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Cross-Europe & beyond (Silk Road?) 2014 - 2015

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WS Member WS Member's picture
Cross-Europe & beyond (Silk Road?) 2014 - 2015

Hi Everyone,
I'm leaving sunny Los Angeles to begin a cross-Europe bicycle trip in 2.5 weeks. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to ride my bike from London to Bangkok. Given the issues in the Middle East, specifically Pakistan and Afghanistan, the easy route seems to be too problematic, so I decided to turn it into a London to Beijing (Silk Road) trip. I am also traveling as a single female, so probably wouldn't feel too comfortable traveling through Afghanistan/Pakistan even if visas were easy to come by.

My budget is embarrassingly small, but I'm going to try and make it as far as I can. At this stage, I feel confident that I can at least make it to Istanbul without any problems. Whether I can afford to keep going, time will tell.

I would like to catch up with other cyclists as I travel, especially if we're taking the same route; traveling with others is almost always better than being alone. I expect to be wild camping as much as needed and homestaying as much as possible (my greatest thanks to those kind people in advance).

My rough route is as follows:

London
Oxford (visiting friend)
Portsmouth (ferry)
Cherbourg (visiting friend) *START SCHENGEN VISA*
Paris (visiting friend)
Brussels
Amsterdam
Dusseldorf (visiting friend)
(fly to Stockholm to visit friend in Sweden for 1 week)
Hanover
Berlin
Prague
Vienna
Bratislava
Budapest (if time on visa)
Belgrade *OUT OF SCHENGEN VISA*
Croatia
Dubrovnik
Greece loop (must have been out of Schengen for 90 days to enter into Greece)
Istanbul

If I can afford to keep going and/or can get visas, I'll go as far as I can along this rough route:
Tehran
Samarkand
Tajikistan (Pamir Mountains)
Bishkek
Kashgar
Great wall of China (western most part)
Xi'an (terracotta warriors)
Beijing

Any comments, suggestions, ideas, support or hosting is greatly appreciated.

I have a website set up, where I will be doing detailed blog updates, if anyone is interested.
www.worldjourneyman.com

Kind Regards,
Elizabeth.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Folding bike

Hi,

your folding bike isn`t suitable for these roads. Especially in the Stans the roads are rough.

Most globeriders going these way starting in spring. Where do you want to stay in winter? Iran can be pretty cold. Central Asia isn`t passable before June. Temperatures can be there in winter at - 30 degrees.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hi Peter, Thanks for your

Hi Peter,
Thanks for your reply.
I'm just going to ride as far as I can on my Bike Friday. I've taken it off-road before and although it's not easy or comfortable, it does survive. I will just see what happens, if I even make it as far as the stans. If it is impossible, I will fly home. No problem.

I intent to spend winter in the Balkan area while waiting for my Schengen visa to start over again (90 days in, 90 days out)...So, I'm hoping to do a farm stay or something like that in Serbia/Croatia/Albania. This means I will be in a home during the coldest part of the year.

So, I should be heading out of Istanbul during March, probably. Which seems like it will be perfect timing according to your suggestions?

Thanks for your comments - it is useful to hear from other people who know more about these regions than me.

Cheers,
E

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hi

the best time for Turkey is April/May. Spring will be there. Unfortunately it`s the best idea to go in July/Aug. in the Stans. Very less time to go this distance.

Here are a few impressions from the Pamir Highway:
http://vimeo.com/73722685

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Ah wow! That looks

Ah wow! That looks amazing.
If it turns out the Pamir Hwy is impassable for me, I will simply take a different rote. The ultimate goal is to make it to Beijing, not to kill myself in Tajikistan.
I'm naturally somewhat risk averse and won't be crossing any rivers on foot.

Thanks for the video!

WS Member WS Member's picture
stay with us in Austria

Hello Eliza,
If you need a place to rest in Austria, we are there for you. We are not on the Danube path, but on the Drau Radweg that will take you from our house, mostly downhill till Maribor, Slovenia.
Just contact us when you get nearer.
Enjoy your ride through Europe!
Peter

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I'm from Belgrade, Serbia. I

I'm from Belgrade, Serbia. I did not really understand, Schengen visa for what ??? If you're a United States citizen that's not necessary for the Balkans.

WS Member WS Member's picture
i can offer hosting in wuqi county ,100KM away from kashgar

lady! feel inspired for your great touring,i can offer hosting in wuqi county 100KM away from kashgar(remembering not in kashgar ,it is wuqia county ),if you arrive in kashgar cycyling heading west-north can arrive in our company(of course i can take you back to our company) which my wife and i are working in.i am always willingt o be a free guide for any foreigners.of course you included,when you will arrive in kashgar and have more free time ,please contact me ,let me be your free guide(2-3days,but you can stay in our company for more days,because we need to working from MON to FRI) and introduce kashgar's culture and muslim custom to you !if you come to our company ,you can have a good rest for getting rid of the tire during the long traveling.happy traveling.
message me on here,i will always pay my attention to you!expecting your getting !
but my oral english is not better ,it will need spending your time to understand me! i am improving now lol!
mengxitang

WS Member WS Member's picture
i can offer hosting in wuqi county ,100KM away from kashgar

lady! feel inspired for your great touring,i can offer hosting in wuqi county 100KM away from kashgar(remembering not in kashgar ,it is wuqia county ),if you arrive in kashgar cycyling heading west-north can arrive in our company(of course i can take you back to our company) which my wife and i are working in.i am always willingt o be a free guide for any foreigners.of course you included,when you will arrive in kashgar and have more free time ,please contact me ,let me be your free guide(2-3days,but you can stay in our company for more days,because we need to working from MON to FRI) and introduce kashgar's culture and muslim custom to you !if you come to our company ,you can have a good rest for getting rid of the tire during the long traveling.happy traveling.
message me on here,i will always pay my attention to you!expecting your getting !
but my oral english is not better ,it will need spending your time to understand me! i am improving now lol!
mengxitang