Wow, I can’t consider it’s over! Almost 5 months of overland journey from China, via Mongolia, Russia, The Stans and Iran. What a visit! Though we knew this journey could be intrepid, we might have by no means imagined simply how adventurous it might be. We had some ups and a few downs alongside the best way, however our Central Asia Journey will go down as our most epic one but.
So What Did We Do?
Properly we began in Beijing the place we took the Trans-Mongolian practice via the Gobi Desert, over the rolling inexperienced hills of the Steppe and into Ulan-Bator, Mongolia’s unusual capital. We now have all the time dreamed of taking that practice and we’ve needed to go to Mongolia since our first journey resulted in 2009. Touring Mongolia lived as much as our expectations – and in reality, it exceeded them.
From Ulan-Bator, we employed a 4×Four and driver, and together with Four new mates, we headed out into the huge vacancy of the Mongolian Desert. We rode camels, watched the solar set over the dunes, drank fermented mare’s milk, and looked for dinosaur bones.
After 6 days within the desert we returned to Ulan Bator, solely to take off once more on essentially the most adventurous journey of our lives. Armed with nothing greater than a topographical map, fishing provides, meals and backpacks, we headed to a tiny village in the course of nowhere.
Collectively, following a route we plotted on Google Maps, we trekked alongside the river for eight days and over 200 km with no information and no assist. We met native nomadic households who had by no means seen foreigners earlier than, they usually introduced us items nearly every single day. Regardless of the rain, blisters, sore muscular tissues and frustration, this was in all probability one of the best factor we’ve ever completed in journey and we’re very proud that we accomplished it on our personal.
On To Russia!
From Mongolia we hopped on one other world-famous practice, the Trans-Siberian railway. We made our solution to Lake Baikal the place we swam, explored stunning Olkhon Island and camped on the shores of the crystal clear lake.VIDEO: Olkhon Island: A Piece Of Paradise In Russia
Subsequent Was The House Of Borat
We then acquired again on the practice and crossed Siberia earlier than slicing down into Kazakhstan, our first of many Stans. Right here we explored the nation’s present and former capitals – Astana and Almaty. The extremely trendy buildings in Astana have been among the coolest we’ve seen and the outside of Almaty have been a breath of recent air. We met some nice Kazakh individuals who we nonetheless hold in touch with right this moment.
From Kazakhstan we took a minibus into Kyrgyzstan which was in all probability our favorite Stan of all (Why? Click on Right here). In Kyrgyzstan, we employed a information and a few horses and launched into a Three day trek to Tune-Kol lake. It was simple on a horse, however our trek to Altyn Arashan on foot was some of the troublesome excessive altitude treks we’ve completed so far.
We slept in yurts, ate copious quantities of mutton and realized an unimaginable quantity about Kyrgyz tradition and customs. Touring Kyrgyzstan was an journey we’ll always remember.
Then Was The Epic Street Journey In Tajikistan
We made our solution to town of Osh within the south of Kyrgyzstan the place we met up with our now good mates Jason (England) and Jessica (Germany). The Four of us employed a landcruiser and driver to take us on the area’s most famed highway journey, The Pamir Freeway in Tajikistan. We spent 2 weeks with our new mates and we completed off this unforgettable journey with a helicopter journey over the mountains which took us again to the nation’s capital of Dushanbe.
On To The Unforgettable Structure Of Uzbekistan
After recharging and consuming one of the best Indian meals the world has to supply in Dushanbe, we took a shared taxi to Uzbekistan. The previous cities and getting older structure of this Stan have been definitely worth the journey alone. We’ve by no means seen such historic magnificence as we did in cities like Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkhand. Wandering round previous stone streets with huge mosques and mausoleums towering above us, was a time-warp really feel that we’ll always remember. We completely cherished Uzbekistan.
After we felt that we have been completed gawking at huge buildings, we transited via Turkmenistan for Four days and entered a rustic we’ve been ready to go to for a very long time… Iran.
Iran, A Spotlight In Itself
The repute that Iran has within the media was instantly confirmed false, whereas the repute it has with travellers who’ve been there proved right. Iran will go down as some of the fascinating nations we’ve ever had the chance to see. The individuals have been pleasant, the streets have been unbelievably protected and the websites have been completely breath-taking.
The very best expertise we had whereas backpacking Iran, and possibly top-of-the-line in all of our travels, was assembly our Iranian mates Soroush & Mehsa. The generosity and kindness they confirmed us was each humbling and enduring and we hope to all the time stay in touch with our two mates from Esfahan.
They confirmed us extra than simply their dwelling and their metropolis. They confirmed us simply how hospitable the Iranian individuals will be they usually gave us an actual perception into the lifetime of an Iranian household. Soroush & Mehsa for those who’re studying this, we thanks from the underside of our hearts.
This journey was all concerning the nice outside and the individuals we met alongside the best way. We’ve by no means been in a area the place we felt so welcomed. The native individuals have been all the time genuinely keen on us and our lives, and nearly by no means anticipated cash or enterprise from us. The journey wasn’t with out its downsides although. We had some problem with climate for the primary 6 weeks when heavy rains got here nearly every single day. We turned annoyed at occasions with the transportation and visa procedures and we had $1,500 USD stolen from us within the Pamir Mountains.
However once we look again on the journey, we see it as a life altering journey that actually encompassed every part we love about journey. It’s these kind of challenges that hold journey attention-grabbing and we’re grateful to have been capable of take such an incredible journey, and to have met such great individuals.
For anybody who plans to go to Mongolia, The Stans or Iran, prepare for an expedition that may check your limits of journey, whereas confirming why you do it within the first place. We all know now greater than ever, that the highway is the place we need to be. Our planet is a limitless land of surprise, simply ready to be explored. Central Asia confirmed us a world of unparalleled magnificence and re-ignited our lust for the undiscovered.
Thank-you Central Asia.
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