Friday, December 30, 2011

Van with no name

Horse with no name by America on Grooveshark

Big contest :

We are looking for a name, any ideas ? (a surprise for the winner)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rain and Fog

The call of the road, that's the true thing. 

You feel the shiver of the departure when you start your motorbike in the morning.
Everything is still covered with dew,
the tent is a bit wet,
cows wake you up,
you surface and in two minutes you're driving in surrounded by mountains and paddy fields.

The call of the rain, it's a bit harder.
You feel the cold water going right through your clothes while you're driving your motorbike in the morning.
Your shoes are still soaked from the day before and are making weird noises when you walk,
your clothes have a rate of 100% humidity.
There's more water than cotton in your underpants,
your hands are numb,
you prefer not to think of the moment you'll have to pitch the tent in the mud.

The call of the bus, it's a bit more dangerous.
You don't really hear it coming and it appears suddenly in front of you, honking and overtake in a bend on a mountain road.
You don't really fool around when you're stuck between two trucks on a slippery road, neither when you're driving in the fog in a mountain where there is certainly oxes crossing the road just for fun.
We've seen death, but it's ok.
We've been close to it...still ok.
We caressed was sexy.
After that we were friends and came closer.
Finally she's not really good company so we ran away !


We stopped our engines at Da Nang and unwillingly sold Loraine and Le Tavernier, then we took the night bus to Saigon.
Dear Honda Dream II, we won't forget you ! We'll think about you next week, when we'll be around Darwin, Australia to look for new companions with wheels (or turborocket).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wooden planes...

Rah !

Our hosts were really nice and we lingered on this morning it was cool ! But we had to set out for Nürnberg. And as we're professionals to survive in the suburbs we got lost while looking for the motorway (I have to stop and think not to write in English or German) and as you're never know what could happen, we found a chinese and an american ! Both living in Germany. So we ate again and drank more coffee (no, Pierre will not overcome his addiction). One of them was from Shangai and the other from Texas ! Great girl she makes wooden planes. Not « models » but real « WOODEN PLANES » which can fly with a pilot. Really cool. In the end they showed us the right way and as soon as we arrived we've been taken to Heilbroon (half way).

Well ! We're resting by the river.

Clément, le 02/08/2011


Monday, December 5, 2011

La quiche à la moustache

Xi Chao !

We're starting with sad news ; it's with tear in the eye that we're announcing that we're parting from...Belette™. It was the 24th of November 2011, it was a sunny day and a light breeze was blowing against the pointy mountain of Guilin. This morning, the ignition keys of this temperamental changed hands.

She went away limping for the chinese countrysite so carry six times her weight in wood, straw, rice, and other chickens !

It was a transaction worthy of the biggest black market, eased by the owners and employees of ou Guest House in Guilin who accomodated us for nothing.

In a way its probably better that she explodes in the hands of someone else ! Until the last day we drived her into a corner by leaving for a road trip by the river Li.

Our only salvation was the train and bus to cross the Vietnamese border to go to Ha Noi, where we currently are.

We had to to go to Ho Chi Minh city...To clear our minds we went kayaking and camp in Ha Long bay, more precisely around the island of Cat Ba (and even more precisely on the map)

When we came back, only one solution presented itself to us : 

Thank you, thank you for your support, it gave us the strengh (and enabled us) to do it, to add two new friends to our journey and to be free !

Let me introduce you to Lorraine and Le Tavernier ! 

They will endure the road between here and Saignon, using the old Ho Chi Minh track bombarded by more than 390k-tons of american bombs dropped by B52. Plus the 18000km and trillion of moskitos blood thirsty.

See you in 10 days (or more...)

War by Edwin Starr on Grooveshark

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Carnets de voyage

I slept well, nothing new this morning. A couple of young musicans picked us up. They were heading toward Stuttgart to rehearse for a play. They invited us over so we could have a shower and do our laundry. Now I'm waiting for Pierre while listening to them rehearsing.

We got on well with other people living in the house (it's big). I didn't get all the relationships but it's cool. There are music instrulments in every room. We've been offered to sleep here, we'll leave the bags and visit the city without the 20kg.

