Archive for 2013年十一月

Kung fu guy's African roadtrip

By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily Africa)

At a time many urbanites around the world are being pushed to take to the bicycle amidst rising awareness about the environment and physical fitness, Du Fenyan's ambition extends to far, far more.

He has spent nearly two years riding through 22 countries across most of Africa and parts of Asia, enjoying an experience he will never forget.

When Du cycled on country roads in Ethiopia, his ears were bombarded with passionate greetings from local people who called him Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan or Jet Lee, the three most popular and recognizable martial art masters in the remote African countryside.

"They always asked questions like whether Bruce Lee was still alive as they just watched him on TV the day before," laughs the 27-year-old Du, whose face looks healthy and tanned from the hundreds of days he has spent biking in the open air.

These kinds of things happened so often that Du got used to them, and sometimes he even agreed to perform martial art for the locals. Perhaps he was the first kung fu guy to ride a bike across two continents.

For three years before embarking on his African journey in August 2011, the young rider learned one of the three main Chinese martial arts of the Wudang school, bagua zhang, which literally means "eight trigram palm". He also learned some shaolin kung fu as his hometown in Shandong province is known for that martial art.

Some men in Ethiopia wanted to challenge Du to kung fu, but after he took up his pose they changed their minds and just edged close enough to touch his arm before running off.

Du often won "fights" that way. He says it was the same when people tried to steal his belongings while he was on the road.

"I just needed to put on a good pose and stare into their eyes and they'd be scared and run away, whether they were just being friendly or were real thieves."

Du started his journey in 2011 from Nanning, a city in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in South China. He rode from Thailand to India, then to the Middle East, and through Egypt into Africa in September last year.

The biggest impression Africa made on Du was that China was everywhere, from road construction sites to installing electrical equipment to daily necessities. Most Africans, he says, knew more about China than other countries and they always welcomed him warmly.

"I was invited to people's houses as an honored guest, sometimes to attend weddings or festival parties," he says.

In Sudan and Ethiopia, people called Du "China". To his surprise, they called all foreigners "China" because the Chinese workers helping them build roads and infrastructure projects were the only foreigners they had ever met.

Du's two-month stay in Ethiopia was the longest of his journey. He says in Ethiopia he went anywhere there was a road. He even learned a little Amharic, the local language. People there told him that China had helped them a great deal in building infrastructure, whereas some countries just want to take the country's resources without giving anything back.

And if Du had a problem or needed somewhere to sleep in an African city, he could easily turn for help to Chinese people working there.

"I loved meeting different people and seeing their various lifestyles," he says. "And I loved seeing beautiful scenes that some people may never have the chance to see."

Once when he was camping in the wild, he woke one morning to find many deep footprints and elephant droppings in front of his tent. He was also confronted while in bed by two wolfdogs staring at him.

He even rode across a wild national park in Namibia, which the natives dare not do because of the many beasts of prey there.

"When I recall all these experiences, I feel afraid. But I felt no fear at the time."

Watching movies on his laptop, collecting music from the places he has visited and posting pictures online were his only entertainment on the road.

The two-year journey cost Du about 40,000 yuan ($6,560). This included four flights and buying a camera. About 10,000 yuan came from donations from people he met on his journey.

One man he met in Djibouti gave him $400 and bought him several meals because, he said, people had done similar things for him when he was riding a bike through Europe.

Du was born into a farming family in Heze in Shangdong province. He is the second of five children. His family and friends strongly opposed his decision to resign from a Beijing-based package company where he worked as an IT engineer. His family's neighbors called him a loafer.

"I just wanted to realize my childhood dream while I was still young," Du says. "I didn't think too much about anything else."

During his two-year journey, Du rode about 3,500 kilometers, according to his stopwatch.

He chose to spend so much of that time in Africa for the simple reason that visas to most countries there are cheap and easy to obtain.

When he came back to China from his final African destination, Cape Town, what happened in those two years felt like a dream. But he realizes he made a spiritual fortune in Africa.

"No matter how desperate I might feel in the future, as long as I think of the joy of riding on all those roads, I will regain my energy," he says.

