Over the roof of the world
Alex Trip Start: May 09 2010 - Trip End: Jul 06 2010
Last spring Alex and Jules found themselves in the Village Inn Barnsley and exited with a plan. ?Let?s drive over the Himalayas and back to Gloucestershire?. Sounds easy doesn?t it! Months of intensive planning and preparation ensued and here we are - about to put the poor old car into a container to Kolkata (or Calcutta to you). We have flight tickets to the old capital of the Indian Raj on May 6th where we will attempt to free the vehicle from Indian red tape and start the long run home.
For the geographers among you a few comments on the route. We are expecting to travel about 14200 kms or 8900miles. We are starting at sea level and top out at 5300 metres ? 17400 feet at Everest Base Camp. We expect to spend two weeks at high level on the Tibetan plateau visiting Lhasa and Mount Kailash - the spiritual home of Hinduism Buddism and Jainism. We pass the mysterious ruins of the ancient Guge Kingdom in Western Tibet and then having spent innumerable nights in flea bitten homestays fighting off water born disease altitude sickness and dodging earthquakes ? we will drift down into the Taklamakan Desert and make for the relative luxury of Kashgar.A days regrouping and then we are into the joys of the Stans. Those of you who remember our last trip will appreciate that these are made up of a series of irritating and sinister border crossings interspersed by the odd wondrous Silk Road city. So Samarkand Bukhara and Khiva are on the schedule after ducking quickly through the south of Kyrgystan assuming no civil war. Then we head into the desert west of the Aral Sea where will be navigating by the stars ? off road for several hundred miles. Assuming we can find our way out we will cross the border into Mother Russia at Astrakhan ? just north of the Caspian Sea ? where Jules will celebrate by buying yet another hat.Volgograd is the next target. Site of one of the WW2?s most important battles ? Stalingrad ? and assuming all goes to plan that of the arrival of the third musketeer ? Greg who will be with us for the rest of the journey. We head southwest onto the Crimea peninsular in the Ukraine where Balaclava and the Charge of the Light Brigade will be remembered. After Sevastapol and Odessa we turn north again towards Lvov and thence to Poland. We are on the home stretch now and only a few days will separate us from our families and a well deserved summer holiday. We will attempt to keep you up to date with the journey as it unfolds and will post photos and journal entries on this site. We are doing this entirely as a challenge to ourselves. However we would like to recommend that anyone who feels so minded should go to the Charity page of this site where you will have the chance to understand a bit more about Marie Curie Cancer Care and Opportunity International. We want to support these two organizations because they are best of breed in their own fields. Read more and hopefully give generously! See you all on 7th May 2010 in Calcutta ? ( Kolkata ) when the blog will begin in ernest....