Clément, le 01/08/2011

Small anecdote from Casey, american living in Ukraine (from Florida to Zhetomyr).
Having some difficulties pronouncing Ukrainian.

One day when he wanted to ask if people had a good week end he was in fact saying that he was pregnant.

The two expressions are quite close in Ukrainian but I can't remember them so I won't be able to give you the example.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Carnets bavards...

Today I feel like a million bucks, I'm gonna continue my story from where I left it.

So this 64years old woman invited us over before we could spend anything.

We were really tired but they rolled out the red carpet for us. A delicious meal, of more than 3 hours, with « red champagne ».

I'd better tell you right now when it's the only thing you have it goes straight up to your head. She was never at loss for words, her daughter on the other hand barely spoke english or french. It was hard to keep the conversation going and my cheeks hurt even more than my legs from smiling so much.

In the end she went to sleep to her daughter's and left us her flat. The night was refreshing and the plums we found the day before had a good difestive effect. After a long breakfast we headed to Karlsruche. We got there in three hours and here we are in a park, near a huge medieval fair.

We finished the bread and apples our host gave us and the cucumber given by a passer-by while we were hitchiking. Still nowhere to sleep tonight but you never know what could happen...

I don't know what to write.
I'm only telling a tiny bit of our days and I'm not too descriptive. I need to let go a bit. Our days are long but full, we don't have much time to write.

In the end, we moved away from the city on advices of a group of Punk who gave us cigarettes. We've been hitchiking unsuccessfully and found a small garden for the tent. We also inaugurated the camping stove and ate a delicious rice without salt, without taste.

At least the grass is comfortable.

Clément, 31/07/2011

Pibhe / Rivne

Today the 24th of August we have, in chronological order :

  • learnt the history of the mental paranoia of the majority of Ukrainians
  • eaten delicious pastries
  • hitchiked our first ride in Ukraine
  • seen policemen corruption
  • sold my first drawing
  • eaten strings of smoked cheese
  • drunk beer
  • sung french songs
  • drunk coffee with liquor
  • smoked small cigarettes
  • eaten a watermelon on a soviet tank
  • had a great evening thanks to Taras

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Apparently, the presence of cats is not a sign of a good evening.

This morning, amazing breakfast, we arrived in Freiburg just fine. A truly beautiful city, with streams all over the town centre. Kids are pulling boats by strings like its their dogs. Here when you have to hide to read a map otherwise you're attacked by people who want to help. We spent money for the first time, bread for lunch. Then we hiked on the side of the city (just to flagellate ourselves by carrying 20kg whil climbing). Apparently a party was getting started up there and as we didn't have anywhere to sleep we thought we might find someone nice there.

Torn by hunger we went shopping first, but when we were about to enter, a woman, speaking french, invited us for dinner with her daughter and to sleep at her place.

I'm too tired to carry on, the rest of the story is for tomorrow.
Clement 30/07/2011 

Hitchiking anecdote :

Yesterday while we were hitchiking, we stopped near a bus stop under a scorching heat. I went peeing to the gas station nearby and meanwhile Clement was staying there with the sign saying « MEDIKA » (on the Ukrainian/Polish border). When i came back, the picture of the year was in front of me !
Clement on the other side of the road, sideways on, with his piece of cardboard. And behind him



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Carnets, extraits...

Few days of rest in Rezersznow, Poland (pronounce the ''Jerchouf' » ! Yep dude !) before crossing the Ukrainian boarder.
Encounter with Joanna ; Pavel and Ruud. Discovery of the Backpackers community .
Tiring !

Tiring !

Pff my back is hurting badly. We walked and walked (plus Pierre tries to sing). We struggled a bit to get out of Solothurn this morning, after going in circles for a bit and 1hour of hitchicking, a couple who was supposed to advertise for....whatever it was ! They were physical stereotypes ! Anyway they took pity of us while we were eating cheese in a gas station. Few conversations in french, interrupted by arguments in german, later and we're in Basel.

