The map below shows my journey all the way from England to Amritsar in India. Between any two neighbouring bicycle icons you can see where I started and finished the day. The exceptions, such as the plane within Afghanistan or the thumbs (hitch-hiking) in Central Asia, have notes attached when you click on the icons. The blue and red bicycles in Tajikistan show times when I cycled but had to turn back.

View England to India in a larger map

The text below is from before I started my trip. I have kept it so people can compare my planned route to my actual route. See the map above or my blog for the route so far!

From Yeovil I will head east along the familiar roads of the South Coast before arriving in Dover to hop on a ferry to Calais. West Europe will be a relative breeze, following cycle 'highways' along rivers and canals for hundreds of miles. Austria will give me my first taste of climbing real hills with 20 or 30 kilos of baggage on my bike. As for Eastern Europe, I really have no idea what to expect, other than a lot of vodka and being chased by packs of wild dogs (apparently throwing stones and shouting like a mad man is the best defence against this).

Cycling through Turkey in the heat of summer will require several litres of water a day. Istanbul is where the Central Asian bureaucracy begins, hopefully I'll pick up an Iranian visa here. Similarly, Tehran will be visa-central for all the 'stans', it's not unlikely that I'll spend a week here going from embassy to embassy. I could get visas while in England, but that would require arriving in each country on a date specified months before I will have even begun my trip!

Tajikistan is where the fun really begins; the Pamir Highway (it's literally a dirt track) which originally inspired this trip. This road runs through the eastern 46% of the country, where only 3% of the population live; it'll be nomad heaven! As soon as I leave Tajikistan for China I'll join the equally awesome yet rugged Karakorum Highway (which disappears into a lake at one point), running all the way from China down to Islamabad. From the Pakistani capital it'll be a matter of days before I will arrive at my destination, the Golden Temple of Amritsar, India.

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