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Tours, Still Winter.

Flag France

Saturday, March 05 2005

7 month, 11 days

Tours, France

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Land Rover 17,258km

Trekking 243km

Ferry 579km

Train 150km

Other cars 4.633km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm. > journey > europe > france > 20050305-tours

Leaving London

Map Vienna to Tours.

Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th of Feb Heidi and I drive to Cambridge and then further to the East-coast of England. I leave her in Stansted airport on Friday with a feeling that I would not see her for a while. That evening she takes a flight back to Vienna. London has become too expensive a place to hang about while readying oneself for the next step in life. It seems that it is her plan to find a cheap flight to Australia asap and spend time on her own. I'll see her again. That is sure! When and where is not!

The 6x6 unit that was supposed to having been fitted onto my Land Rover still does not work. "The problem seems to be with the gear company" says Paul Foley. A whole patch of gears they produced seem to be too large, thus give too much friction which results in a noise that should not be there. So another week goes by. Heidrun has left me and I am staying behind for another weekend in Roydon/Essex/the UK near Harlow, a place I don't want to be anymore. And winter still prevails here with temperatures down to minus 10°C at night.

Monday 28th of Feb: The gears-company has acknowledged their mistake has reground the gears over the weekend. The engineering firm has fitted them to the differential and they seem to work well. "They're sending the box over now. You'll be on your way tonight" says Paul Foley with a big smile. He clearly has surprised me. Later that afternoon I hit the road with the magic box underneath that I have been waiting for so long. No noise. Africa seems in reach.

I have to do a thousand kilometres or so to test the vehicle. I drive north to Colchester to meet Stephen who I have met when walking the West-Highland Way in summer. Next day I drive all the way West to Wales and back. Still no noise and no leaks.

Paul and Stuart Foley
Foleys brothers, Paul and Stuart.

Wednesday after a final check at Foley's Paul and Stuart Foley wave me goodbye. They have become a bit like friends. They have done so much to the my Land Rover, their advice has been invaluable and the work of their staff extremely professional. All the time when we worked on the 6x6 differential problem, which was particularly embarrassing for Paul I never felt that I should not trust him. Paul, who has spent 7 years in Africa is a man who knows his stuff.

I leave London. John Lennon is on. Imagine's the first song. Wow! Coincidence? Imagining what may come I reach Dover amidst heavy snowfall. Winter it seems wants to stay in England for ever this year. But I am out of here. In Dover I have my personal goodbye with England by enjoying probably the best fish and chips I have had for quite many month and a light, fresh, pale Titanic what-ever bitter. Later I take the ferry to Dunquerque, France.

leaving London amidst bad weather
Weather is miserable, when I leave.
Boarding ferry to France
Let's escape to France.

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Tours and a very old friend

Land Rover and snow
Winter that you can't escape.
Birgit and son Kilian
Kilian, Birgit

It snows much in France. While the police closes the motorway for heavy traffic I am waved through and have the opportunity to test the 6x6 driving capabilities. I spend the night near Abbeville. It is cold outside but not so much inside. Lots of snow seems to work as some kind of isolation.

Via Rouen and LeMans I reach Tours in the afternoon of Thursday the 3rd of March and meet Birgit and her children Kilian and Oceane. It has been about 20 years since I have last seen Birgit. And a couple of nights over a few bottles of French red and a few Pastis we delve into memories about those old days in Vienna.

News on the Land Rover front. The 6x6 unit leaks. It turns out the seals are of the wrong size. It is Friday and then Saturday I cannot get my hands on all the seals I want and need. Planning ahead I envision to see another garage in Madrid. I am pretty cool about all that. It is more important to understand how and why things work and most important I want and will make them work.

Sunday morning I leave Tours. Key in Madrid on my GPS. 1.047km. Massive Attack is on. Bordeaux 360km away. Crossing the River Gironde from Royan to Le Verdun sur Mer it is the first time that winter is no more. The warm gentle breeze fells good, fells like I am heading to the right direction.

Land Rover in Sunset light on Roade to Spain
Road to Spain.
ms in sunsetlight, road to Spain
Sunset is warm, winter is over.

After Bordeaux the police stops me. For speeding!? 77km/h. 85Euros, the gendarme wants. But he is interested in the car and my plans.

In the end he says: "Pay 85Euros to a little African". He is letting me off not without making me promise a couple of times to actually do so. La vie est belle. I put the Embrace on: All you good good people.... The great sunset and the warm temperatures make me shiver. I am looking forward to my future life. > journey > europe > france > 20050305-tours

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