TWO bikers, Jaume Barrachina and Hans Schneegluth set out from La Nucia to retrace the old Silk Route to China.
They hope to emulate Marco Polo but in a 21st century manner on motorbikes they said as they set out on a 20,000-kilometre journey that will take them through 18 countries.
La Nucia residents Hans Schneegluth and Jaume Barrachina from Villajoyosa are both experienced in long distance motorcycle routes, not only in Spain but across Europe, Africa, America and Asia.
More than 300 friends and biking fans were there to see them off from La Nucia’s Camilo Cano sports stadium as well as Bernabe Cano, La Nucia’s mayor, who was accompanied in the send-off by Sports councillor Sergio Villalba.
From the outset the town hall has backed the Silk Road venture taking the name of La Nucia half-way across the world, Cano said. Jaume Barrachina (62) and Hans Schneegluth (56) expect to be on the road for the next two months.
The first part of the journey follows the northern route to China. The bikers cross France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
The return trip in September along the southern route follows the same Silk Road that unites Asia and Europe and was taken by merchant caravans 2,000 years ago. This time they go through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy and back to Spain.