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Further plans – London to Southeast Asia with Dianna, looking for another family to join us!

All of us loved this trip very much. It is something that is going to stay with us forever. It was an opportunity to bond with each other, with Dianna, and at the same pursue an activity that we both like. It was an adventure from which all of us learned a lot. We supported each other, shared baby duties, planned our days together. It was an escape from the usual baby routine. Before we set off we thought that the routine will bring in a hassle, but far from that, it brought joy.

We were thinking about doing another trip and decided to plan an long trip, a trip that we won’t be able to do once Dianna reaches school age (at least not for another 18 years from that point). First we were thinking about crossing the Americas. This idea quickly became moot as I am still unable to get a visa into the United States.

The obvious alternative is to cross Eurasia, starting at London and finishing somewhere in Southeast Asia. It is much safer than crossing the Americas (Northern South America as well as Latin America is not considered safest cycling destinations) and the distance is substantially shorter. We plan to attempt this once Anna is done with her studies at Westminster Uni.

We are planning to cycle from London via France and Switzerland to Brindisi in Italy, cross the Adriatic into Greece and continue via Turkish interior towards Georgia and Azerbaijan. This part of the trip should take around 3 – 3.5 months. Leaving in June we should make it to Baku in mid-September, leaving 2 more months until Central Asian winter kicks in.

From Baku we plan to take a ferry to Atyrau in Kazakhstan and cycle 400km towards a station along the Kazah – Uzbek railroad where we are to take a train through the Kara khoum desert to Namangan in Uzbekistan. From there we plan to cycle to Tashkent, through Bukhara and Samarkand. In October/November it will be getting cold in the region and passes should be snowed in, making it impossible to continue. We will either stay in Tashkent or go back to the UK until Spring kicks in the April.

In April, we will continue towards Osh in Kyrgizstan and cross the Tiang-Shan mountains into China, descending to Kashgar where we will board a train to Urumqi (I can’t imagine tackling 800km of desert with a child, maybe I will by the time we are there). From Urumqi we plan to cycle towards Chengdu in Sichuan and then to Kunming in Yunnan province. In Kunming we will decide upon where the finish line will be, depending on the month that we get there. If we get there early enough we might continue through Laos to Thailand, if not, we will finish up in Hanoi/North Vietnamese coast.

We are looking for another crazy family to join us on this 😉 We are not certain on the plan and we can still make adjustments in terms of the route and departure times. We believe that it will be more fun if 2 families will be doing this at the same time. Safety-wise it would also be better for the group to be at least 4 adults of more. If interested contact us via the Blog!

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Day 8 – Senonches to Chartres, 37km – 315km total

Very easy and short route to Charters took us through endless wheat pastures of central France. In Senonches we realized that somewhere along the way we crossed the border between Normandy and Centre, the two French regions. It seems that Centre is a bit more developed. However this is only a cyclist’s point of view. I know nothing about French regional divisions.

Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 with a goal to take control of the Nile valley, which back then could provide enough wheat for the French empire. After miles and miles of wheat pastures of region Centre I start to wonder whether historians were right about this.

It took us a bit over 2.5 hours to get to Charters. Dianna woke up at 10am! (instead of her usual 6) and was awake looking out her window and playing/singing with herself for most of the way. The route was a bit downhill all the way with a SW wind pushing at our backs. The outskirts of Chartres are quite ugly. The centre is nice, dominated by an enormous Chartres cathedral. As the terrain around Chartres is almost flat, the cathedral is visible from at least 10 km away from the town itself.

In town we paid a visit to the cathedral. It does leave an impression. Tomorrow we will cycle all the way to Orleans. Orleans lies in the Loir river valley. From Orleans we will cycle along the Loir river, following the EuroVelo 6 for the next 200 km until we reach Nevers. It is 75km from Chartres to Orleans and with thundery showers in forecast for late afternoon we are bracing ourselves for a tough day.

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