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Tour of central Asia

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Tour of central Asia

Old 02-05-19, 12:57 PM
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Tour of central Asia

I just finished reading the book "Lands of Lost Borders" by Kate Harris. The book was a good read that I can recommend. The video about that expedition tour is also good. https://vimeo.com/52413851
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Old 02-07-19, 02:13 PM
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Did the Black Sea, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan thing last summer. The visa situation has improved considerably, as you can now get them online (depending on your passport of course). You have to mindful of the weather and time of year as you go from the murderous heat of eastern Uzbekistan to the cool/cold weather of the mountains. You also have to be careful with your water, be prepared to carry at least 10 liters just to be save. Highly recommended.
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Old 02-08-19, 01:34 PM
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thanks for sharing that. Tough lady and tough conditions to travel in, specifically the cold.
Not my cup of tea the cold.
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Old 02-08-19, 01:38 PM
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I lived in Almaty in the late 90s. I can't imagine riding a bike out on the Steppe. Not unless the roads (and the drivers) have improved a hundredfold.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by berner
I just finished reading the book "Lands of Lost Borders" by Kate Harris. The book was a good read that I can recommend. The video about that expedition tour is also good. https://vimeo.com/52413851
Like you, I also recommend this book. It is a good read, even though I thought the author tended to wander and wax philosophical a bit too much. Nevertheless, it is a fabulous expedition and a great story. Considering the effort which went into putting this trip together, the level of precise detail in description and the jaw dropping nature of the geographical area, I was really disappointed there were no pictures other than a small, grainy black and white image at the start of each chapter. This is especially surprising considering the high quality of the videos I've seen about this tour.
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Old 02-22-19, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gerryl
Did the Black Sea, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan thing last summer. The visa situation has improved considerably, as you can now get them online (depending on your passport of course). You have to mindful of the weather and time of year as you go from the murderous heat of eastern Uzbekistan to the cool/cold weather of the mountains. You also have to be careful with your water, be prepared to carry at least 10 liters just to be save. Highly recommended.
How easy were the various boat crossings? Any issues for bicycles on the ferry? How did you carry all that water, and finally you may or may not know this, what's it like for women travellers?
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Old 03-06-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pjsingh
How easy were the various boat crossings? Any issues for bicycles on the ferry? How did you carry all that water, and finally you may or may not know this, what's it like for women travellers?
The crossings were easy and a welcomed brake from all the cycling. What you have to be aware of is that the ferries, both on the Black sea and Caspian, are set up for commercial truck and train traffic, so that departure times are far from a sure thing. This isn't much of an issue in Bulgaria when leaving from Varna, a very pleasant city only 25Kms from the ferry dock. Hanging around Varna waiting for a ferry is no chore. Different story in Azerbaijan, the ferry leaves from Alat ~70km from Baku. There you have a choice, hang around Baku and hope you can ride 70kms in as little as 5 hrs, as that is usually how much warning you'll get before departure time, or hang around Alat, which has one unmarked hotel and absolutely nothing to do, a dusty lonely place on the road between Baku and Iran.
On both ferries the bikes are stored with the rest the vehicles, wherever the crew sees fit. If your bike is a delicate precious thing, you may be disappointed upon retrieval.
To cross the long distances of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, I filled up 6 x 2 liter soft drink bottles. I have 4 barely half full panniers, so plenty of room for extra water. This is not a bike packing type of trip.
I came across a couple of Dutch girls in Azerbaijan on their way home from China, they reported no problems traveling as women. Otherwise judging by the number of women waving down rides on the side of the road, especially in Uzbekistan, things looked pretty safe for local women.
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Old 03-07-19, 11:59 PM
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I remember seeing those videos some years ago, the trip was done in 2011, I believe. I guess it took a long time and much research to get the book out.
Did they ever do a longer film of the journey? An amazing trip, showing great fortitude and good humor. Also some luck, as two women travelling through Asia like that
could potentially be targets.
Looking forward to reading the book which has won some awards.
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