Saturday 30 May 2009


The educational bit: Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and was flattened when Ghengis Khan invaded in 1220.

Thursday 28 May 2009


Only just arrived and spending an hour in an internet cafe to avoid the heat. Off to explore when it cools down a little.

Randon Uzbekistan Fact: 100 pounds is worth over a quarter of a million Uzbek Sum, but the largest note is only 1,000 Sum, which makes for a rather fat wallet.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

The Kyzylkum Desert

Seven weeks ago I was clearing my locker at work. Today I find myself crossing the Kyzylkum Desert. The meteorologists amongst you might like to know that the daytime temperature was 38 degrees centigrade, at 10pm it was 31, at 2am it was 26 and at 7am it was 28.

Tuesday 26 May 2009


Just arrived in Khiva, Uzbekistan, an ancient city on the Silk Road and slave trading post for 3 centuries, after 3 nights camping in the desert. Fortunately reports of how bad the road would be were wide of the mark - much of it was brand new tarmac.

Friday 22 May 2009


Bad roads in Kazakhstan - this is their equivalent of the A1 - and reports that the first 400km of road in Uzbekistan are even worse. Some people say the road is very bad, others say there is no road at all. I'm riding with the other bikers from the ferry for a few days and progress is slow - we're limited to the speed Gregorio, the Spanish rider, can do. He's riding to Mongolia on a street bike with road tyres.

Random Kazakhstan Fact: Kazakhstan is the world's 9th largest country, roughly the size of western europe.

Thursday 21 May 2009

The Caspian Sea

Managed to catch a ferry to Aktau, Kazakhstan, along with 2 German and 1 Spanish bikers, a French couple travelling round the world in a Land Rover and a British couple cycling to Australia.
The crossing is meant to take 18 hours but because of strong winds it ended up taking 48. The ordeal wasn't over once we reached Aktau - another 8 hours to get through customs.

Monday 18 May 2009

Still in Baku

Spent the whole day at the docks (along with 2 British cyclists, a French couple in a Land Rover and 3 bikers) - there was a boat to Turkmenistan but there wasn't any cargo for it so it didn't leave. That doesn't leave much time on the Turkmenistan transit visa to get across the country so Plan B is to catch a ferry to Kazakhstan. They only leave every 10 days or so, but rumour has it there may be one tomorrow. So back to the docks at 7 tomorrow morning to start the whole waiting game again.

Thursday 14 May 2009


A day spent being sent round various customs offices in Baku and eventually ending up at the one I started off at. The bike is now sitting at the docks until I catch a ferry across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan. That will hopefully be on Monday as the Turkmenistan visa comes into effect on Tuesday. So 3 days off in Baku for sightseeing and a bit of a rest.

Random Baku Fact: In the early years of the 20th century Baku produced half the world's oil.

Monday 11 May 2009


The threat by demostrators in Georgia to blockade the boders meant a bit of a dash through the country and into Azerbaijan a few days earlier than planned. At the border the Azerbaijani customs official said that although I could stay in the country for 30 days the bike was only allowed 3 days. So now have to get to Baku sooner than expected to leave the bike at the customs pound at the docks.

The road to Baku

Random Azerbaijan Fact: Rural restaurants are divided into individual private rooms, and there are no prices on the menu - apparantly they change too often.

Friday 8 May 2009


Into Georgia. Had to fill in a form about swine flu at the border which the border guards didn't seem to know what to do with. After about half an hour they stamped it and handed it back to me. The next day had the first run-in with the police - he pulled me over but only wanted to know where I was from and if everything was okay. Georgian villagers all sell produce outside their houses, but each village only specialised in one thing. One village will only sell apples, the next will sell cheese, and the next will sell wooden bedsteads.

The main road into Georgia

Random Georgia Fact: The lemons look like oranges. Or maybe its that the oranges taste of lemon.

Thursday 7 May 2009


Staying in a Turkish ski resort tonight - unfortunately when I was cutting down the the equipment I needed to bring with me before I left one of the things I decided I could leave behind was the snowboard.
Met a French couple today who are cycling around the world. To get to Turkey took 3 weeks on a motorbike - its taken them 3 months.

The state of the Turkish roads is pretty variable, some are quite bad, and most of the driving is pretty bad but outside of the towns there isn't much traffic. Hardly surprising when petrol is about 1 pound 35p a liter.

Monday 4 May 2009

Doing my best to look like the life of a motorcycle traveller really is quite tough.

Captain Caveman

Staying in a cave in Goreme tonight, an area famous for, well, caves really. Those of you with an interest in natural history will no doubt like to know how the landscape was formed. Well you'll have to look it up, I haven't a clue.

Sunday 3 May 2009

Room with a view

That's the view from the hotel window in Sincon, Turkey. The view of the inside wasn't much better.


Incredible scenery on the road from Istanbul, and this isn't even the bit of Turkey that's famous for its scenery.

Saturday 2 May 2009


2,672 miles after leaving home and I'm in Istanbul. A sightseeıng day today and tomorrow a ride over the Bosphorus and into Asia.