During the weeks after I knew that I would not be able to compete in London I decided that since I was on this side of the world, and didn't have any pressing reason to be back in NZ, I would tick a few things off the travel bucket list!
I have always wanted to travel from Europe to Asia overland, specifically via the Trans-Siberian railway. However, the only way I could get a Russian visa was to go back to Wellington, so I looked at other routes that didn't include Russia. After lots of hunting on the good old www I found a trip through the "Stans" following parts of the ancient Silk Road, specifically through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, with overland adventure tour operators Dragoman.
The tour goes for a month and we travel by 4WD bus and get to experience home stays, yurts and some nights camping out along with travel through deserts and hiking in the mountains. It's going to be an amazing adventure!
Normally when I pack my bags to head overseas I have two massive bags stuffed with running shoes and a variety of spikes, a whole lot of lycra and a javelin, so heading off tomorrow with just a backpack and my sleeping bag is going to be very weird but also liberating!
My first stop is Istanbul for a night and then on Saturday I fly to Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, where the group meets to start the tour.
At the end of the tour I will head off on my own to western China where I will travel by train to Beijing. From Beijing I then plan on doing a week tour through North Korea before heading back to NZ via Singapore.
I can't wait for the trip of a lifetime and have to keep pinching myself that I am actually starting it tomorrow!
Stay tuned for tales from the Silk Road...Internet cafe availability permitting!