Spanish-Vietnamese couple bike to India for green cause spot

June 3rd, 2011 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) A Spanish-Vietnamese couple, who are on a world tour on solar bicycles, believe India to be a “karmic” experience.

Guim Valls Teruel, a Spanish traveller, and his Vietnamese wife Nguyen Thuy Anh will be here in the capital June 7 to tell about their journey. On the occasion of World Environment Day this week, the embassy of Spain will celebrate two years of this first ever world tour on a hybrid solar bicycle by this couple.

The Spanish Embassy will present a chronicle of their odyssey - “First ever attempt of a world tour on a hybrid solar bicycle” - in the presence of top United Nations officials at the Spanish cultural institute, Instituto Cervantes.

“To enjoy India, you must not think,” Guim had told wife Thuy Anh during their tour of India. The couple was in Kolkata for the first 10 days of their tour.

Thuy Anh writes in her e-dairies: “I could not say anything at that moment, but after one month of travelling in India, especially two weeks in Varanasi, I had to admit that he (Guim) was right. India is really like another planet, where you can’t question things but just accept them as they are.”

“After 6 days of travelling in the sun at 40 degrees to pass 700 km from Kolkata, finally we arrived in Varanasi, the oldest and the most spiritual city in India. We turned down a small alleyway and stopped at a restaurant located on the terrace. From its roof, I got the view of the banks of the Ganges river,” Thuy Anh said.

“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together,” Thuy Anh said.

Most of the evening the couple walked along the Ganga.

“There are 84 ghats along a seven-kilometre stretch of the river. Each one varies in function and purpose. Like some are for bathing, some are for washing clothes, some are for religious rituals, and only two of them (Jalsain and Harishchandra ghats) are for cremations,” the cyclist wrote.

Teruel has covered 18,000 km and 14 countries including China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam and India.

Teruel, who began his journey in 2009 from the Beijing Olympic Stadium in China, is likely to reach London in 2012, a statement released by the Embassy of Spain in the capital said. He was joined by his wife later when they married in January 2010. The couple has been travelling together since, making Anh the first Vietnamese to tour the world on a bicycle.

They will spread the message of cleaner environment, pollution-free travel through alternative modes of transport and the importance of non-conventional energy sources in the capital.

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