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Beijing to Paris - Part 1: Beijing to Istanbul


The . . . 'You want to do WHAT??' Tour

8,246 km (5,124 miles) over 151 days from April 6, 2007 to September 3, 2007

Topic: Bicycle Touring  
Categories: Tour diaries, Equipment lists, MTB, 3-6 months, World
Locales: Asia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Europe, Russia, Turkey
Year: 2007

Permalink: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/HeatherB2P

Copyright © 2007-2014 By Heather Burge - (contact)

Status: Completed Mar 2014Featured Journal #229
Last update: Tuesday March 11, 2014 15:54 (US/Pacific) (edited Tue 11 Mar 2014 16:15 (US/Pacific))
539,998 hits since March 29, 2007 (hitcounts updated nightly)
1,790 pics

Click here to see this page

April 10th 2007.


Table of Contents

Another 'seemed like a good idea at the time' idea: Beijing to Paris

Preliminaries

One day to go: .....and Ulla and I lose each other!!
Twas the night before leaving…………: Not panicking - truly
Lightweight luggage: Yeah - right!
Eating our way around Beijing
Unpacking, repacking, unpacking, repacking: The great luggage explosion
Tackling the Kyrgyzstan Embassy: The visa in a day challenge.

China

Beijing to Datong - warming up.

Day 1 -The Journey Begins: Whose idea was this again?
Day 2 - Walking the Wall: Joining the tourist hordes
Day 3 - An ugly ride
Day 4 - Riding through the gunk yet again: To Zhangjiakou
Day 5 - Our first navigational error: Saved by our instincts
Day 6 - A most spectacular ride.: An inadvertent crossing of a mountain range.
Day 7 - Arriving Datong: We meet the Wild Camels
Day 8 - A rest day in name only.: Still in Datong
Day 9 - So we stay another day. Too hard to leave these lovely people: Another day in Datong

Datong to Yinchuan

Day 10 - A most unpleasant day – did I mention the coal dust???????: Zuoyun
Day 11 - NO COAL! Yes, I Said NO COAL!: 30 km past Youyu
Day 12 - Up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down.: 30 km short of Qingshuihe
Day 13 – Ok, so we get the message that it's cold here: 26 km before Lamawan
Day 14 - Spring is sprung!: Jungar Qi
Day 15 - A very dodgy day's riding.: Jungar Qi to about 80 km from Dongsheng
Day 16 - Did I say yesterday was dodgy??: 8 km outside Dongsheng
Day 17 – Off to find internet and shower.: Downtown Dongsheng
Day 18 - A second day of clean: Dongsheng
Day 19 - We farewell Ulla: Pejianghai
Day 20 – Don’t let the headwind get to you! Get your mind right: 20 km past Hanggin Qi
Day 21 – Surviving the dust storm: To a truckstop somewhere.
Day 22 – How black was my valley?: To Shizuishan
Day 23 – A gentle day: To Yinchuan

Yinchuan to Wuwei

Day 24 - ‘Resting’: Yinchuan
Day 25 - A pleasant day's cycling - a gentle doddle: To Qingtongxia
Day 26 - Another pleasant days riding - but it did go on a bit: To Zhongwei
Day 27 - Every day a surprise: Mongolian Village Resort (?)
Day 28 - Into the desert: To the small town of ?????
Day 29 - Up and over – (practising for Kyrgystan): To Dajing
Day 30 – Oh ye fickle winds: To Wuwei if we can make it!
Day 31 – Busy, busy, busy: Staying put in Wuwei.

