Most travelers were long gone. The corona crisis fundamentally changed their plans and they had to give up their wanderings. Especially those who were at the time in somewhat unstable, somewhat dangerous countries, where human rights are viewed differently than we are used to in the developed world. Not so Viktor. After being imprisoned for four weeks in Pakistan due to misunderstanding on the border, he continued his journey and was “imprisoned” in quarantine in a hospital in India for nine long weeks. In complete solitude, often with a lack of food and sometimes drinks. Nevertheless, he did not give up and completed his journey in the footsteps of Alexander Csoma. Read an interview about his incredible story.
You have started a journey from Hungary to India on a recumbent bike, over a year ago. Can you mention which countries did you crossed during that epic journey?
I went through Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Can you describe a bit the historic person of Alexander Csoma and why did you want to visit his grave?
Alexander Csoma de Kőrös was the pioneer of the Tibetan language, the first person ever to write a Tibetan-English dictionary. He traveled from Hungary to India mostly by foot, and he has never returned home. He started his trip in 1819, which gave me an idea to make an anniversary trip in 2019 to salute him. I read his diary 6 years ago, which inspired me so much. I had to experience the route, and salute him, that’s why I set my mind to make this expedition.
Did you have any previous experience with such a long bike expedition?
My longest bike adventure before was a 3600 km / 2250 miles long tour from Hungary to east Turkey. I also had a trans Alps trip with my recumbent before, which was 1050 km / 930 miles long.
I was quarantined in a hospital of Bihar, India. They kept me there 9 weeks long, I even had an escape.
Why did you choose a recumbent bike and which model it was?
I chose the recumbent because I have a tendon injury which starts to be painful after a few days in the seat of an upright bike. I don’t have this pain on a recumbent. It was an M5.
What do you like most on touring on a recumbent? And what you don’t like?
I love the comfort, the layback position and the uniqueness. I love the downhill experience, which is way better compared to an upright bike. I don’t like the lack of a front suspension, the uphills, the long chain and the instability on mudroads.
Where did you spend the winter time of 2019/2020?
I spent my winter at several places. In the Hindukush mountains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in Panjab. In a jail in Lahore. In a house of the consul of Hungary in Lahore recovering from an illness and in North India (Panjab and Himachal).