Around the world on a bicycle in eight years is proving to be a fascinating experience for Keiichi Iwasaki
IMAGINE TRAVELLING across the globe for eight years on a bicycle! That is just what 31-year-old Keiichi Iwasaki has set out to do. Hailing from Gunma, Maebashi City, near Tokyo, Iwasaki began his journey on April 15, 2001, and hopes to go on till 2009. He has already been through Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Tibet, Nepal and Bangladesh, before entering India.
Here, he has already crossed Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka. He was in Chennai a couple of days ago after visiting Kanchipuram before moving on Mahabalipuram and the rest of the State. After that he will be riding to Kerala via Kanyakumari.
An a/c engineer by profession, he has dreamt of going places, meeting people and understanding different cultures. "I can, of course, go by air and it takes much less time. But that will take me only to the major cities. But on a cycle, I can go into interior areas and meet more people," said Iwasaki. So far he has had a few mishaps; his bike was stolen in Hong Kong and the second one broke in Bangkok. However, the people bought him a new one. In India, he has been able to manage with English in the cities, though it was not very easy to follow his accent. But in the rural areas he is completely at a loss. "The people have been kind and friendly everywhere. I have no reservation about the type of food, and wherever I went people were happy to feed me. I was initially scared about visiting China; but once I got there, I found the people friendly and peace loving." Generally, he spends the nights in a tent, pitched by the roadside. On his return home after covering Pakistan, Iran, UAE, Turkey, Europe, Africa, America and Canada, Iwasaki plans to write a book about his experiences.
Send this article to Friends by