Lanzhou – China
It’s crazy what can happen in 24 hours. Yesterday, Fearghal recieved news on a family matter in Ireland and immediately set about returning home for a couple of weeks. Fearghal going away put a cat among the pigeons and made us really re-think our plans. Up until yesterday, we were planning to go to the west of China into Kazakhstan, then down to Iran via Central Asia. But we both felt that since arriving in China the adventure had been lost from the expedition somewhat. If we were a shampoo bottle, we’d read: cycle, eat, sleep, repeat. While this is grand for putting down distances it’s not the most inspiring way to travel for us. It was a case of just spinning the pedals, and there was no doubt that we could both keep spinning for the next 8 months and thus there was little remaining challenge.
But now that Fearghal is away for two weeks, we’ve re-thought our strategy. We’d both read a great book recently called “3 Cups of Tea” that was set in the Karakoram mountain range in Northern Pakistan. The Karakoram Highway (KKH) runs through the Karakoram mountain range, which is home to the second highest mountain in the world, K2. The KKH runs from Kashgar in Western China, over the Khunjerab Pass at 4693m, then descends to Islamibad in Pakistan and is the highest paved road in the World. So now we’ve set our sights on cycling the KKH to Islamibad, then through Iran to Turkey. And for an added bit of adventure, we plan to cycle to Turkey independently. I will lead the way, then when Fearghal gets back from Ireland, he will follow the same route.
The prospect of cycling the KKH is really exciting, it may be a bit more risky, and time will be of the essence, as I’ll have to sort out my Pakistan visa and rush to get across China before my visa expires. But, if all goes to plan, it’ll be well worth it!