London to Beijing update 7

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a new mobile phone.

All my friends have got one and mine makes me groan.

I have no service and can’t send pictures to you

As Outlook is knackered and possibly Gmail too.

So if you get this hip hip hooray

And I might stay sane to ride another day.

Update 7 was meticulously drafted 2 days ago in Samarkand, full of wit, info and great pictures but  never left the iPad, probably due to poor Internet or maybe…….the Uzbeck police monitoring the contents.
Now in Dushanbe after crossing into Tajikistan and comms have not improved. So it’s probably something I have done. Now using Gmail, but it won’t let me send pictures. Any suggestions?
Since Ashkhabad we’ve visited the UNESCO world  heritage sites of Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand.  All ye ancient Silk Road cities, full of Mosques,  mausoleums, meat on sticks, mud brick buildings and now motorbikes.  When you’ve seen one set of blue tiles on a renovated building you’ve seen them all.  As a result I lost the will to live on the Samarkand city tour and escaped for a cuppa tea and sticky bun.  Ahh, Brits abroad.
Also camped in the desert and visited a burning gas crater. Once upon a time, 40 years ago in fact, the Russians tapped into the desert to extract natural gas.  It was all going so well until one day the roof of the gas cavern collapsed leaving this huge burning crater. image (2)
 Imagine the gas bill just keeping the Aga on for that amount of time, this spectacle represents thousands of them. There has got to be a big opportunity there somewhere.
Everyone is still mobile albeit with a few aches and pains. Likewise the bikes, which have now had an oil change and are sporting new off road tyres.  The latter a necessity, as we tackle the Pamir Highway over the next 7-10 days;  mostly dirt, at high altitude, with river crossings and at least one pass with the likelihood of snow.  Accommodation will be Homestays, very basic, fed on Yak, all sleep in one room on the floor and…….shock horror!…..worst of all….no Internet or even phone coverage.  How will we cope?  Not my problem as I’ve implied above.  So, next update from Kashgar  in approx 10 days, the first stop in China (Tibet).  Only 6000 miles to go.
PS Just sent a photo to myself so will try one of camping.

Author: Nigel richardson

1 thought on “London to Beijing update 7

  1. Hi Nigel
    Glad you’re still going strong!
    Camping picture shows that everyone is really roughing it…..with beers in hand ? Ho ho . The backdrop is good though.
    Had similar photo from this weekend at Horizons Unlimited ( HUBB) adventure bikers rally at Donnington. A great do , with plenty of talks ,and interesting stories like yours.
    Past travels in Mongolia taught me that the curd of horses milk…was unpalatable , and if offered meat, they consider it polite to give you the bit with most fat!! Be warned. ( Look for chickens nearby to palm it off.)
    Good luck with Tibet…and the monasteries. John

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