Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On the (Silk) Road Again, Just Can't Wait to Get on the (Silk) Road Again!

I'm taking advantage of the fact that I'm out from under the curtain of censorship in Myanmar to update this blog (Blogspot is censored in the Golden Smiling Land). Soon I will be out of Myanmar for good; at the beginning of June, my contract ends and I will finish an unprecedented three years of sedentary existence as a teacher and return to what I'm best at: nomadic explorations of the world.

So at the moment I'm getting excited, doing one of my favourite things: planning my next trip. I've got the Lonely Planets out, I'm checking maps and Google Earth and the Thorn Tree, and I'm pencilling in blocks of time over the next 12 months. Here's the (very tentative) plan to finish the Silk Road Ride that I started 7 years ago and continued 5 years ago.

Early July: Fly to Kuwait, take a ferry to southern Iran (probably Bushehr). ride through western Iran and touch my 2004 route in Tehran before checking out the Assassin castles and riding up into...

Early August: Azerbaijan. Zip up to Baku, hit some of the Caucasus villages for some trekking, and then head to...

Mid-August: Georgia. Lots of hiking and maybe some mountain climbing. Dip down to...

Late August: Armenia. Loop around the country, hit Nagorno-Karabakh, then back to

Early September: Georgia. See more Caucasus scenery, try to get into South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Finally zip into ....

Late September: Eastern Turkey. Ride through some of the Armenian areas, down to Ani and Lake Van, and then out to the Mediterranean coast at Antakya (ancient Antioch). That's it! I'll have ridden from Xian to the Med, from the ancient Chinese capital to the entrepot of the eastern Roman Empire.

Then what? Well, I'd like to ride through the Balkans (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, etc.), then fly to Qatar, ride around the coast of the Arabian Peninsula to Yemen, then ride a bit in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, maybe the Sudan). Then maybe some mountain climbing in South America....stay tuned.

Anyway, I'm definitely going to be finishing the Silk Road ride over the next few months, so stay tuned for updates from the road.

Peace and Tailwinds

Graydon