The quest to find a BNP cash machine to activate Pierre's (yes him again!) card began there. We walked and walked and found nothing. So we walked again (town was great though) but towards the french boarder this time ! (especially when you're by the Rhine) Our quest ended in Saint Louis at 4.30pm only. Awesome !
So we had lots of time to find accomodation for the night !

Anyway, we walked. We were offered coffee (pierre almost bit the poor grandpa when he heard the word « coffee »). afterwards it was crappy offers after crappy offers but the people were nice. We still had nothing at 8 but have earned 6.50 euros and Pierre lead by the caffeine need made us cross the German border. At 10pm we knock at a door to ask if putting our tent on the parking nearby was a problem. But we ended up in a bed with cookies and coffee (we even had a shower ! )

no cat here...mmh...

Cléments  29/07/2011


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moustach and Motobike

Hey Hey par ici !

Finally a picture of the belette (weasel) ! It's not so easy to find a place with proper internet and proxy to access the blog !

Where were we...oh yeah ! We went on the belette(weasel) the « man looking in the mirror, house » (烟台, Yantai) to go to « eight, squid »(日照, Rizhao). As you can see inbetween we learnt how to read chinese, which is quite useful to read signs and the chinese map we have. We defeated the rain... and we thought it was hard ! So we found equipment against the cold. And boom heading to « house, staircase and smiley » (合肥, Hefei), then we've been to « coffee mill, apple box » (南昌, Nanchang) then « plam-tree toss j, beta eight » (衡阳, Hengyang) where we took those pictures.

Its true that on the road we had small problems, a flat tire, we lost the exhaust, the engine does whatever he wants, the kick is …., the battery died ages ago (anyway she was only useful for the honk, the rest didnt work) we changed things without knowing what they were ! As long as its going we cant stop in a garage to ask as if its working we cant explain whats wrong.

So we've been thinking ...and now that we're arriving in the beautiful county of Guangxi (i mean « step, window with curtains » (广西)) at « palm-tree dumbbells, palm-tree palm-tree  » (桂林, Guilin) which was our main objective (if you can see mountains here..look for Yangshuo county you'll see its amazing.) As its more expensive to fix the bike than to pay for the gas and that we havent heard lots of good about the chinese-vietnam border...

We're gonna sell it. Yep ! After 2900km ! It's sooner than planned and we only decided that about half an hour ago...but the idea is that we cant cross the border (no chinese licence, no chocolate, no vietnamese person, no metacarpus) and the more we drive the more it's falling apart. But it doesnt mean we're done, it'll help us visit the county and we'll say goodbye with a big fire in the tank. (that' ll be payback). Or, selling it could be good as well. But we need a guy who would be at least as crazy as we are. 

The pictures you can see in that post were taken by our host Russel, who initiated us to chinese hiking, with his son Andy who initiated us (against his will) to crowds of « chinese students who have never seen a white before and follow them by hundreds ».

Sorry...Anyway project Ulule is coming to an end, we're almost there ! If you feel like helping, you're more than welcome to !

Big thank you to our followers and to the people helping running the blog !

You get a bonus ! The real-time (or almost) map of our itinerary until now, available on the right side of this website ! 


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Carnets, extraits...

Made at Rzeszow in Poland.

A comic from Pierre and a new text from Clément, 28/07/2011

Strips by pierre and a new text by clement the 28th of july 2011

This morning, guided tour of Bern by Ann. Gorgeous city, we've been offered a meal near the bears and we say goodbye with this discomfort of having nothing to offer. Heading towards Basel with a stop at Solothurn. A car stopped almost right away and its our first hitchiking with no french speaking. We'll need a list of synonyms for « gorgeous » to qualify all those cities. On the water's edge we're enjoying the peace of Solothurn.

(Pierre sings badly) ;
The rain surprised us around 7pm and after a few unsuccessful requests, we've been allowed to pitch the tent in a residence's garden. It's great, they even oppened a room with toilets and sink. A kid even brought us some cheese, bread and tomatoes. Even more suprising, two minutes later a kid from one of the house we unsuccessfully approached came with some pretzels. Maybe his parents came back meantime.

