As I write I sit in my berth on sleeper train route K969 Shanghai to Chengdu.
We’re stopped in a small village named Yu Bei Shan, according to our map and
schedule there is no stop here. Perhaps that will sum up the journey ahead?
Maybe that is a good ethos to travel by, not just to ‘pass that way’ but to take the
Welcome to our blog. Passing That Way. In a nutshell we plan, and hope, to travel
overland from Shanghai westward…with an unknown destination. Perhaps
Istanbul, maybe Morroco, or Spain, maybe London, who really knows?! Our
means of travel will be predominantly bicycles, interspersed with train and bus
journeys to rest weary bodies and reduce time pressures.
As we blog in future you’ll often see two sections to each entry. There are those
in the audience who will want a quick-fire summary, to cater for you we will
begin with a bullet point summary, no scrolling required, hard facts, stats and
figures only, a.k.a. the “BSc version.” For those with more time, those who enjoy
sitting on the couch with a cup of tea and reading at leisure you can scroll down
and enjoy the more thorough and artistic narrative, a.k.a. the “BA version.”
For those who love to pour over maps the intended route for our first stage
by bicycle will take us west and north from Chengdu through the Sichuan and
Xinghai provinces to Xining…we imagine around 3-4 weeks of riding. In brief
from there we train, bus and ride through the Taklamakan desert to Kashgar
in China’s far North West, cycle into Kyrgystan and westward on the ‘Pamir
Highway’ which leads through Tajikistan and into Uzbekistan. We then hope to
continue westward into Kazakstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey.
The way ahead is a great unknown, flexibility will be the key!
We hope this blog serves several purposes…keeping family and friends updated
with progress, some entertaining tales of high adventure, a few laughs, shared
thoughts and reflections, and even a place to help us as we process all that we
experience on this journey.
We are blessed to have the support and interest of friends and family, to
know that some people care enough to read our blog is very humbling. Enjoy
journeying vicariously, we feel lucky to be here doing it!
Andy is posting for Ollie and Anna while they are behind the Great Firewall of China.