Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world and when you try and cross a third of it by bike it certainly feels like it. Three years previously I had spent about 2 weeks in the far west of the country riding on pre-asphalt construction roads and tracks from Aktau to the Uzbekistan border in … More Endless roads in Kazakhstan and why you should never trust a Consulate!
On May 19th, the morning I was finally leaving the home from home that At House guesthouse had become, I woke up to my alarm at 6am feeling as if I hadn’t slept a wink. My last night had coincided with another long-term inhabitant’s departure, despite the unexpected extra month for preparation there were still … More Leaving Kyrgyzstan
After 3 ½ weeks of waiting I was itching to get hold of my Kyrgyz visa so that I could apply for my Russian transit visa and I met Cholpon (who was helping me with it) outside the OVIR (local passport and registration office) in anticipation. The result was pretty disheartening – Kyrgyz visa application … More Do The Visa Mess Around
Being able to put a frustrating few weeks of red tape and non-information behind me, and heading out on my bike came as great relief. Even more so as I was able to team up with another English cyclist, Alex who was waiting for his Chinese visa to be processed via Georgia. As we rolled … More Headwinds into the Chocolate Factory
It is 2 1/2 years since I was last in Bishkek, and at Manas airport at 5am local time it felt somewhat surreal to be back. Gold teeth shone out from the mouths of the passport control guards as they looked me directly in the eye and made a detailed comparison between my bedraggled facial … More Back to Bishkek
As I mentioned at the end of my last entry – we slept in no-mans land the night we left Tajikistan but we were not alone. We had put up the tent the first place we could find as the light was fading fast and cooked the last of our food for dinner. We went … More Kyrgyzstan – the end of a beginning
I could not have asked for a better trio to share my Pamir experience with, we laughed a lot, got into some very detailed conversations about our toilet habits and could solve most of our problems with a bakal of vodka or the advice to remember to ‘respire et boire’ (breathe and drink (water)). I … More Up on the roof of the world
I had a real sense of anticipation as the 4 of us headed away from the city. We could happily have spent much longer with Vero and Gab but the whole reason we were in Tajikistan at all was calling us. I had first heard about the Pamir Highway from some cyclists I met when … More The Gateway to the Pamirs