Reflections on a year spent cycling
A couple of weeks ago we flew over the broad, flat expanse of the Mekong Delta during our descent into Ton Son Nhat airport. A year and 2 weeks beforehand a few kilometres to the north west we’d loaded up our bicycles and peddled northwards. [...]
Visiting Italy was the fulfilment of a childhood dream. When I was planning the route I asked Kim which countries she wanted to visit. Italy came the immediate reply a combination of the culture, romance and attractiveness of the football team had [...]
Our time in Greece was the shortest we had spent in any country. Except of course for Turkmenistan but that was only 5 days so that doesn’t count. It may have been short but it was certainly memorable. It was hard to tell the difference as w [...]
Cappadocia is a fantastic place for some rest and relaxation and catching up with a loved one. After more than two weeks of sleeping in tents and on sofas I figured a bit of luxury was in order. So spotting a bit of a bargain online booked into a  [...]
When I arrived Turkey was at war. A cynical war engineered for electoral purposes. In the last elections in June long-time prime minister and now president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had gone to the electorate with a plan to change the constitution. To  [...]
Like the perfect host he is Hossein insisted on paying for our bus tickets. I tried to argue, but it was futile. He told is he’d bought us the best seats on the best bus he could find. The ticket seller however was rather economical with the [...]
Iran is a funny place. At first sight it is a modern late capitalist economy with a network of quality roads, inhabited by shiny up to date cars driving between gleaming high rise cities. It’s population is youthful and highly educated all s [...]
By our usual recent standards we had a bit of a lie in. The border doesn’t open until 8 and we only had 15 kilometres to go to reach it so there was no point in leaving too early. The couple who’s shelter we slept next to offered us br [...]
We took the quieter of the two roads out of the city. It took a while to clear Tashkent but once we did it was pleasant enough riding through rich farmland. Wheat, maize and of course the ubiquitous cotton. Uzbekistan is the second largest exporte [...]
We’d only been in Uzbekistan for 4 hours and already we’d been given lunch, a watermelon, some toilet roll, 2 bottles of water, and a bottle of coke. The generosity started within a few kilometres of crossing the border. Some farm work [...]
Kyrgyzstan is beautiful. One of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen. The road in from China is just simply stunning. We left Kashgar and followed the river valley the 90 km to the Chinese border post at Ulugqat. The valley was lush and g [...]
As soon as your arrive in Korla it feels like a place under occupation. Which of course it is. The Chinese marched in in 1789 – massacring over a million people in the neighbouring Kingdom of Zunghar in the process – and haven’t  [...]