Reaching India – Time to cycle again!

My last blog post, now nearly three months ago, made the shock announcement that after my Chinese visa had been denied cutting me off from progressing further east, I would be flying to India to resume my journey from there. The extended silence on my blog testifies to what a miraculous, intense and incredible experience […]

High Altitude Cycling on the Pamir Plateau: Alichur to Osh

My memories of cycling from Alichur to Osh are hazy. This section forms the ‘Pamir Plateau’; the road flattens out slightly but hovers around the 4,000 metre mark, except for the handful of times it climbs even higher, eventually peaking at 4,655 metres on the lung-bursting Ak-Baital pass, notorious amongst cyclists. Having ascended to the […]

My Chinese visa was denied! What now?!

Visa Application Denied Stamp Showing Entry Admission Refused

Everything was going to plan. I’d survived the Pamir Highway, and China loomed giant ahead. I would soon be in Bishkek, where I could rest and party in equal proportions while I waited for my Chinese visa. 3 months earlier this would have passed without incident, but a recent change in visa policy meant I […]

The Wakhan Valley: Khorog to Alichur

Away from the main Pamir Highway (M41), a myriad of smaller and less-travelled tracks await those cyclists looking for even more adventure and don’t mind riding on some pretty rough stuff! Among these, the most popular is the Wakhan Valley, which is raved about wildly by those cyclists who rise to the challenge. I pedalled […]

Qalai-Khumb to Khorog: A stone’s throw from Afghanistan

Reaching Qalai-Khumb had been an exciting moment for two reasons; firstly, I had joined up with the main road again, and I couldn’t wait for the road to be paved once again. Secondly, I saw my first glimpse of the River Panj, which I would cycle beside for the next 500km. The significance of this […]

Dushanbe to Qalai-Khumb: The Pamir Highway begins!

From Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, there are two ways to get to the Pamirs. Most of the traffic takes the newer, southern road which, although slightly longer is well-paved and significantly flatter. The older northern route is now little used by traffic being virtually entirely off-road, complete with river crossings and a mountain pass of 3,250 […]

It’s time for the Pamirs!

When I was in Bosnia last year, anticipating having to battle through Central Asia in winter, thereby taking the lowland routes, and missing out on the mountain routes made impassable by snow and cold, I had a chance encounter with two Germans cycling back from Singapore. They shared their stories and showed me pictures of Tajikistan’s Pamir […]

Uzbekistan Money: Huge Wads of Cash and the Illegal Black Market

Have you ever seen the zombie films where zombies are coming from all directions, an unstoppable wave all relentlessly descending on one hapless victim, who quickly finds themselves completely surrounded? Entering Uzbekistan was exactly like that. I had only just cycled through the sturdy gates from Kazakhstan when a rotund women trundled purposefully over in […]

Cycling Western Kazakhstan: Headwinds, Heat and Camels!

I have left the Caspian and won’t see the sea again until Thailand next year. I am now nearing the end of my time cycling in Western Kazakhstan, just 100km from Uzbekistan, my next country. I’d told myself Kazakhstan would be easy, just 550km of nothing. But I’d massively underestimated how hard nothing can be. […]

Crossing the Caspian – The Journey

  Susanna and I reached the port just after 5, both anxious we were cutting it a bit tight, with the ferries scheduled departure at 5/6. We shouldn’t have worried; in the end the boat didn’t leave until well after midnight. We had no idea what conditions on the boat would be like, where we […]