Thursday, 25 October 2012

Silk Road - The Route

View Silk Road '13 in a larger map

The proposed route is about 11,000 miles from the Ace Cafe in London to the port of Tianjin near Beijing from where the bikes will be shipped home. Along the way we visit the historic cities of Istanbul, Khiva, Samarkand, Lhassa and Xi'an. A mix of tarmac and off-road, hotels and home stays.
Challenging, exciting and a little bit scary .... 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

All the way to China! On your own?

I am not an experienced adventurer. I have done a couple of trips but as Dirty Harry (or was it Socrates?) once said: "A wise man knows his limitations", Traveling overland through countries I don't know without the language or the mechanical skills needed would be truly foolish. Anyway, part of any travel is about the people you do it with, the dynamics of the group, the new friends, the mutual support and the joy of sharing new things.

The trick here is to go in a group that does not stop you connecting with the world you came to see. It is too easy to become inwardly focused and forget that the landscape and communities you pass through are not just a backdrop. Let's call it the "Coach Trip Syndrome".

Route 66 and Iceland showed that in some countries going with a small group of freinds works really well. The risk is lower and help is not far. Experience from Patagonia showed that in more remote areas, group adventure travel works. The guys from Compass were great and the group was fun. Also, when things got as bit "broken", it really helped to have someone who speaks Spannish and drives a Land Cruiser.

The idea for this trip came from Globebusters ( As soon as I saw the route and the names of the places it visited, I knew this was the way to go. As Globebusters say "It's not a holiday, It's an adventure!"

Today I received the joining instructions in advance of the first training session in three weeks time. A chance to meet the rest of the group and find out what I have let myself in for. It is starting to feel real.