Wuwei to Jiayuguan

Day 32 – A beautiful day for a bike ride: To as close as we can get to Zhangye (which is 240+ km away)
Day 33 – Discretion is the better part of somethingorother: To Shandan
Day 34 - Mother's Day: To Linze
Day 35 - We meet our first cyclist: To Yuanshanzi
Day 36 - 130 km - a new record: To Jiayuguan
Day 37 – The Fortress at Jiayuguan: The 'Impregnable Defile Under Heaven'

Jiayuguan to Hami

Day 38 – The down-hill we've been waiting for.: To the little town of Chijinzen
Day 39 – A Freeway kind of day – The Gods of Wind smile upon us: To Anxi - or thereabouts.
Day 40 – We pay the price!: To Hongliuyuan
Day 41 – And the wind will not defeat us.: To Xingxingxia, if it exists.
Day 42 – Is there a town out there?: To anywhere that will have us.
Day 43 – The mystery of the disappearing town: To Hami in the rain/storm/gale
Day 44 – Hami

Hami to Urumqi

Day 45 - Straight and flat, but what a view: To Sandaoling
Day 46 – #$%&**%@!*#!!#!: To the sanctuary of a bed in the corner of a restaurant - Yiwanquan
Day 47 – Bad day, good day, bad bad day, good day, good day, great day: To a small town 43 km east of Shanshan - Yi Wan Quan
Day 48 - Gently does it (for a change): To Shashan
Day 49 - Into the Flaming Mountains: Down, down, down to Turpan.
Day 50 - That foreign problem again – I just don’t blend in.: Turpan to Turpan – 3 minutes riding time.
Day 51 - Some days you should just stay in bed: To Dabancheng
Day 52 – The first big milestone: Urumuqi

Urumuqi

Day 53 – The visa saga begins: Tracking down the PSB.
Day 54 – Sleep: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Day 55 – Tian Chi or Heavenly Lake: We become tourists for a day.
Day 56 - Thriving Urumqi
Day 57 – Visa pick up day: Or not – as the case may be.
Day 58 – And now the Kazakhstan visa
Day 59 – I really would like to leave here tomorrow.
Some Snippets: With apologies for the toilet humour
Dilemma: I'm gonna be a Grandma

Urumqi to Kashi (Kashgar)

Day 60 – A Spectacular day: To Houxia
Day 61 – Just about as good as it gets!: To an isolated yurt at 2950 metres
Day 62 – A dream accidentally fulfilled: To the thriving metropolis of Wulasitai
Day 63 – Down, down, down: To Hejing
Day 64 – The start of the dash to Kashi: To Farm No. 29
Day 65 – The desert that isn't.: To Luntai
Day 66 – A rather long flat road – but I won’t ever say boring: To Kuqa
Day 67 – Laid low in Kuqa: Feeling poorly.
Day 68 – Recovering in Kuqa: A bright new day
Day 69 – A bus ride: Everything goes right.
Days 70 to 74 Wandering around old Kashgar: Monday 18th to Friday 22nd
Back together again
Day 75 – Heather’s Good Idea (not).: To a shepherds hut at N 39deg 34.541’ E 075deg 24.187’
Day 76 – Not out of the woods yet! (Well, actually, the river.): To Wuxia at last.
Day 77 – Now let’s really head for the border: To a campsite 40 km short of Ulugqat (Ulugchat)
Day 78 – And still that elusive border: To yet another town not on the map.

Kyrgyzstan

Day 79 – Into Kyrgyzstan at last: To Irkeshtam (variously Irkeshtan, Ilkeshstan)
Day 80 – Truckin’ Hell: What a journey.
Days 81 to 83– Osh by gosh!: An amazing co-incidence and a home comfort or two.
Day 84 – A delightful homestay: To the tiny village of Kyrgyz-Abad
Day 85 – Two degrees of separation.: To Leninski - and our first encounter with the ghosts of Intourist
Day 86 – Water melon saturation: To Tashkomur
Day 87 – Up the gorge without a paddle: Camped by a gurgling creek – almost in Karakul
Day 88 – A magnificent day ends on the rim of disaster: To a restaurant bed on the edge of Lake Toktogul
Day 89 – As good as it gets once more: To Toktogul
Day 90 – Plan C is hatched: To a river somewhere.
Day 91 – Up, up, up: I pass 5000 cycled kilometres!
Day 92 - A beautiful high pass: To another great campsite
Day 93 – A downhill like no other: To Kara Balta
Days 94 to 96 – Bishkek

