This is a trip of a lifetime...going by way of the Silk Road...planning, executing, having fun....all good challenges.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?
That people, for the most part, in this world are very helpful and can be trusted.
Norbert said that it had improved his view of people.
I can echo that statement.
WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
If I hadn't ever done it, YES. A second time, life is short and I must go on to other things. The challenge has been met.
WERE YOU SANE?
I think so, but one can not judge himself psychologically accurately.
DID YOU DO SOME GOOD
THE GO HELP charity will keep this excellent condition ambulance and use it for a obstetrics gynecology hospital in the city of Ulaanbaator.
WHAT WAS THE LOWEST POINT OF THE TRIP
Not getting across the Azerbaijan border easily, and not knowing where Norbert was when I thought our trip was finished if I had to get a flat-bed truck from Georgia (where I had no reentry visa) and could not go forward
WHAT WAS THE MOST JOYOUS MOMENT
The breakfast with the Azeri family the next morning, after we finally did get into the country of Azerbaijan
WHO WAS THE MOST HELPFUL TO YOU ON THE TRIP
ALAIN and SABINE, with friends Guenther and Chrystal in BELGIUM who outfitted us fully to make the trip, modifying space inside and putting two fuel cans outside on the rear doors.
SPECIAL FRIENDS FROM THE TRIP
Madeline of the Peace Corp in Turkmenistan was extremely welcoming and helpful in so many ways.
Seeing Dr. Burged (means "eagle") yesterday at the National Trauma Hospital in Ulaanbaator. He has been very helpful and will take us to the airport in minutes.
Rotary friends in Russia, including Ilya and Anna, made sure we had a hotel or hostel to stay in several cities.
Many people who waved us on the right path, innumerable times, so we could find our way.
FINALLY WHAT ABOUT TRAVELING SO LONG WITH SOMEONE YOU HAD JUST MET 3 TIMES BEFORE LEAVING?
Norbert and I have had so many discussions on every topic you can imagine, that we probably know each other better than anyone else, after our wives, who really know us the best.
Gradually, our various eating and sleeping patterns were worked out so we did not disturb the other. We are different people, yet both right brained, analytical, Germanic/Dutch personalities. And I think knowing each other has helped us understand ourselves better. We will be lifelong friends.
Sayonara, oh, that's from a country we did NOT get to this trip.
Thanks for sharing the experience.
Bob aka Robert and Norbert