Write in (1) …Bishkek to Beijing with Gavin Fernandes

Long term club member, traveller extraordinaire and beer connoisseur Gavin has done it again with his latest adventure !  Whilst at the Travel Adventure show in London, Gavin entered Oasis Overland’s competition to win a place on their 40 day Silk Road expedition and won !  Congratulations Gavin and as he says in his own words… 🙂

The Ant

So here’s the story so far…

It all started with the Adventure Travel Show 2012 for which I volunteered as an Independent Travel Advisor as I have done every year if I’m in London and The Globetrotters Club has a stand there…

Shortly after getting details of the venue from Dick, I discovered the Show’s Facebook page and clicked-on so I got their updates. One of the first tweets was news that Oasis Overland were offering places on their Silk Road Expedition at half price for a limited time as a Show Offer. It was to be an “Exploratory” trip and would be followed by a Japanese film crew documenting the journey and one of their travelling countrymen as he made this 15 week overland trip. Apparently they’d filmed a couple of overland trips before on other continents, also featuring Japanese passengers as part of a series to introduce this relatively unknown method of travel to their viewers.

I had a quick look at the website and then emailed the company to check if the offer details were true and express my interest in the trip. I got a reply confirming that it was an offer for the duration of the travel shows and responded that I would come and chat to them there…

When I did, I discovered that they were also running a raffle to win a place on the trip; one winner from a prize draw at this show, another from the Destinations Show a week later. Each would win half the trip: either Istanbul to Bishkek or Bishkek to Beijing.

I was still mulling over the idea of doing the trip when I arrived at Destinations to discover that a winner had been drawn for the first leg – and it wasn’t me… but I could enter the second draw now..!

I was somewhat taken aback to receive a phone call the following week to tell me that my name had been picked out of the box and I’d won a place on the trip from Bishkek to Beijing!

In the days that followed, the question was “How do I get to Bishkek?” Do I now buy the first leg of the trip from Istanbul or fly to Kyrgyzstan? I considered all sorts of options including a route through Georgia and Armenia, transiting Azerbaijan and crossing the Caspian before coming down through Turkmenistan to meet the truck in Ashgabat!

My current plan is to join the trip in eastern Turkey before the drive across Iran. I’ve travelled around Turkey twice before (once on another truck on a similar route) so I’ll take the chance visit some new places in the country instead.

And at the end of the trip, I end up in north-east China, where I was based for a year in 2007 studying for a Master’s in photography. Might be a few friends and colleagues to look up…

This is the full trip as advertised on their website at full price

http://www.oasisoverland.co.uk/trips/Asia/details/147/-Exploratory–Silk-Road-Trip-15-Weeks-Istanbul-to-Beijing—-One-time-only-expedition-for-2012-.html

and I’ve attached an image of the route map.

Bishkek to Beijing
Bishkek to Beijing

Any other questions, please do ask…!

Gav

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