23 July 2020 10:58
Prachtige foto's maken jullie 😊
mooi om te zien en jullie te volgen 🐕
We can hardly believe it ourselves: after many weeks of uncertainty, it's only a few days now until we set off on “4-Xtremes – The World Tour”, our three-year journey with the expedition Axor. Because the situation continues to be tricky, it will doubtless be different from what we are used to. We'll have to stick to all the hygiene rules and follow the news carefully. But we gladly pay that price, to finally be where we always feel happiest: on the road.
Maybe you remember: in the middle of March we went to the Mannheim Truck Center to have a two-day service done, the final touches to our truck before its journey. We planned to set off a few days later. But while we were in Germany, the borders were closed all over Europe and elsewhere. As you can imagine, at first we didn't know what to do.
We don't give up, so we had no alternative but to wait. After thinking about things a bit, we decided not to return to Switzerland but instead to use the time for a tour around Germany. We got information about all the rules and regulations of the individual states and chose our destinations accordingly.
For example, we went to the southern Harz and looked at Schloss Marienburg near Hanover. In Saxony we were at least able to get a glimpse of the Bastei Bridge in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. And in the triangle where Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia meet, we discovered the Black Moor. There the police checked us. The police officers assured us we weren't disobeying any regulations and that thanks to our method of travelling – only the two of us and avoiding any gatherings – we were well protected.
“The last months have shown us more clearly than ever how free we are thanks to our expedition Axor.”
– Andrea and Mike Kammermann
That meant the lockdown actually had a plus side for us: we now know the country that borders us to the north better. Also, we've never travelled as slowly as we did there. We mainly spent three or four days in one place and then we only moved on 20 or 30 kilometres. For us that was a completely new, really relaxed style of travelling.
After five weeks, we decided to return to Switzerland. The situation had given us extra time to prepare for our world trip, and we wanted to use it. In this phase, we changed our route daily – without knowing what was going to be possible or when. It was extremely hard to get up-to-date reliable information.
But one thing is now sure: first we're heading for the North Cape. That way we can experience the summer and autumn in Scandinavia and other European countries. For one thing, we assume that in view of the current situation, Europe will be easiest to travel through. And for another, we can expect pleasant temperatures.
After that, we have two options: either we travel via Turkey, which Mike is now allowed to go to as from August, following a ban due to a visa problem; and then via Iran to the Arabian Peninsula and Africa. Or we'll ship the truck to South America. We'll decide which option to go for depending on the current situation. That means we have to keep up to date and always be flexible.
Other planned destinations are still: crossing the American continent all the way to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska right in the north, and driving from the far east of Russia via central Asia to Europe. Time will tell what order we will do all this in, and where “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” will finally end.
The last months also had another good side to them: they showed us more clearly than ever how free we are thanks to our expedition Axor. In Switzerland and Germany we pumped water out of rivers and lakes. We have more than enough electricity for our needs and we only had to buy food. We last refuelled over a month ago as we've done so few kilometres. On metalled roads, a tank can take you all of 3000 kilometres.
We also have a new companion on board: a bicycle we purchased for 30 euros that makes shopping for small quantities easier. We'll have to do plenty of that during our three-year “World Tour”. As you can imagine, we're really looking forward to seeing new places, hearing languages we've never heard before, eating local delicacies, meeting fascinating people – and just being on the move again.