Du says more and more Chinese young people will explore the world by cycling. He met many while he was in Africa. And there is always the possibility that he will make another cycling journey one day.

Kung fu guy's African roadtrip

Du Fengyan with children around Lake Malawi. The Chinese cyclist rode through 22 countries across most of Africa and parts of Asia. Provided to China Daily

Kung fu guy's African roadtrip


骑行非洲 - 中国八零后小伙儿两年多骑行 22 个国家

■ 城市周刊记者 王洁 / 文 杜风彦 / 供图

这是一场“说走就走的旅行”。一位 25 岁的青年辞去工作,于 2011 年 8 月骑单车去非洲,今年 10 月底归来。两年时间中,他独自单车骑过了埃及、伊朗、印度、坦桑尼亚、土耳其等 22 个国家,历时两年零 2 个月,花费人民币约 4 万元,实现了自己人生的第一个梦想。



10 月 28 日,27 岁的杜风彦坐在尚都北塔的一家小店里,一边整理电脑里的照片,一边等待朋友的电话,略显疲惫的脸上还有几分焦虑:“昨晚几个朋友给我接风,给他们看了护照以后,记不得放在哪里了,他们正在帮我找。”

这本护照来之不易,上面有 22 个国家的签证,是杜风彦两年来骑行的轨迹。3 天前,他才从非洲归来,结束了这场长达两年的旅程,原本白皙的脸孔展显出一种健康的红色。


2011 年 8 月 3 日,本报曾做过《两个 80 后骑车去非洲》的报道。“明天,25 岁的杜风彦和 24 岁的郗光即将踏上前往非洲的旅程。上周,他们已将行李和自行车办理了托运;本周,两人将乘火车前往南宁,从那里开始骑自行车前往非洲的行程。”从那天起,他的旅程就开始了。

当年,《旅游法》并没有出台,旅游费用也尚未上涨,无论是自由行还是骑行运动都和跟旅游团的花费不差上下。因此,很多人更愿意选择跟随旅游团出游,这样比较方便省心。何况是出境游,还会遇到语言不通、食宿安排、安全保障等多种多样的问题。然而,当年年仅 25 岁的杜风彦辞去安逸的工作,带着重达 50 公斤的维修工具、衣物、露营用品、车辆备胎等行李,和同是骑行爱好者的郗光上路了。







杜风彦当初对此行的预算是 3 万元人民币,然而这仅仅是一路上简单吃住和各国签证所需的基本费用。路上他还曾遭遇过撞车、修车、滞留等问题,都需要不少开销,他是如何支付呢?



中午,在吉布提市区,他们奇迹般地又相遇了。瓦贝里不但热情地请杜风彦共进午餐,还邀请他到自己家中做客。在他的家中,杜风彦惊奇地发现瓦贝里的家具好多都是中式的,还喜欢饮用中国的茶叶。临别时,瓦贝里拿出了 400 美金赠送给杜风彦,并向他讲述了自己的故事。

原来,这位吉布提人年轻时也曾独自走过欧洲,当他钱财花尽走投无路时,一位欧洲当地人曾经赠送过他 100 美金,这让瓦贝里非常感恩,铭记在心。如今,他希望能够帮助杜风彦,让这异国他乡的温暖传递下去。盛情难却下,杜风彦接受了他的诚意,当场写了张借条,并保证:“一定让温暖传递下去。”







10 月 24 日,杜风彦结束了长达 2 年的骑行生活,回到了北京。他的许多朋友,包括一直在微博上关注他的粉丝,纷纷前来给他接风,把他当做英雄。

在北京做了简短的停留,11 月 1 日,杜风彦启程回到山东老家看望父母。这一路上,最担心他的人就是父母,他也感觉很愧对家人,打算先跟父母团聚。





本报两年前的报道是“两个 80 后”一起出发,那么杜风彦的队友哪里去了呢?为什么变成他的独自旅行了呢?原来,在启程时,就是杜风彦一个人先出发的,“因为我们有东西落在北京, 我们约好,他等东西到了再出发,在越南汇合。”


“护照找到了!” 杜风彦接到朋友的电话,立刻变得开心起来,“接下来我也打算找个女朋友了,让爸妈放心!”

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