Like a Bullet from a Gun

Simon

The last few months has been quite a start – stop affair for us. Really, since Shanghai, we’ve been running on various Asian governments’ schedules, obtaining various extensions for our Chinese visas, and even acquiring them for countries such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran was a major hassle. Having to sort out visas has meant we’ve been hanging around some pretty bland, boring cities for days on end, waiting to get the official piece of paper from the guy behind the desk. Working on someone else’s timetable is the exact antithesis of what cycle touring is meant to be about, being free to do your own thing, in your own time.

But now we’ve got all the stamps and passed through this blockade of countries that have been holding us back as if we’ve been cycling through thick treacle. To demonstrate how sticky this bureaucrat treacle is, I’ll state the fact that the first, embassy laden half of Central Asia (from Almaty to Tashkent) took around two months, while the second half from Tashkent to Iran took less than 2 weeks!

It feels fantastic to be given free reign at the controls of our adventure and to cycle when we want and visit the places we want, not just the capital cities. A huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders and we can now just concentrate on cycling rather than spending much of our time queuing outside embassies. When I got on my bike in Samarquand, having obtained the last of my visas, I felt as if I was released; like a bullet from a gun.

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5 thoughts on “Like a Bullet from a Gun

  1. Boys
    Have you started planning your homecoming now that you are getting closer to Europe? Having followed you around the world on the website and enjoyed checking in a couple of times a week since you left in Nov 2008, I am keen to come welcome you home and congratulate you both (Simon – I reckon Pete and Laura, Andy and Susan would be keen too). Only problem is (and you’ll probably forget what this feels like!) I’ll have to play around with annual leave, book flights/ferry etc. Have you got a ball park at this point and are you planning on rolling back into Greystones on a weekend? Cheers, Matt W

  2. Hey guys, congratulations getting through the treacle – you deserve to celebrate, we’re all really proud of back here. Ferg, really glad to hear you’re OK after the attack. Keep the head up guys and enjoy the ride.

    Adrian.

  3. Hiya

    its just weird sitting here in lanzarote in 26 degrees the week before xmas and reading your blog!

    Hot and sunny, but with santas and cotton wool snow everywhere! Really bizarre! Had a cool relaxing week, sitting, sunning, swimming etc.

    Be happy… talk soon when we get home in a few days and i’ll give you the full report.

    Much love mum and dad xxxx

  4. We’re aiming to have the homecoming cycle around the end of April (18th or 25th), or possibly on the 2nd May. We’re trying to sort out a venue to have a big party after the last leg cycle, and once that’s comfirmed we can do up an itinerary.

    We will also be coming through Cambridge about 2 weeks before the homecoming so can catch up then too!

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