In May 2007 we had an idea - could we cycle from HK to the UK, via Nepal?
We made plans, bought maps, guide books, invested in some extra equipment and then in April 2008 went to get our Chinese visa to allow us to cycle through Tibet into Nepal. Unfortunately for us, the day before we applied, the Chinese government (in their infinite wisdom) decided to reduce the visa to 1 month. We also discovered from people organising cycle tours in China, that it has always been illegal to cycle in China (outside the cities) , but over the last 5 years the authorities have turned a blind eye and ignored cyclists....until the problems in Tibet made it impossible.
Stubborn as hell we thought - how else can we get to Nepal? This trip was then born. We would have liked to start our journey in HK but as teachers we felt responsibility to our students - so we stayed until the end of the school year. This placed an additional restriction on us with the cold weather closing in on the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan in late October. We decided to start our journey in Ulaan Baatar to avoid this issue.
We aim to reach Nepal in November (via Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Pakistan and India), cycle around India until the Spring and then head back across the Himalayas via Mt Kailash and on towards Istanbul, via Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. We've no idea if we will make it - but we will give it a good go. We've heard of a guy in a Land Rover who completed the same journey a few years ago so we reckon we can do it too.
This website is eventually meant be a resource for anyone who wants to try and cycle through this part of the world and we are indebted to all the other cyclists who have left information on some fantastic websites (see the links). If you want to know how we do then click On the Road for updates, or just Email Updates to see how we do - there are various options including RSS. If you speak French - Isabelle will put some posts in the Sur La Route section. You can contact us securely through the link on the right for more information.
Thanks for your interest.
Simon Taylor and Isabelle Bedard - July 2008
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