Here we are, tent pitched under a covered playground, eating cheese.

I don't know how much i'm weighting tonight, but a small white cat pussyfoot. If he'd come closer we would have feed him. For now, an evening with a cat is a good evening. May the cats protect us !!

(Pierre is eating all the pretzels!)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Carnets, extraits...

Berlin, at around 11-13 of August.

A drawing from Pierre (undated) and a text from Clement.


Tonight, already in Bern. I'm in a small photo studio, laid on a good mattress and i'm clean ! Absolute comfort and they put the cat out so i'm not worried by an eventual attack.

After a good breakfast we took the road direction Geneva then Annemasse. Our feet took us up til the north of Geneva. Obviously I have a back and legs (they hurt !). We thought we could go to Lausanne to find a refuge. But Jerome, an ex helicopter pilot in the swiss army arrived with his delivery truck.
Perfect ! He just finished his day and lived in Lausanne. I felt bad for only giving him a ''thank you'', but he took us up to Bern right by the door of Pierre's contact. I feel awful for the mere handshake he received.

Here we are in this room, after arriving unannounced, bellyfull. Robert and Anne were very welcoming, I'm writing it down to remember them. God knows my memory is drifting away.
I have a hard time using my camera, it seems like a waste of film. I guess it'll come in time. (Pierre is getting on my nerves with his coffee ! Fucking druggie !)
I'm using the rest of the page to write to myself that I should learn french, so I'll be less ridiculous when people read me.
Ah ! I weigh 67kg ! And here people are making pyramids of paper rolls in the toilets ! 


Monday, November 7, 2011

The amazing story of the Belette™

Nín hǎo !

Sorry, it's been a while since you've had news from us, due to the flood of information that fall on us everyday. We try to use every quiet moments to make a sorting of all these information.

Well, we're in China! A lot of things happened. Firstly, we ended up in Seoul, in great form! We enjoyed a quiet week with Jim, a relaxed couchsurfer. Nevertheless, this week has been busy; we have our Vietnamese visa!

The Vietnamese embassy (in any case the one of Seoul) has been a real shock for us compared with the embassy of China or Russia. That was 3 prefabs on a parking with the only thing for the security: a panel with written "no photo". That's less stressful and rather easy since we just had to fill in a paper and fork out the money. And, because in Korea 1 euro is about 1400 Won, when you line up 80 000 Won in a little office, lost on a parking, you have whiffs of mafia with large doses of Italian accent that overrun the place...

Some frights with the tickets for the ferry bound for China. Little free advice that was very useful: always have dollars on you, since they are accepted in every change office. Sometimes the cashpoints don't take the foreign cards and you're stuck without money (that was the case for us in South Korea and in China too, you must find the right cashpoint and that's not always translated into English...)

And now the big info! I don't have real picture but she looks like this:

It's not exactly the same as our Belette* but she looks like. The few differences are on the physic integrality. Ours doesn't have wing mirror. It's not very important because in China people drive very well (BULLSHIT! but it's not very useful because they honk all the time, to say "hey, I'm here and I'm not annoying!"). Ours doesn't have any nerdy stickers! However, she has an eagle in relief on the handles. Her customization is on-going, she's already dirty. Oh! I forgot, she doesn't have right brake handle (so, no front brake) since we had to use it to change the clutch handle... To sum up: Chinese stuff!

Despite the many stops due to technical problems, she had nevertheless engulfed the kilometers between Yantai and Rizhao (where we're currently), with a top speed of 50 km/h, just to not exceed the 7000 rpm.

(Do you believe this: they stick all the wiring in the front headlamp and thus when you turn it on, if you drive too long, the headlamp is too hot, and the cables melt! We had to change all the wiring... and I don't even talk about the rain...)

