Select Page
On blogs and blogging…

On blogs and blogging…

In the time between my first big overland trip and now, some twelve years, the methods that we use to both record and communicate our exploits have changed considerably. Back in Africa in 2001 I recorded my adventures and communicated with home and the outside world...
Bukhara – the last of the Uzbek trinity

Bukhara – the last of the Uzbek trinity

Frazzled by the heat of the desert and the long drive from Khiva we were looking forward to our return to the profusion of decent, cheap accommodation options in Bukhara.Previously we had stayed at the New Moon Hotel, not yet in any of the guidebooks and a recent...
Khivan Forts

Khivan Forts

Lonely Planet, from Hell’s heart, I stab at thee… for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee… Stuffed to bursting with the delights of old Khiva we planned another early start to head back to Bukhara and some boutique hotel...
State of the Union (& Khiva)

State of the Union (& Khiva)

I….I….I’m not very well…. For just over forty years the collection of matter that constitutes the entity that is Mark Bowen has existed in a state union of reasonable peace and security.  All that was to change – after a night out in...
Uzbekistan – and the hunt for Dizel

Uzbekistan – and the hunt for Dizel

Typically long queue for petrol Warning:  This blog is intended for those intending to travel to Uzbekistan and wishing to understand the fuel situation. For everyone else, seriously, save yourself the bother and don’t read this. It really is quite dull… The road...
Uzbekistan – Samarkand

Uzbekistan – Samarkand

Border formalities finally completed in 7+ hours, we gained an hour of that back with a strange time change in the “wrong” direction – but one which benefitted our busy schedule that day. With an extra hour of daylight now available to us we pushed on towards...
Crossing into Uzbekistan

Crossing into Uzbekistan

This was the border crossing we had been dreading, for a number of reasons. Medications: First on our list of worries was the strict Uzbek rules regarding the carriage of medicines. There are a number of horror stories on travellers websites and blogs from people who...
South West Kazakhstan – II

South West Kazakhstan – II

We left Atyrau carrying 6 litres of used engine oil, wondering quite how to dispose of it an environmentally responsible manner?  We pulled into a small roadside garage to explain our predicament and see if we could use whatever disposal facilities they may possess in...
South West Kazakhstan – I

South West Kazakhstan – I

In our league table of areas visited so far, Western Kazakhstan is, unfortunately, in the relegation zone…along with Belgium.This is down to a variety of factors, and some of these have more to do with us, our preparation and expectation management, rather than the...
Thoughts on Russia

Thoughts on Russia

World masters of the hard stare… After leaving Volgograd we headed South East along the Volga river delta towards Astrakan. Apart from the attractions in Volgograd this part of Russia has not been massively exciting, and was always planned more for the transit...
Odessa

Odessa

Crap roads behind us (for now) we made better progress into the Black Sea port of Odessa.  Was not sure what to expect – something between Paris café culture and Plymouth Milbay dock “culture”…?We followed the coordinates for a campsite that Cheryl had optimistically...
Moldova II

Moldova II

We used the travel agent (see Useful Links…On the Road) that had been so helpful the day before, to book a wine tour.  All the major wineries such as Cricova, Milestii Mici, Cojusna etc and the famous Orheiul Vechi cave Monastery that are listed in LP’s...
Moldova I

Moldova I

On the World Happiness Database the UK ranks 28th with an average score of 7.2 (2000 to 2009).Moldova ranks 114th with a score of 4.9 – the lowest of any of the Nations we would be travelling through, and with only Macedonia and Albania ranking worse in Europe....
Moldovan Border Crossing

Moldovan Border Crossing

Romania Border crossing used: Targu Frumos (between Pascani and Iasi)Border process / hassles: Our first mildly problematic border. Total time, about 2.5 hours: Exiting Romania: No queue – but a more thorough check exiting than arriving?  Usual doors opened and...
Romania

Romania

Border crossing used: Mateszalka (Hungary) – Satu Mare (Romania)Border process / hassles: None – quick wave of the passport and through. New motorway (not even shown on 2013 road atlas) runs almost to Mateszalka. Smooth, virgin, unused tarmac all to...