I’ve been lucky enough to live for 4 years in Indonesia during school and uni, which was an amazing platform to travel around Asia from. Having briefly seen the tourist carnage of south Thailand I developed a bit of an obsession with avoiding ‘the beaten track’, which has led to some memorable stories – like the search for the perfect beach in Indonesia and a hitchhike into an earthquake disaster zone in Tibet. For me, this trip is a combo of getting off the beaten track and getting to know some locals by muddling along in different languages.
In terms of endurance, I haven’t attempted anything which comes close to this idea. I’ve also usually stuck to team sports like rugby or ice hockey, only using a bike to cycle the 5 minutes to lectures once in a while. So the first leg of this trip might be interesting! I have a twin brother who is a keen climber and has spent the last two summers organising expeditions to Kyrgyzstan (2012) and Greenland (2013) to do some first climbing ascents. So I thought this summer was my turn. He has been a massive help in giving advice for gear and planning.
I’m most looking forward to the middle leg of Iran and the Stans, mainly because these are the countries I know the least about! I think Iran gets a bad reputation in the West because of the intense media reporting at an official level – from what I’ve heard from backpackers and travellers at street level, they had a fantastic time. For the Stans, there is definitely the added challenge of the Pamir Highway, which has been called the Holy Grail of adventure cycling. It is the second highest highway in the world, and the trip’s timing has meant that we will be crossing the Pamir Mountains during mid-winter. At least we’ll have about an 8,000km run up to get fit for it.
Hi guys. Happy New Year!!!!! Keep it up. Greetings from Austria from Conny and Matt (yeah the guy from Shrewsbury!)
Hi Nick. I met you and Laurence outside Khorog, Tajikistan while in a taxi at the end of November and took a couple of great photos that I’d like to send you. I would have sent them sooner, but just located my camera cord for downloading since it was misplaced during my house remodel. I stopped using facebook about a year ago since I’m so busy with work, but just email me and I’ll send you the photos. Email address: email@example.com
You are both truly inspiring and I love your blog and photos. Hats off to you!