The extended break at Pastoral Vadi has given me the opportunity to look back over the journey so far. This post follows on from the update written during my week in Zagreb and details more closely the actual route cycled; The Journey So Far, A Week In Zagreb And An Incredible Meeting of Chance?
Zagreb, Croatia to Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia to Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania to Bergama, Turkey
Bergama, Turkey to Yanıklar, Turkey
The actual route is quite different from the route I envisaged before leaving home; How Do You Choose A Route To Cycle Around The World? I had an inclination that this would be the case and I’m pleased that I didn’t spend hours painstakingly choosing each and every road. There are too many variables and it would have been burdensome trying to stay on route, restricting the freedom and purpose of discovering the world by bicycle. The recent, unfortunate, rejection of my Iranian visa application is just one of many such variables. It is, as I’m now finding out however, a variable with far reaching consequences…..
A Route Through The Middle East
The combination of war, political unrest and visa restrictions means there is no easy route through the Middle East. What follows is a route that at the time of writing appears to be both physically and bureaucratically possible, only time will tell if it is.
Yanıklar, Turkey to Baku, Azerbaijan
Aktau, Kazakhstan to Koktal, Kazakhstan
Koktal, Kazakhstan to Mengala, China
From Mengla, China I aim to pick up the original route through Laos and Vietnam:
Luang Namtha, Laos to Bali, Indonesia
It’s quite a detour, over 1800 additional road miles through countries I know very little about. When I originally planned the journey I spent most of the time considering the best route through the Middle East. And of all of the countries I planned to cycle through India was the one that I felt the most apprehensive about visiting. It was the mixture of dangerous wildlife, overcrowding, poverty and chaotic roads that left me feeling uneasy and vulnerable. It was, however, still my preferred route. Partly due to the weather being warmer (when I planned to visit), but mainly because despite my fears, I felt certain it would ultimately provide an incredible opportunity to learn and experience life in a very different way.
In contrast, the route north through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China will probably be the least crowded stretch of the entire trip (along with Patagonia). I do note that there will still be plenty of dangerous wildlife; from black widow spiders to black bears, rattle snakes to leopards and everything else in between, to keep me on my toes. I expect life will look very different compared to the vibrant colours projected through glossy media images of India, but anticipate the opportunity to learn and experience life in a very different way, to be the same.
Coming up next, more about life on the farm, fill in your name and email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.