Thailand December 17 through January 13, 2007
Back in Bangkok. After a few weeks in Cambodia, it's time to ship the bike home and start tying up loose ends to make my re-entry into the Western world on January 13th. Bangkok (2) Chiang Mai
Cambodia December 3 through December 17, 2006
You want girl? You want boy? Arriving in Poipet, just across the border from Thailand, I had to shake off a few unsavory characters before checking into an otherwise very nice hotel in this border town, rife with prostitutes and middle aged white men. Siem Reap Phnom Penh
Thailand November 24 through December 3, 2006
The last few days in Kathmandu were surprisingly relaxing. Despite having to ship the bike to Bangkok, I was able to enjoy a few days of leisure between the formalities and shipping issues. ZoŽ and Simon invited me for lunch at their place and I had breakfast with Ram, who runs Hands in Outreach, a charity co-founded by a former family member. Bangkok
Nepal September 23 through November 24, 2006
A closed gate was the first obstacle to getting out of India. Someone had taken the key and they didn't know who. The well-used dirt road via Banbasa allows Indian and Nepali people to come and go as they please. Their heavily laden bicycles with goods fit narrowly through a smaller gate. Half an hour later, a surprised civil servant arrived with the key. Pokhara Pattan Kathmandu Pashupatinath Swayambhunath Helambu trek Annapurna Circuit Annapurna Base Camp Pokhara (2)
India September 20 through September 22, 2006
My aim was not to visit the main part of India, so I skipped it. I crossed the border into India at Amritsar and made time to get to Nepal via Delhi, this being the fastest way. As planned, it took two days of diligent riding to get to Tanakpur, the western entrance into Nepal. I'll visit Arunachal Pradesh, the part of India wedged between Myanmar, Bhutan, China and Bangladesh after my visit to Nepal.
Pakistan August 14 through September 20, 2006
Leaving Iran, you also leave the West and enter the East. It's very apparent and oddly familiar to be back in the East. Maybe Europe or some semblance of it carries further than we think. Quetta Loralai Fort Munro DI Kham Peshawar Karakorum Highway Gilgit Minapin Rakaposhi Base Camp Karimabad Passu Khunjerab pass Chapurson valley Karimabad (2) Islamabad Lahore
Iran July 22 through August 14, 2006
I left Gaziantep on the 21st and arrived in Tatvan. The original idea was to stay in Dogubayazit for the day on the 22nd and then cross into Iran. However, when I arrived in Dogubayazit, I decided to press on. Getting into Iran was surprisingly easy. One stamp, processing the Carnet de Passage and off I was. Tabriz Kaylebar Rasht Qazvin Hamadan Qom Kashan Abyaneh Esfahan Yazd Zahedan
Turkey July 18 through July 22, 2006
I left Syria this morning and arrived in Gaziantep, back at Anadolu Evleri, Tim's hotel where we stayed last time. I even got the same suite. I'm going to stay here for a few days and plan my trip to Iran and Pakistan, change oils on the bike and generally enjoy the fact I won't need to fly the bike to Pakistan after all.
Syria July 10 through July 18, 2006
Visa troubles, the war in Lebanon. All in all I was in Damascus for 8 days. More details here.
Jordan June 29 through July 10, 2006
Unlike Turkey or Syria, crossing into Jordan was a fairly orderly affair. Only one minor bribe needed. We left Damascus in the afternoon and made a quick side trip to Bosra (see "Damascus" below). We purposely opted for a smaller border crossing. An hour or so later, we were on our way. Jerash Karak Petra Aqaba Madaba
Syria June 20 through June 29, 2006
The first challenge with Syria was to see if Jan would make it in without paperwork. It's not strictly necessary to have a carnet for Syria, depending on your sources, but you never know who you run into at the border. Aleppo Hama Homs Palmyra Damascus
Turkey May 24 through June 20, 2006
We've slowed down and are making our way through Turkey. Starting in Istanbul, we're going East along the coast, then south and west towards Syria. We're debating going through Kurdistan but have an alternate route if needed. Istanbul Safranbolu Sinop Amasya Kars Tatvan Hasankeyf Mardin Mount Nemrut Gaziantep
Greece May 22 through May 24, 2006
We skipped Greece. Knowing the interior held little promise, we rode straight through, stopping for a day in a small coastal town. Jan might do some island hopping on his way back, which is what Greece is mostly about. Getting away from Western civilization was becoming more of an issue. We had the idea it would be interesting to slowly move from the Western world into the East, but in reality it is tedious.
Italy May 17 through May 21, 2006
The Italian countryside makes for great riding. Along the way, we stopped at Lake Como, La Spezia, Siena, Assisi and left via Ancona to Greece.
Switzerland May 16 and 17, 2006
A great visit with Dieter and his wife, beautiful scenery and a good ride to Italy. It's finally starting to feel like we're on holiday.
Germany May 15 and 16, 2006
Making the classic mistake to ride too far, we lucked out and camped in a great spot. The rain during the night was less welcome.
Netherlands Various dates between April 10 and May 15, 2006
I managed to crash my bike on a dirt road, fully loaded on the way to Jan, 2 days before our departure date. Lots of damage, but it all got fixed in time. Full details if you click on the "Netherlands" section.