Friday, 12 July 2013

The First Draft of History

Blogs are the first rough draft of history these days but a trip of this length will need some processing before any conclusions can be drawn. At this stage all you can do is capture the impressions that stand out from the crowd.

The fantastic roads: the Croatian coast, the gorges of Eastern Tibet, the dirt hairpins to Everest, the wide valleys of western Tibet.

The terrible roads: Turkmenbashi to Ashgabat, Albania, Chinese city traffic.

The challenges: Tibetan sand, Szechuan mud, Chinese floods, altitude, erratic sea crossings and jobs worth customs officials

The sights: The ruins of, Khiva, Hagia Sofia, Mt Everest, morning fog on the Bosphorus, the night sky in the Pamirs, remote Tibetan monasteries, balloons over Cappadocia

The people: Lunch with M and family in Turkmenistan, a christening in Tbilisi, tea and doughnuts in a yurt in Sary Tash, Szechuan Opera in Chengdu, a truck driver offering a watermelon by the roadside, coffee with a Turkish Islamist and again with a Greek priest, a guitarist in Dubrovnik.

The food: deep fried scorpion, yak burger, hot pot, meat-on-a-stick, plov, salt baked fish, boil-in-the-bag breakfasts.

The company: Tintin, "The Prof", Papa Love, the irrepressible Peter M, Brad, Uncle Mel and all the team who worked together to get us all to the end.

Each of these elements can be described, photographed, talked about, exaggerated and remembered, but the nature of this sort of trip is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

The totality of the experience, the emotion, the "feel" is difficult to describe to those who haven't been there. The author hopes that this blog has presented the pearls and some of the thread that joins them.

If you have been, thank you for reading this far.


  1. Well done Steve and the team.
    Fantastic effort and I'm sure memories for ever.
    Thanks for sharing it all with us through the blog.


  2. Big Sis and Si13 July 2013 at 00:03

    Thanks for the blog. it's been an eye opener on parts of the world we did not know existed. Congratulations on reaching your goal. See you soon. J and S

  3. I've loved reading your daily blog as have my folks & many friends too, thank you for sharing your days with us. You've made me laugh & brought a few tears to my eyes! Hope to meet up one day, enjoy being home & take care, Sue x

  4. Beautiful blog and rather humbling for us mere mortals sat back home