Happy 2012 to all those following the blog.
I hope that you’ve been enjoying the adventure thus far. Currently I find myself in Bucharest, Romania after taking some time off the expedition to rest the mind and body. It was a tough year but it feels good to be writing again and sharing in the travels once more.
It’s been almost 9 months since I last posted on the website about an accident in Kazakhstan. Rest assured that the wound healed well and the scar is still visibly evident under a new mop of shaggy neglected hair. In the next few months I am looking forward to digging into the journal, retracing my steps, recounting stories and events over the last year and sharing them with you so stay tuned. (I seem to be better with the photos then with the stories that accompany them).
The really difficult year? … So, in short – after cycling over the Himalayas, I contracted chronic dysentery in India that never seemed to go away despite the ton of antibiotics I took. Eventually it led to the downfall of my entire digestive system and, almost a year on and a barrage of modern western medical testing that found nothing, I am still recovering. I was refused entry into Pakistan and had to fly (yep, with a aeroplane) to China where I diligently cycled to the exact spot I had left to head toward India a year earlier, high up on the fringes of the Tibetean Plateau and picked up the old trail. From there it was an exhausting effort to cross the Taklamakan Desert in 40 plus temperatures, fierce winds and little water. Then there was the injury sustained after being assaulted by a gang of drunken youths in Kazakstan; the Giardia I picked up in Nepal and again in Tajikistan; I had more problems with my digestive system and ongoing fatigue and cycled on through a bitterly cold (-15 degree) winter in Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. Fortunately I managed to miss the full onslaught of winter where temperatures plummeted to -35 degrees in some of the places I’d been to only weeks earlier. Whew!
Yep, all in a year’s work and, to be honest, if I didn’t enjoy it all I wouldn’t be out here. But it does take its toll.
In short, I’m sort of welcoming myself back as much as you. But it feels good. Oh, and don’t forget – I am suffering out in the wild all in the name of a good charity, Oxfam. So kick the tin, jump on the website, follow the links and throw me a few dollars in support of this massive effort. It all counts!