Wednesday, June 10, 2009
THE SILK ROAD
The silk road is not a single route but rather a complex network of paths that were used to transport goods between the 2nd BC and the 13th century. It stretches from Istanbul to Xi'an, China and camels were the trucks of this era. A one-way trip generally took about 200 days and along with silk, the main goods going west were porcelain, tea, spices, gems and perfumes. Goods going west were gold, silver, wines, horses and wool. I'm now about halfway across the silk road in the city of Bukhara. Its very similar to Khiva with randomly scattered architectural wonders. I've found a homestay here and I'm going to stay 3 nights before continuing on. This town has presently got a good team of cyclists. Theres Bea and Maxime from France whom I briefly met in Istanbul and theres Krista and Dan from England who are hoping to attempt Tibet. I would love to give Tibet a shot but I haven't heard of a cyclist getting through Tibet in about 2 years. Very strict police, rabid dogs and the fact that the altitude rarely drops below 4000M makes this an almost impossible challenge. The temperatures are rising daily here. Its 11.30am and already the air temperature is 36`C but tomorrow its back on the bike, back on the silk road and back heading east.