Her name is Belette* and she's beautiful! We have yellow helmets! And a blue tarp! And she hurts the buttocks! Contrary to what we could heard about China, people are nice and they don't try to bamboozle you all the time (otherwise they are very good) if you have a problem they'll help you. They are just bad drivers (yes I speak about you, the guy who has done a U-turn on a three-lane dual carriageway with a central wall. You wonder how it's possible? It's easy, all you have to do is a U-turn, and drive in the converse direction, what a stupid question!)

Sorry for not having real picture, normally, there is going to be a massive publication of our first photos soon and certainly other notes from our road journal. Sorry if the news are too few, but everyone has a lot of things to do.

We're fine! The winter is coming in China, we'll try to rush towards the south, next city: Hefei !

Pierre says : Dad, Mom, don't worry, it's not so dangerous as it seems to be! Just we don't know if we'll do it, alive!

Kisses !

*Belette means weasel in English.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First roll of Pierre


Berlin! The Holocaust memorial, in memory of the Jews murdered during the Holocaust, is a really schemer and interesting place. The site is covered with thousands huge blocks which vary in height but perfectly aligned, forming a lot of corridors, the whole on an undulating ground. Walking surrounded by all these blocks was just impressive.
The second picture is taken from the park and we can see the rear of the Brandenburg Gate.

A Little street of Bern in Switzerland, where we can do the statue. Here, a typical statue of Bern. It's one of Anne Bichsel's children, who had shown us the city and who had also accomoted us.

Bern, Switzerland. Just next to the station, the start of the guided tour.

Wroclaw, Poland. Big collage on an older building in the middle of a small island in the city. Seated on a banc we're counting the ducks, to let our legs recover from the visit of the town center (especially the Lego store and the museum of animation and optical illusions that made Pierre crazy).

Berlin and its giant graffiti walls.

Stuttgart, Germany. Again one of our good encounters, while we were trying to find our way to quit the city by hitch-hiking, we met this woman native to Texas (Shirley). She was with her Chinese lady friend, all of both living in Germany. She has invited us to have a drink before indicate us the right way.
As you can see, she works the wood, this picture is taken in her studio on the back of her house. She makes pieces of timber for planes (here for the wings), and not for the remote-controlled planes, no, for real planes with a pilot inside, and that totally rocks. A chance to have met them, not only for giving us a lot of information about their native country, but also after their indications we have waited only 5 minutes until someone takes us by hitch-hiking.

Wroclaw, Poland. The main square of the city, where the reckless scalpers try to sale their perfume to all the women who pass. We are stayed sitting down here to look at them, choosing their prey and changing their speech just for fun, no one speaks french here. Too bad for the black and white of the picture because this man wore a nice red shirt which stood out very well. Good luck guys!

Not far from Rzeszow, Poland. We were walking in this little town in search of our couchsurfing contact; over there we have met very welcoming people and two other travelers. The exchange was very interesting, we were and we are still novices. These guys had a lot of things to learn us, notably that with cheek and muck about failures we can offer to any shop, to work for them in exchange for food. And it's true.

Wroclaw, Poland. (Once again!) One of our last day over there. Our host, Jacek, had supplied us bikes for the day and we rode pretty much somewhere in the city. The last point of the day was to visit a japanese garden, but it was paying. So, we have looked throughout the wire fence and a bit further there was a big foutain. We recognize the place because last evening we were coming here, with Jacek and his two daughters, to watch a son et lumiere show.
The day, it's not as mad as it was the night, and it's transformed in a kind of Wroclaw Beach. You can't recognize me very well but it's me, sunbathing, rereading my note-book and complaining of my bad french.

Cottbus, Germany. Student flatsharing. That were the holidays, they were only 2 of 4 and they let us occupy the vacant beds. That was one of our first nights in seperate rooms and it was restful despite the alcohol and the trampoline. They had a great balcony overhanging the street. One of the best place for a coffe and a cigarette.

Berlin. The famous artists' squat, called "Kunsthaus". Maybe we have too much expected of it, it's more a tourist attraction than a real studio. A lot of trinkets to sell and a closed circle. It doesn't mean that it isn't interesting, if you pass around here, it's worth seeing.

quelques négatifs positifs, enjoy!
(color films coming soon)