Leric Wemkensten


Leric Wemkensten

After two heavenly but very hot summers and two Fantastic but freezing winters in Berlin, it´s time for us to come back to the more moderate temperatures of New Zealand! But before we settle back down to the hum of cicadas and debate whether it´s time to start culling cats, we will have to tough it out a little longer as we have decided to travel from Berlin to Bangkok. Overland.

Here you can see if we survive!

Xxx Leah and Eric

Asia » China » Sichuan » Mianyang October 7th 2013

We hop on our train to Urumqi, China, and are pleasantly surprised to find there is no one else in our cabin. We spread out our stuff, plug in the computer and spend the next 30 hours watching movies, sleeping, eating junk food and watching the desert out the window. On arriving in Urumqi we quickly realize we are now in China. Until now we haven’t really experienced any major culture shocks. Each country has seemed to have flowed quite nicely onto the next, but here everyone stares at you, anything you can imagine is being sold on the sidewalks and the streets are exceptionally crowded. We find the one hostel in the city. It´s nice enough but smells a lot like stale piss and nearly everyone happily spits on the floor, which I hear we ... read more
sleeper train
Double Rainbow
Gobi Desert

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Yssyk Kol August 29th 2013

We arrive in Bishkek after a thankfully smooth marshutka trip. It is fast and easy to get our Visas at the border and in no time we arrive at our hostel, where we receive a warm welcome from Marcus, Fred, Jule and Werner. Leah unfortunately has a stomach bug the first two days so she takes it easy at the hostel while the others and I explore the city. Bishkek is another obviously communist city and the old Soviet Union leaders are still imprinted in the minds of the Kyrgyzstani people. You still see numerous sculptures of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin situated around the city. I went to the Mikhail Frunze Museum, to learn a bit about the Kyrgyz history. Sadly most of the descriptions were written Kyrgyz or Russian so I was unable to ... read more
Family celebrations in the hills
The Germans

Asia » Kazakhstan » East Kazakhstan » Almaty August 22nd 2013

We have a nice and easy going flight from Tbilisi to Almaty. During our time on board we can see the Caspian Sea, the long never ending Kysylkum Desert and the remains of the Aral Lake. The distance is around 3000km and the flight only takes three and a half hours. Looking at the map it´s amusing to realize that we have just spent the last five months covering the same distance overland. Before arriving in Almaty we had found a Couch surfing host Veronica, a friendly Kazakh girl who actually grew up in Mexico, lived the last 10 years in Dubai and has come back to live where she originally comes from. She is living in a very impressive penthouse apartment with a lovely view of the lake, the mountains that surround Almaty and the ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan August 11th 2013

Since Turkey the bus trips have been quite daunting, fast drivers over taking purely on luck. We hope our bus ride to Yerevan will be a bit smoother but it turns out to be the worst one yet. We wait three hours in the marshutka before it departs (they have no time schedule, they only leave when the bus is full) Two hours before we are meant to arrive the bus suddenly stops. We look out of the window to see the aftermath of a terrible accident, another marshutka has crashed with a large truck. People come towards us covered in blood; we quickly try to gather up the bottles of water from our marshutka to bring to the wounded and we start making our way to the accident to see if there is anything we ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi August 4th 2013

We thought the drama on the bus from Thesseloniki to Istanbul would be hard to top but we were unfortunately wrong. The bus drive from Istanbul to Tbilisi is very chaotic. We have no idea what the drama is about but there are a lot of people screaming at each other, a few tears and an intimidated attendee trying to keep the peace. We try to sleep but the man near us starts thrashing around violently. We jump up to help him, thinking he is having a heart attack but he eventually comes around and explains that he suffers from bad night terrors. He falls asleep again and during another episode his neighbour accidently gets a good punch in the face. The bus ride is supposed to take twenty five hours but ends up taking thirty ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Kadıköy August 4th 2013

Turkey part two! We arrive back in Istanbul. Nothing much seems to have changed apart from there being a lot more Ataturk flags hanging around. Other than that everybody seems to be going about things as usual. We make our way to Seljuk´s, Our couch surfing host, for the next few days. We call him when we arrive. He lets us know he is on his way home from the European side but it will take at least a couple of hours to get across the bridge due to major transport disruptions caused by the police cordon around Taksim. We are a bit worried it will be the same when Margit and Ronald arrive and we hope it won´t stop us seeing Istanbul with them. Seljuk arrives a couple of hours later and lets us know ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 1st 2013

After many sad goodbyes we head off to find the bus that will be taking us from Thessaloniki to Istanbul, a 10 hour bus ride. We leave at 9pm expecting we will be able to sleep and wake up happily in what the Greeks still call Constantinople. Everyone seems to be full of energy on the bus, we hope they will settle down so we can get some sleep but when we arrive at the boarder at 2am everyone is still as energetic as ever. They all get off hurriedly and rush off to do some duty free shopping, getting back on with a lot of alcohol and cigarettes which they all trade to make sure they are not taking more then legally allowed. We give up on resting and arrive very sleepy in Istanbul at ... read more
Dolphin in the Bosphorus
Market Day!

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki May 8th 2013

We left sad to leave the rolling hills and sadder to say goodbye to the engaging people we had met in Serbıa but also excited to be heading towards the sea, which we both hadn't seen in well over a year. On the bus leaving Plananıcıa we met Soran, we enjoyed sharing stories and he recently sent us an inspiring poem describing our meeting. We arrived in Nisa few hours later and started investigating how we would get to Greece. There were two trains leaving early the next morning. One to Skopje, Macedonıa and the other to Sofıa, Bulgarıa but still we had no idea if we could easily get to Greece from either of those places. Erıc had a gut feeling that Sofıa would be our best bet so at 2am we boarded a very ... read more

Europe » Serbia » East » Zajecar May 1st 2013

We already had a woofing place organized for Greece starting on the 9th of may and seeing as it was only mid April we thought it would be good to find a place to go for a week in either Bulgaria or Serbia. We were conflicted between two places, a hippy hostel in Bulgaria or a family in Serbia. At the last minute the Bulgarian place cancelled so Serbia it would be! We asked about the easiest way to get to Belgrade from Timisoara and it seemed the only option would be a train that strangely went all the way back to Budapest before heading to Serbia. It seemed the only way would be to hitchhike. We had no trouble flagging down a car as there was a Ramstein gig that night in Belgrade and we ... read more
Center of Belgrade - buildings of Police and Army Headquarters, after NATO bombing
The house of friends we made in the vilage.
Eric playing guitar in the sunshine.

Europe » Romania » Banat April 8th 2013

Everyday for the last month has been jam packed and we have only just had the chance to sit down with enough time to write about Romania. We quickly noticed that most of the people living in Romania are very open and friendly and curious to talk to foreigners. On the train ride from Budapest we were quickly greeted by Alex, he was originally from Romania but working for M.T.V in Budapest. Purely for fun he was coming back to organize a road trip for a few tourists wanting to see Transylvania. We spent the train ride looking at some Beautiful places he was planning on taking them. I had just been reading a book about an Englishman learning to live in a small village in Transylvania and had been really moved by the way he ... read more
Walters apartment.
Romulus and Remus.
Kiwis in Romania

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