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Last week, I pondered whether to head East via Central Asia (Tashkent, Samarkand – Uzbekistan; Bishkek – Kyrgystan; Almaty – Kazakhstan) or via Russia and Mongolia (Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal; Ulaan Baatur). The simplest way, of course, would be to go one way (e.g. trans-Mongolian) on the way out, and the other (Silk Road) on the way back. The problem comes that I don’t want to come back that way, I want to head off to Tibet. Or Japan. Or Cambodia. Or, you know, anywhere that’s not back to Russia. This is also not entirely due to the fact that getting visas for Russia is a royal pain in the arse. You need letters of invitation and precise itineraries for everything. Or, you know, to be be Ewan McGregor.

At the same time, I could go down to Kazakhstan, faff around that way for a while, head back to Moscow and then head East. But going back on yourself just feels wrong when travelling. Just as flying does.

Bah. I’d also quite like to go on a tour. I’ll probably be travelling on my own quite a bit and, well, I’m mildly insufferable and am unwilling to inflict myself on, uhh, myself for large periods of time. However, tours seem to be split extremely between slightly more active Saga trips and legions of drunk Australians. Why is there no middle ground?

Should probably learn Cyrillic too.

What Has Gone Before

February 2009
i miss your disposition and your strength to see the best in everyone