and no toilet paper. I had shower using a bucket and a can. The lift works from time to time and my room is in ninth floor. I have very good view of a tin homes neighbourhood. I laugh so often here thinking this a God´s joke. But none of us can complaint at all. This morning I have been running along the channel. There are a lot of homes with no sanitary devices at all. People have bath in the stinky mud and also take water there for their domestic uses. Our western skin is too thin. Life in Third World is so hard and we should feel much happier than we usually do.

Keep Safe.



Dear Friends:

The Silk Road is full of crazy people. I met two new friends, Sam and Silvan. Two french guys who are trying to arrive Lyon from China, where they worked for a couple year, riding chinese junk bikes with sidecar. Every KM is a miracle. Their bikes break down daily. There is alway someone more crazy than you! We are heading together to Akatau, to take the ferry, so If I have to wait it won't be to bored. Visit their website, it is amazing.



Dear friends:

I am in Bukharat, Uzbekistan. A very old and beautiful Muslim town. A lot of things happened in the last few days. First at all, I recovered my faith in God. Not as deep and suddenly as happened to Saint Paulus when he saw the light and fall down from his horse while trying to kill Christians, but in some way I could say I started to believe after 60.000 km around the World feeling I was being too lucky to be just by chance. But this is a very intimate experience and I am not going to tire you telling it. Just what I am gonna say is I visited the Catholic Cathedral in Tashkent (a good example of courage under soviet dictatorship) and my bike and me got blessed by the bishop. It is not a bad excuse riding 12.000 km from Spain just to get blessed in Central Asia.

Reaching Sarmakand was the point. After stopped five times in every check point by curious policemen, finally we could do the 300 km from Tashkent to Samarkand. When I saw the city lights in the late evening, I felt my trip had a real sense. I did not know it in advance but I had to go there and visit the 2500 years old Registan in front of the big Mosque. The Mosque is great as our beautiful Alhambra, but without the herds of turists walking around. Uzbekistan is an Islamic country but is not like others as Morocco, where you can not be alone just five minutes. In Samarkand I could seat by myself in the trees shadow and just seeing the old religious buildings and hearing the font music. I searched the ghost of the Spanish ambassador who came here in the Fifteenth Century. Then a non official guide approached to me. I asked him and he knew. He took me to a very small street named Ruiz Gonsalez de Klavixo. Ok, I got it. I am coming back home following more or less his way.

Bukharat. I think is even better than Samarkand. Smaller, with less grandiosity buildings, but here the mosques and mausoleums are located in the heart of the old town and the real people live among them. It is not decorate, is still real after 2500 years. It is a great experience riding the bike in very narrow streets trying to find a place to sleep. The sky is deep blue and the solitude is perfect. After the big hardness of Kazakhstan, this part of the trip is being so comfortable. Cheap hotels but friendly owners. Simple food but cold beer. Ok, it is easy to get fat here. I have to go. The Aral Desert is waiting again. I have to go back Kazakhstan and the way is horrible. No towns and no fill stations in more than 500 km. Just sand, tons of sand. Then the Caspian Sea, but the ferry has not fixed schedule so I could be waiting in Aktau for a long time. I will tell you anyway.

Keep safe