14degrees off the beaten track
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August 11th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,China,planning/prep

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Lynley asked why it is that I took a train across China rather than biking across. I think this is a very good question and it deserves a good answer.

Actually it is quite easy. I need to get through Tajikistan before winter.

I am planning on cycling the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. This is a road that at parts follows the border between Tajikistan and Afganistan. It is also a road that for its majority is at an altitude of over 3500m, and has passes at 4600m. To do this in late autumn or early winter would be rather dangerous. Therefore unfortunately I could not afford to take up to two months to get across China on my bike.

Maybe next time. ;)

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    Permanent Link     Comments (8)

Comment by Chris J — August 12, 2006 @ 6:55 am | post a comment

Hi Rob!

I am following your trip closely and really enjoying the pictures. A few remind me of my first trip to China when I was in Xian for a few days. It is such a huge place that it is easy to forget how many different ethinic groups are represented in China. I am sure you must feel great to be off that train and back on your bike. I look forward to your continuing updates and some more pictures from the road.

Take care!

Comment by rob — August 12, 2006 @ 9:15 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Good to see your right in the thick of it now. About images.. What I use on the road is a program called 'Batch Image resizer'. With this free program you can crush your large image files, 6 at a time. Dump them on your server. Then just pop the relevant code into to your entry. Nice and Easy !

You'll find it at this link


Click on 'Download a free trial'

If you have troubles downloading it, send me and e-mail and I'll copy it to your server so you can use it.

It works a treat in China.

Hope this helps

Comment by Aunty Les — August 12, 2006 @ 4:29 pm | post a comment

I put all this on an earlier 'blog' but thought you might miss it so have done it again on this latest 'post a comment'.

It’s amazing how soon you get muddled with your own language when you haven’t been using it for a while. I remember forgetting so many Englsih idioms when in Bangladesh and I came across a Japanese girl there who found writing letters home so very difficult as she was afraid of offending someone by not getting the suttle nuances of her language correct, especially written Japanese.

It was great coming across someone who spoke English on that train row of yours so you could join in the comradery/comraderie (it’s not in the dictionary so is an Englishification of the French ‘camarade’ and I’m not sure myself of the correct spelling). China comprises lots of people groyups as it’s appropriated so many countries over the years, especially during the communist era.

It’ll be great when we can see some photos. Such a pitty the train didn’t stop anywhere for you to pop out into the open air for a bit.

I can’t remember if I’ve told you yet that our house is definitely sold – settlement date 29th September. Apparently Chris will be back here sometime soon and intends getting all his stuff out of the sleepout and stored at a friend’s place. We can always store your stuff at Aunty Lyn and Uncle pete’s, although tye tell us that the garage is not waterproof. Chris may take your stuff away as well and store it with his. When your parents are set up in ChCh next year all yours and his stuff will end up at their place.

I called in to Mark and Eline’s on Thursday evening to give Mark his birthday card but they were out for a meal and Chris and Henne were babysitting so I chatted with them for a bit. Zoë woke up and started crying so Henne picked her up but she really got going. When she cries, Zoë really yells and gets red in the face so Henne handed her to me nd she stopped crying immediately. I must have the magic touch! However, she only calmed down for about 10 mins before starting off again and continued yelling until her parents came home and Eline was able to feed her. They’ve tried to get her to take a bottle but she refuses, so it makes it hard for Eline to leave her for long with anyone!

Comment by Ed — August 12, 2006 @ 5:20 pm | post a comment

Amazing photos Rob. Very very strange, some of them. I won't ask about the one that appears to be people standing on other people…

Bummer about flickr being inaccessible from within China. Still, at least it keeps Mongolians at bay.

Done much cycling of late, or are you still doing the train thing?

Comment by malcolm rutherford — August 13, 2006 @ 2:38 pm | post a comment

this is another batch resizer which pretty much rocks the world
It is the goods.

You're a jolly nut you know rob.

Comment by carl — August 13, 2006 @ 2:45 pm | post a comment

So where are you at? hope the deckchair bike is holding up look forward to seeing a new cool video of you off-roading it… check out Ed's site I've picked up a stalker and Elvis is cycling to India. so you may meet him keep an eye out for an old rocker on a bike with big sun glasses.

keep pedalling all the best


Comment by Rob Thomson — August 15, 2006 @ 2:53 am | post a comment

Carl, I've got some sweet footage of me being towed by a drunk Kazakh on his horse up a hill. Too bad the internet connection is crap slow here in order to upload it…will see what I can do though. It's really funny when the fulla gets the horse to gallop uphill pulling me. Poor horse must have had a hernia…

Comment by carl — August 15, 2006 @ 2:56 am | post a comment

Look forward to seeing it, keep your self out of the brown stuff.

all the best


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