Friedrich Schatz has a passion for riding bikes which he slowly developed into an adventure. This German from Dresden is globetrotting on Royal Enfield Bullet 500.
Crazy about bikes and thump, he drove into Oman on July 8 from Al Ain border.
“I love Oman and I love to swim in the wadis to keep the heat away,” he says as he rolls out names of locations he had been to— Ibri, Al Fath, Suhar, Wadi Dam, Nizwa, Al Hamra, Jabal Shams and Bahla fort.
“Oman is the most beautiful place in the Middle East,” says Friedrich as he scurries through his Google map each moment during his conversation scanning for new locations. Before crossing over from UAE, Friedrich had travelled over to Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and Iran. “The pandemic drove me to explore a new world and meet people after two years. It was a real spontaneous decision to take the bike and travel around,” says Friedrich.
As a teenager he earlier worked with the German army and in an automobile workshop from where he hit upon an idea to travel around the world. Through the help from Sommer, his engineer friend from Bavaria, remodified his bike to change the engine, removing the gearbox and converting it to a diesel engine. The rear of the bike has two metallic boxes fixed to the sides which Friedrich has filled with a petrol cooker (whenever he feels like cooking on the way), clothes, spare parts and tools. As a mascot for the bike, he got a wooden camel fitted on the top of the mudguard calling it a ‘Camel Gustav.’
Anas bin Malik bin Hilal al Abri, a marketing student from UTAS, happened to notice Friedrich at a fuel station in Nizwa. They both became friends as they both share a passion for bikes and adventure. They both stayed together at Al Hamra and went trekking around Al Hamra and Wadi Nakhr, the Grand Canyon of the Middle East.
Anas ays, Friedrich is certainly an inspiration to young Omanis to travel around the world. “It is a challenge as he drives on a small old bike to carry forward his passion. We made him try local food, shuwa and it was sheer joy to enjoy his friendship.”
Friedrich also carries his German passport and a Carnet de Passage for motor vehicles which he has to produce at the customs clearance office for entry and exit. The only hassle he encountered was the enormous delay at the Bandar Abbas port in Iran which took him about 3 days by ship to get him to Sharjah, UAE.
He says he prefers to stay longer in Muscat before he drives down to Salalah and from there by ship to Somalia or to Saudi Arabia and Sudan by ship and enter the African continent from Ethiopia.
He has set his eyes on South Africa and wants to enjoy Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake. This 26-year-old says he wants to live for the present and not worry about tomorrow. Writing diaries, reading travel books are some of his pastimes.