Country Roads

Penang (Malaysia) to Singapore 26th February to 20th March 2019 I’ve just had a look at a big map. We’re level with Sri Lanka! No wonder Chris thinks it’s hot! Rather than cross into Malaysia by road we decided to take a ferry from mainland Thailand to Langkawi, a Malaysian island, partly because we had heard of security issues in southern Thailand, though we saw nothing, and partly because we heard that Langkawi was a beautiful island. As often happens when crossing a border things are suddenly different. Malaysia straight away felt more wealthy. More ‘western’ than Thailand. We threaded …

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Miles of Smiles.

Nong Khai (Thailand) to Penang (Malaysia) 5th January to 26th February 2019 Thailand is called the land of smiles and lives up to its name. Everyone smiles, no-one seems to get impatient or angry and the atmosphere is very relaxed. We had heard that the traffic can be chaotic and scary and that there is a high accident rate but we have found drivers to be courteous and patient and the back roads delightfully quiet. Occasionally I have known that Pete and I have got in the way or caused a driver to slow down which in other places would …

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Trains and Boats and Planes

Jiayuguan (The Wall), China to Nong Khai, Thailand 25th November 2018 to 5th January 2019 We had arrived at our destination. We’d reached the wall. So what now? Sometimes in the excitement of planning an event the planning of the aftermath is often forgotten. I think Chris and I were slightly guilty of that. I think we thought we’d jump on a train, or a plane or ship… but surely an element of flexibility makes for an exciting life. So we were flexible but now it was time to make plans. Discussions ranged back and forth but the ship was …

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We’ve eaten an elephant ! Burp….

Zharkent, Kazakhstan to Jiayuguan, China. October 13th – November 22nd 2018 Warning: this is a two-cup-of-tea blog… Pete and I felt sad to leave Kazakhstan. It was a warm, sunny afternoon as we headed for the Chinese border at Khorgas. We had lots of merry hoots from passing cars, gifts of bananas and one family stopped on the other side of the dual carriageway, ran to the central barrier and handed us 2 large bags of rosy red apples. It was as if they were all saying , “Please don’t go, China won’t be half as nice”. Coupled with the …

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The Final Frontier

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Zharkent, Kazakhstan. September 19th – October 12th, 2018 Bishkek . The capital of Kyrgyzstan. There was lots to do and lots happening.We met Charlene and Damien again, we discussed outdoor shops, bikes and routes. My tummy was still playing up and Chris diagnosed giardia. I got obsessed about cleaning the jet of our stove using a bicycle pump . All I needed was an old inner tube with the valve removed, an old gas cylinder and a length of rubber tubing . All of which I found either in a bin or by the side of the …

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The Beezer Visas

Osh, Kyrgyzstan to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan August 29th – September 19th It was time for Pete and I to leave Osh. We had been there for 10 days in a lovely hostel and were far too comfortable. We had seen other travellers come and go and it had been very sociable and a group of them came to wave us off. Lots of hugs and promises to meet again and off we went through the gate. Unfortunately, almost immediately both bikes began to make ominous noises and creaked and groaned their way up the road. We had to stop, but looking …

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When I’m Sixty-four

Dushanbe, Tajikistan to Osh, Kyrgyzstan July 17th to August 29th Dushanbe to Osh! We were finally setting off to cycle the Pamirs. I have to confess, a couple of years ago I hadn’t even heard of the Pamirs. They’re on the north western end of a great range of mountains that sweep northwest starting with the Himalayas in Nepal. Some describe the Pamirs as the roof of the world. I think ever since Chris and I left Cumbria they have been a looming presence on our mental horizon. And now we were actually there… We set off early on a …

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What’s the time Mr Wolf?

From Samarkand, Uzbekistan to Dushanbe, Tajikistan. July 6th – July 17th This is a sort of interim blog describing our journey from Samarkand in Uzbekistan to Dushanbe in Tajikistan as it may be a while before we can blog again. We hope to be writing again in Osh on the other side of the Pamir mountains. It was getting time for Pete and I to leave Samarkand but we were strangely reluctant. It could have been due to the 45c temperatures. It could have been the beauty and magic of the city itself. It could have been the fact that …

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The Golden Road to Samarkand

From Nukus, Uzbekistan to Samarkand, Uzbekistan June 14th – July 6th 2018 Our guide book had told us that Nukus had “a general sense of hopelessness and desolation” so our expectations were not high. Imagine our surprise then, when we found we really liked it. After the desert and our long and tiring train ride it was like an oasis with wide tree lined avenues, admittedly rather square ex Soviet buildings but they were all white and bright and clean, lots of greenery and flower beds, a very vibrant and colourful bazaar and Pete says the best coffee shop since …

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