Ever wanted to know where on earth I have been cycling all these months? Here is an overview of my journey through Asia and the Middle East in one map (up to now, that is):
The blue dots shows the first part of the journey (Kyrgyzstan to Oman), the orange icons the second part (Mongolia to India). And the red icon shows where I am these days.
If you want to read a nice little wrap-up of my journey, following my route country by country, have a look at this blog post.
How it all started…
I originally intended to cycle back home towards Europe from Kyrgyzstan, following the network of silk roads roughly westwards (hence the name Anne Westwards – utterly creative, right?). Since then, my plans have changed wildly – and I am glad for all the changes, many of them rather spontaneous. This is the list of countries I explored on this journey so far:
Kyrgyzstan – Tajikistan – Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan – Iran – UAE – Oman
(This is an approximate route, as google maps does not know many of the minor roads I have taken. One major fault in this map: I cycled through the Wakhan valley in Tajikistan.)
.. and where the adventure is taking me these days
Mongolia – China – Pakistan – India
Plan Sept 2014:
Roughly speaking, I will travel through the following countries:
Kyrgyzstan – Tajikistan – Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan – Azerbaijan – Georgia
To get started on my trip, I will fly into Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) from Berlin (Germany). From there, I will explore alpine lakes, beautiful mountain scenery and the life of the Kyrgyz nomads on their high-altitude pastures. From Osh onwards, I will continue towards Tajikistan, where I will mainly cycle along the remote Pamir highway, one of most stunning mountain roads ever built. One major deviation will lead me through the famously beautiful Wakhan valley along the border to Afghanistan. Via the Tajik capital of Dushanbe I will continue cycling into Uzbekistan for a change of gears (quite literally): instead of exploring glorious alpine landscapes, I will dive into the rich history of ancient Silk Road cities (particularly Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva). My journey will then take me to the isolated North of Uzbekistan – the ancient Elliq-Quala castles await me there as well as the sad remains of the Aral sea. Deserts will continue to be a defining features once I enter Mangistau (Western Kazakhstan) for cycling towards the world’s largest lake (Caspian Sea). From here on, things are still open, but weather permitting, I will cross the Caspian Sea by ferry and continue through Azerbaijan and Georgia.
And as for any journey: having a plan is good, being open for changes is better. I am already curious about the detours I will take :-).
EDIT Dec 2015:
So my plans have changed, indeed. While I took the route I had intended to take till Aktau, Kazakhstan, I then ‘turned’ left to cycle through Iran (taking a flight from Aktau to Tehran). Winter had caught up with me, so going South seemed a lot more sensible. Thus, I decided to cycle through Central Iran to the Persian Gulf, explored Qeshm Island and caught a ferry to the United Arab Emirates. From there, my journey continued through the Sultanate of Oman.