On the road. The Longest Way

The Fear – start in Usu

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It was the summer of 2012. My books “The Longest Way” and “China Zu Fuß” had just come out, and there was only one place where I wanted to be: on the road.

REHAGE_BLOG_013I felt very scared though, mainly because of that episode with the police in Usu back in 2010.

I talked to my friends about it, and they said I needn’t worry. I should just grab my beloved Caboose and go for a nice walk, they told me.

So I decided to do that.

After all, the Gobi was still out there. The mountains were still out there. Everything was still out there. And the Caboose was waiting.

REHAGE_001-2My buddy Lei Sheng, who had been keeping the Caboose for me, drove me to the place where I had left off in 2010.

It was August 8th, a Wednesday, and it was early in the morning. Lei Sheng, who wasn’t only a martial artist but also a man with a very good temper, told me jokes on the way to help me deal with my nervousness.

Then we arrived.

We unloaded the Caboose from the truck and packed her up with my stuff. We did everything very quickly, and we didn’t talk much. Then we hugged, and I got on my way, leaving the place behind where the police had kept me two years earlier.

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It was hard to believe that I was out on the road again.

I walked 40km that day. First out of fear, because I wanted to get as much distance between me and the police as possible. Then out of joy. And then because I couldn’t find a place to stay.

When I arrived in a tiny settlement that night, I felt shattered. My body ached, my feet hurt.

I prepared a bowl of hot water to soak my feet. I held my breath, let them sink into the water and felt the hotness prick my skin like thousands of needles.

Then I breathed out, knowing that there was nothing to fear.

Blog entry from that day: The Longest Way – Secrets From The Road

A video of our drive to the starting point: