13,300 km done! Northeast India and Myanmar


In less than a month, I have managed to cover 2000 km. A good portion of it has been cycled in the company of Matt and Becky from England, who you will know I have had the pleasure of riding with several times on this trip already. Coming out of Nepal I had quite a bit of hills, but nothing too bad. It was then time for another stretch of flat Indian plains. I had been told by fellow cyclists that the northeastern part of India was a lot more chilled out and calm than the northwestern counterpart. And though it was definitely cleaner and less crowded, the amount of attention in the part of India way surpassed anything I have had up until now. Every time we stopped, we would gather a massive crowd in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. Especially one instance was extreme. We stopped to buy a coke in a small village. The village was set along a fairly busy highway. As we stopped, everyone around us came over to look at us and get selfies. The crowd gathered ended up more or less blocking the highway, so a massive traffic jam occurred. We quickly decided to get going, and just as we did, a guy on a motorcycle had his eyes so firmly fixed on us that he crashed right into a local cyclist leaving them both on the ground. Our presence literally put the locals in danger!


We had some really long days on the bike, covering some big distance thanks to flat. We set up camp one night in the jungle, had a bonfire, and cooked some food. Becky even managed to bake a really good loaf of bread on the campfire! Anyway, in the night around midnight I woke up feeling ill and ended up vomiting several times. I think it was due to a strange berry I ate given to me by a local guy. The morning after we set off on a 60 km ride to the next city. I was completely empty, but eventually made it to a hotel where I would relax for a couple of nights. Matt and Becky set off onwards to Nagaland and Manipur. They wrote me a message telling me the road was very dusty, but I didn’t think much of it. When it was my turn to set off, I realized just how dusty a mess it really was. At times I could barely breathe from trucks whipping up dust in all directions. My bike and I was completely covered. Often, I would have to get off and walk since it was to deep a layer to cycle through. Also, it was very hilly and hot, so super strenuous. I was also hit by a car on one of the few good pieces of road! The car pulled right in to me while I was cycling at full speed, making the bike jump out to the side. Somehow, I managed to keep my balance, so no harm done. A few days later I met Matt and Becky once again, this time at the border to Myanmar. We joined forces and went in. Shortly after, we met two German cyclists, and so we ended up cycling along the five of us. On our very first night in Myanmar we were invited to stay at a Buddhist Monastery. The monks made us feel very welcome and prepared a massive feast for us.


The day after I split up from the group as I was heading towards Mandalay and the rest were going for Bagan. The road leading straight to Mandalay was marked as a minor road on most maps, but I decided on giving it a shot anyway. That was a massive mistake. The road turned out to be by far the toughest road of my trip so far. Extremely dusty and covered in pointy rocks. Also, it was very hilly and steep. The humid heat made the dust cling on to my skin, and I was feeling absolutely miserable. There was very little in the way of food and water stops along the way but passing Jeeps would often stop and hand me water. I ended up camping basically on the actual road, only to set off the day after for even more horrible roads and a massive steep climb. My wrists were killing me from pushing my bike up steep hills (it weighs over 45 kg), so I did not enjoy it one bit. When I finally made it to a hotel, I was feeling very hungover. Now in Mandalay I’ve given myself a few days off before I continue on south.


You might have been wondering why my post have become a lot more irregular. To be perfectly honest I’m struggling a bit at the moment. My motivation is very low, and I feel tired all the time. Think I might be losing a bit of weight too. I’m eating like a pig to combat that though. Anyway, to be perfectly honest I would rather be home than cycling right now, which is part of the reason I’ve been smashing out these really long days for a while now. The parts of the journey I had really been looking forward to are all behind me. I’m sure southeast Asia has lots to offer, but mentally I’m just really overwhelmed. I’m doing everything I can to get the most out of the energy I have left in me though.  In way it feels wrong to be complaining at all, because let’s face it, I’m living the dream of many people right now. I’ll just have to push on. I’ve got my sights set on going home in the first half of May. To be honest, having my sights set on home might be part of the reason I’m struggling. Mentally I’m preparing to get home, but I am well aware that I have still got almost 5000 km to cycle. 5000 km is a long way in this heat! I’ve still got experiences ahead of me that I am looking forward to. The beach in Thailand, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and crossing the Equator on Sumatra just to name a few. So, it’s a matter of sucking it up, and moving on. After all, I’m not just cycling for the pleasure of it.


As you should know by now, I’m cycling for the Association for Greenlandic Children. After an article in a Danish newspaper a few weeks ago, I’ve received quite a few donations meaning we have now hit 33,000 DKK! That’s almost 4500 Euro! So thank you to everyone who has helped in making it happen. We’ve still got 17,000 DKK to go till we hit the target, but I feel confident that we will be able to do it. Everything helps! If you want to know more about the fundraising efforts and the exact cause I’m cycling for, please click on the donate link below. And please do spread the word and donate as much or as little as you can! THANK YOU!

Emil Hvidtfeldt