The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag driving

Baishuihu, 11:26 am

tall grass line the road and poke up through the cracks. Low waves, little more than ripples on the pond's surface, lap the edges of the asphalt. The ride is bumpy, every now and then I have to slow down to a crawl to avoid hitting a large pot hole too hard, and the weeds keep rubbing against the sides of the car as I go along. It feels like I'm the first person to drive here for many years. The road is long enough that I can't actually see if it connects to anything at the other end or if it gets swallowed up by the water somewhere up ahead. I really hope that it goes all the way across because it's so narrow it would be really hard to turn around. The thought that I might have to drive the entire distance in reverse flashes through my mind but I brush it off and press on. A sensible person would never go down a road like this, but there's something about the dilapidates state of it, as well as the fact that I can't see where it ends, that imbues the place with a sense of adventure and compels me to steer my car down it, heading towards the unknown.

Road B327, Germany, 5:12 pm

The fog is so thick, I can barely see the road ahead of me, it's like driving through paint diluted in water. All I can see is the red glow from the tail lights of the car in front and the swirling mists, lit up by my head lights, bright white against inky darkness of the forest. Dry leaves keep falling from the branches above, mixing in with the fog as it flows around the car like smoke in the breeze, sweaping up and over windscreen or creeping along the sides, only just revealing the next few meters of asphalt. I concentrate, focusing on what little I can see of the white lines along the edges and that glow up ahead in order to not go flying off the road. Part of me thinks thi is crazy, wants to slow down, but part of me wants to stick to that other car, let it guide us through this soup like an ever moving beacon. I choose the latter and keep a steady pace, that red glow at a constant distance, but one thought keeps spinning through my mind: this is just ridiculous.

Fictionalizing the News No. 12: Late Night Trucking

The dashboard clock showed 3:05 am, he tried to suppress a yawn then reached over and grabbed his cup of coffee. He took a swig of the drink, replaced the cup in the cup holder then stared out through the wind shield. He was alone on the road, not a single vehicle in sight, and all he could see was was the stretch of road lit up by the truck's headlights and beyond that, darkness. The window was already open but he rolled it down even further,  and opened the one on the  passenger side as well. The cool night breeze, now blowing straight through the cab of his truck, made him feel refreshed and he could concentrate on the road once more...continue reading

Baroda highway 6:15 pm

Me and my colleagues are in the chartered car heading back towards our hotel; speeding through the Indian landscape, low bushes and dusty yellow grass on both sides, the setting sun hanging like a glowing orange ball in front of us. I’m in the passenger seat, relaxed, leaning my arm on the door handle, a black market beer in my hand watching the landscape flow past – bloody brilliant!… Read the rest

Road in Nantou 5:11 pm

We are rolling down a road that snakes down the mountain, bamboo forests on both sides. Lances of warm yellow light from the low hanging sun cut through the forest, gilding the slender stalks of the bamboo and making the leaves glow golden. An insignificant moment of beauty but precious all the same.… Read the rest

Road 54, noon

As soon as the road entered the mountains the fog descended. As we climb higher it gets thicker and I find myself unconsciously slowing the car down as visibility shrinks to just tens of meters. I hunch forward over the steering wheel and peer into the milky nether, searching out the curve of the road and the least sign of an oncoming car. My focus is heightened partly from fear of flying off the road, partly from excitement at the risk. My wife beside me is scared but the sense of danger has me smiling.… Read the rest

Road 54, 3:19 pm

All morning we drove through relatively tame terrain, rolling hills of green pastures and fields, the mountains in the background less steep than normal, without snow on the tops and even some swatches of green climbing the slopes. Since around noon, the surrounding landscape has gotten increasingly wild, the pastures giving way to yellowish moss, a few crags and small waterfalls here and there. Then the crags started increasing in number, sprouting large cliffs of stones-like pillars on both sides and the ground becoming covered in brown shrubs with shifting green leaves. We finally started climbing along the edge of … Read the rest

Fjords and gravel roads

Today has been a day of driving, but in Iceland that’s not necessarilya bad thing. Going along the countryside roads and seeing this fantastic landscape in all its glory from the comfort of the car is great. We really only stopped a few times to stretch our legs and snap a few shots of the spectacular view.

We took the coastal road, zigzaging as it follows the line of the fjords. The mountains tumble into the sea and the road hugging the edge all the way. It seems people universally find mountains and water to be beautiful and with such … Read the rest

Road no. 1, 4:27 pm.

We’ve just left the coastal road and turned back onto the main road. We climb higher up the mountains and then, as we come around a tight corner, the road opens up into a sort of narrow water chute valley, the road running along the valley floor and the sides rising gently just meters from the road. There is snow coming down from the peaks both right and left, flowing down the slope almost all the way to the banks of the road, big blotches of bare earth here and there in a sort of gigantic camouflage pattern. The sun … Read the rest

Road number 1 north of Höfn, 12:20 pm

The surrounding landscape is littered with crags and cliffs, tendrils of the mountain creeping out onto the plane. The road winds it’s way through a maze of rock, around tight turns, up steep hills, down sweeping slopes and through narrow passages, high cliffs on both sides. It’s a real rollercoaster ride through the stunning landscape.… Read the rest

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