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Anonymous asked: How much is all of this costing you?
I’ve really no idea at this stage. Things are currently on hold until we can find a good time to go.
As part of the planning phase we will document all of our requirements and I will publish them as we go which should provide a good estimate of the cost.
I’m hoping that the entire budget for 3 of us, including the vehicle and flights, food, etc. will be under £10,000.
Anonymous asked: Are you guys nuts?
Yes! (Okay… only a little. But still, ‘yes’)
I know. Things are a little quiet. The high-level planning phase has slowed down as a majority of things are dependent on what time of the year we go. But before we can do that we will need to have a get together (at a suitable pub, or course!) with the prospective team members and come to a decision.
This is like trying to herd cats; We’re all busy people with busy lives and “silly season” certainly isn’t the best time of the year to try and do it.
Things definitely haven’t stopped, however. In the background various checklists are being put together, travel guides scrutinised, web forums analysed and notes made. The region that we’re hoping to cross is a “volatile” one as the various governments come to terms with their place in the world and come to agreements on border crossings, etc. — all of which makes our planning all the more challenging.
This is a very handy book full of hints and tips, including such gems as, “Armenia and its capital Yerevan are not yet really an option for our route as all borders with Azerbaijan are firmly closed and the border with Turkey is all but sealed …” — wait; What?
Yep, it’s true. wikitravel.org confirms it.
Oh crap. So Armenia’s out, along with the need to cross the Caspian Sea. The two alternatives are via Georgia or Iran. After a brief discussion a route through Iran and along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea has been chosen.
This brings the route much more in-line with the Ancient Silk Road.
So, another change of course is required. We’ll have to continue on the Pamir Highway (M41), over the Ak-Baital Pass to Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan (another set of visas!) and then over the Irkeshtam Pass into China. However, there are reports that Irkeshtam isn’t available to 3rd country citizens either. Bloody bureaucracy and red tape! More investigations required. The last resort is crossing into China via the Torugart Pass to the north of Kashgar.
None of this will be of any surprise to anyone who knows the region. Even the aforementioned guide book has a special section for those attempting to drive the Silk Road, “… where it is impossible for standard foreign visitors.”
Enough said, really. But, hey, it wouldn’t be fun if it were easy. ;)
Post with 2 notes
Shipping the 4WD to Istanbul should be fairly straight-forward; unless we’re mad enough to drive from London. That would be fun but would add more time to the trip. It would, however, give us an opportunity to iron-out any kinks in the setup before things started to get tough.
There’s a fatal flaw in the current plan. How do we get the vehicle from Nepal back home?
There are currently two options, as I see it:
By the time we reach Nepal I suspect we’ll either be in love with the thing or we’ll hate the sight of it and want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
If anyone has any great ideas, let us know!
This post will contain the most up-to-date overview of the route. Keep your eye on it!
Of the four route ideas, the decision has been made to attempt to drive across Central Asia, from Istanbul to Kathmandu.
The vehicle of choice will more than likely be a Toyota Landcruiser. Personally, I’d go for the 80-series but we’ll just have to see what we can get for our money.
Post with 1 note
I was bitten by the Adventure Bug this morning. A sudden yearning to pit myself against the rough, unbeaten tracks that criss-cross the globe and to travel to far off places that I’ve only seen or heard about in travel journals. A bit dramatic, ”unbeaten tracks” might be taking things too far — but I want to do something that has the ‘spice’ of adventure mixed with the ‘tang’ of achievement; something epic.
I’ve put together 4 rough ideas:
With any venture of these proportions, intricate planning is required; visas, border crossings, timetables, dates, vehicle(s), funding, training, someone to go with, etc. and none of these have even come under consideration yet — so far, I have only my ambition.
If any of this happens, I will attempt to keep a running commentary of the ‘expedition’ here (this also brings to mind the logistical nightmare of posting content to the Internet whilst travelling parts of the world that have little to no signal).