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Central Europe, UK and Scandinavia

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It’s fair to say that a blog on these well visited countries and regions wouldn’t make for fascinating reading, so I will try and keep this pretty brief.
We seem to have chosen a summer of weddings of very close friends to do our trip, which has also shaped our itinerary somewhat.  We crossed into Germany through the Bavarian Forest,…

Hungary

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19th May 2012 – 20th May 2012
We didn’t manage to find anywhere to camp in Romania after leaving the merry cemetery in Sapanta, and so we soon found ourselves crossing the border into Hungary.  The Romanian border guards had already gone home for the day, and the Hungarian ones took little notice of us.  Traveling around the EU is…

Special Report! Georgia to Azerbaijan border crossing

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15th September 2012 – 16th September 2012
Gardabani (Georgia) to Qazax (Azerbaijan) border crossing:
Note! You must go through the border on the main road.  You cannot cross at Kesalo, and it is a long way back to Rustavi if you make this mistake (no bridge across the river to get back to the main road).
We arrived at the…

Romania

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Drum Bun!  Initially we thought this was the name of a town, but we soon cottoned on to the fact that it actually means “Good Bye” or something similar in Romanian, although it took us a remarkably long time to realize that.
We rumbled down from the rickety border bridge at Ruse and were briefly pulled over by Romanian customs.…

Special report! Ukraine, Russia and Georgia via Port Kerch, the Vladikavkaz / Verkhiny Lars and Kazbegi / Stepantsminda border

Read the original post and follow PNSF Expedition's overland adventures on their website: Plastic Not So Fantastic.


This blog is a bit boring and technical, but we found it difficult to find up to date information on the internet about this route, as it goes via the relatively new border crossing between Russia and Georgia at Verkhniy Lars / Kazbegi.
We stayed in Krasnodar at the Forum Hotel (see bookings.com) and in Nal’chik at the Korona Hotel…

Bulgaria

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We didn’t really know what was going to await us in Bulgaria.  I think we expected to be thrown back into the Dark Ages, and we had heard from our hitchhiker in Turkey that Bulgaria is a ridiculously cheap place to eat and drink.  We had also heard about nasty policemen hiding in the bushes just waiting to exchange a…

GoalZero review

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Our two Goal Zero Extreme 350 power packs have been essential companions on this trip.  We had a bracket made for them so that they sit side by side on top of our safe, which also places them right next to our Waeco fridge.

Our only real criticism of the Extreme 350 power packs is that the inverter which latches…

Greece

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Lunch consisted of an apple consumed whilst waiting for our new insurance papers, as the ten day old cheese from Kars, which had formed part of the original menu, had grown too many new life forms.  Had I scraped them all off, there would have been very little left to consume.  I was also a little worried about importing some…

Turkey

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Our remaining Iranian crony made a running jump out of the car as the border gates between Iran and Turkey rolled back to save himself from the temptations of the other side.
A kindly Turkish border officer greeted us with big smile and a chuckle.  It seems the relief on our faces to be finally out of Iran was a…

Equipment Review

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CAR HARDWARE
TireGate Swingaway spare tire carrier
The Swingaway tire carrier mounts easily onto the 2inch tow hitch receiver, whilst still being able to mount a towing ball / shackle receiver.
We have the double Jerry can mount fitted and have custom built a tap into the space between the Jerry cans. The spare tire is secured with a heavy duty…

Meeting with Bo Eide – Norwegian Environmentalist

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We had the great pleasure and fortune to meet, while staying in Tromsø, north Norway, with Bo Eide. We had been in contact with Bo for many months now, and part of our mission up north was to visit him. Due to our unpredictable schedule and arrival date, we were lucky that he was in town.

Bo works in the…

Latitude Festival 2012

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We have just returned from a five night stay at the 2012 Latitude Festival in Suffolk, United Kingdom. Our merchandise sponsor, DGrade Clothing, had organised for us to be there. Together with the festival’s recycling and green messenger teams we raised awareness about waste, recycling and plastic by distributing recycling and bio bags, picking up rubbish, talking to people and…

Plastic Pollution Report – Turkey

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Waste Management
We found that Turkey had an organized rubbish collection system, and the landfills were centralized, serving a number of communities, and were therefore very much larger than in Iran.  The landfills we saw were not fenced.

An open landfill in Eastern Turkey

The other side of the road from the landfill – strewn with plastic bags

Rubbish bins…

Iran

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I should have known I was going to have my issues with Iran, when an officious member of the crew told me I had to put on my chador almost as soon as we had scrambled up into the seating deck on the ferry.  I could feel the usually dormant feminist within me sharpening her claws.

Theresa all covered up…

Plastic Pollution Report – Iran

Read the original post and follow PNSF Expedition's overland adventures on their website: Plastic Not So Fantastic.


Waste Management
There seems to be a general waste management problem in Iran.
Public rubbish bins are available at petrol stations, and in parks. Otherwise no rubbish bins were evident.
Roadsides or embankments from roads into valleys seem to be the preferred place for dumping building and municipal waste. People take the initiative to burn litter at the roadside when…

Our route so far

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Here is the link to the Google Map site of our route, i.e. our overnight stays so far. As the SPOT GPS tracker only keeps the positions saved for seven days, this map is more permanent, and shows the more or less exact position of our sleeps since leaving Dubai.

View PNSF Expedition route so far in a larger map…

1000km in pictures

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We decided to take a picture from the roof of the car every 1000km. We tried to keep it as close to 1000km as possible, but we might be out by a few kilometres, due to conditions not permitting us to stop.
 

1000km from leaving Dubai Kashan, Iran 132,200km N 33 58.613 E051 23 475

2000km from Dubai Just…

Environmental Art in Iran

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‘Your garbage is my garbage, my garbage is your garbage’ – Ahmad Nadalian
This is our first blog from on the road. We left Dubai via the ferry from Sharjah to Bandar Abbass, Iran, and arrived in Tehran yesterday in the early afternoon after a wonderful three day journey through the Iranian countryside.
We are very grateful to have had…

April 2012 update

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The last weeks have been busy. We have been very fortunate that we have been able  to give numerous presentations at schools, universities and companies, and hopefully, with our inspiration, these entities will now do more to care for the environment and reduce their plastic waste.
We now have an official departure date: 24th of April 2012. We went to…

Merawah Marine Biosphere Reserve

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Last weekend we went to visit the UAE’s only UNESCO recognized biosphere reserve: the Merawah Marine Biosphere Reserve. Biosphere reserves are sites established by countries and recognized under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.
As we have signed a consultancy agreement with UNESCO Arab Region (Doha Office) to visit as…