Kazakhstan

Day 97 - Very sad to leave Kyrgyzstan: but Kazahkstan here we come.
Day 98 - Borat is avoiding me: To a house near Podgornoye
Day 99 - Photos, photos, photos: To Taraz
Day 100 - A blistering finish to the day: Camped under a cloudless sky
Days 101 to 103 - Hotting up just a tad: To Shymkent
Day 104 - Heading for the steppes: To a campsite 110 km past Shymkent
Day 105 - Headwind strikes again: To about 50km past Turkestan
Day 106 - 6000 cycled kilometres: Overwhelming hospitality
Day 107 – A bit more of the same: 60 km before Kyzl-Orda
Day 108 – First puncture of the trip: To Kzyl-Orda
Day 109 – Short but sweet: Camped in the wetlands with the mozzies.
Day 110 – NO HEADWIND!: Just past Dzhusaly
Day 111 – A long long long long day: To a yurt in the tiny village of Altai
Day 112 – Be kind wind, be kind: To Aral – and one of the greatest environmental disasters of the 20th century.
Days 113 to 114 – Aral: Resting, eating, planning.
Day 115 – The Aral Sea strikes back.
Day 116 – Temporarily (we hope) separated from our bikes.: To the mosquitoes of Atyrau
Days 117 to 118 – Killing time in Atyrau
Reunited with the velocipedes
Day 119 – Back on the flat, straight, hot, windswept road: To an abandoned petrol station.
Day 120 – Tar, bitumen, asphalt, macadam – they’re all dreadfully gooey when they melt: Almost reached the border.

Russia

Day 121 – To Russia with love: 7000 kilometres!
Day 122 – Tailwind, tailwind, tailwind: To Astrakhan
Day 123 – Internet frustration in Astrakhan
Day 124 – Some smart navigation: And more generous people.
Day 125 – 173 kilometres without even trying: So many kind people.
Days 126 and 127 – We just keep rolling with the wind: To Elista
Racing the baby!
Day 128 – A very uneventful day, but even then stuff happens: To just past Divnoye
Day 129 – Meng and Heather 1 : Russian police Nil: To a campsite just past Svetlograd,
Day 130 – The most uneventful day of all: To just past Stavropol.
Day 131 – So many pleasant encounters: To Amavir, well almost
Day 132 – Tailwind, tailwind, tailwind: Benighted in Maykop!
Day 133 – I hit 8000 km: To the banks of the ???? River.
Day 134 – Goodbye to Meng’s bike stand: To Tuapse (almost)
Day 135 – Joining the Russian campers: Still Sochi is out of reach!
Day 136 – Yes!!!!!: To Sochi – at last.
Days 136 and 137 - Leaving Sochi - Winter Olympic City 2014: Heather and Meng 2 / Russian police Nil

Turkey

Map

Day 139 – Across the Black Sea: Trabzon, Turkey
Day 140 – We hang from the cliff face: Sumela Monastery
Day 141 – Lingering in Trabzon: Turning my head for home
Day 142 – “. . . And alone and unassisted brought them back”: Otobus to Istanbul
Day 143 - Istanbul
Day 144 – Where are you Malaysian Airlines?: A long hot search.
Day 143 – Coming ready or not: A close encounter with excess baggage.
Day 144 – Home

The journey so far.

Arnold and Marieke have arrived.

Baby bean appears

Equipment - What worked and what didn't

      Equipment: What worked - BIKE and GEAR

      Equipment: What didn't work.


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"Beijing to Paris - Part 1: Beijing to Istanbul" Copyright © 2007-2014 By Heather Burge - (contact). All rights reserved.
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