The Route


"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." ~ Lao Tzu

Trade routes change for a range of reasons (economic, political, seasons, etc.), and our intended route is no different.

The above map shows a few options that may help us accommodate the world around us as we head west.


Our Blog

Welcome to our Blog! Here is where we summarize each region we walk through to help you cover ground more quickly than we do. ;-)

Please note: we post our most recent journals at the top. If you want to start from where our journey began, click here or feel free to scroll all the way to the bottom.  

Kazakhstan


Southwestern Kazakhstan: Leaving the Ustyurt, bound for the Caspian Sea!

Editing in Progress! Wahooo! Please keep scrolling down to get to the good stuff.



Uzbekistan


True Desolation: The Ustyurt Plateau

The road we walked on through this area was much worse, and it only lasted for 28 days or so.

 

Oh no! This journal is missing!


Crossing the Qizil-Kum (Red Sands) to Khiva & Nukus

"The bump turned out to be a Zoroastrian Sky Burial site called Chilpik. Without thinking twice, Timb and I left the road at its closest point to the monument and we went off to explore and add a bit of adventure to our day, heck, to our week!"

Read more about our experience here.


"To say hospitality is an aspect of Uzbek culture is an under statement, it appears to be a pillar. I even know the Uzbek word for hospitality, which I have never learned in a language besides English. Mehmondost is the word guest (Mehmon) and friend (dost) combined."

Read more about our experience here.



Tajikistan


"On our walk towards the northern border, we walked through many more towns set in the country of Tajikistan who self-identified as Uzbek. This county is riddled with people who don’t identify as the country they live in. Maybe these are just northern Tajikistan feelings. I’m not sure. This country, maybe more than any other country we’ve walked through, has been the hardest to know what language to speak. Either it’s Tajik, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, or Russian. Regardless, it has been memorable."

Read more about our experience here.



Uzbekistan


Celebrity Walker Blog: Kit

Kit joined the walk with impossible visa dates, so the boys went on tour!

 

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"Now imagine this, you’re sitting at home, it's around noon. Suddenly, you hear a knock on the door, and you see a random foreign looking person trying to desperately enter your house, while talking to you in a language you don’t understand. What would be your reaction?"

Read more about Marta's experience here.


"Unfortunately, Kit did not get to partake in the actual walking of our expedition. As he stepped off the plane in Tashkent, he checked his visa and broke out into a cold sweat. He was in line at border control with a visa that had drastically wrong dates. I was just held up at the border for the same reasons and had to wait another week for a new visa."
Read more about our experience here.



Kyrgyzstan


"Paul and Timb waved down a truck that could accommodate us and our trailers while I continued to feel dizzy and confused sitting in the shade. We loaded the trailers into the back with the three preexisting inhabitants, a little goat, an average-sized sheep, and a large male sheep with a territorial disposition (luckily, this was aimed at the other animals and not us). We climbed up into the, thankfully dry, manure-filled back end, and held on for dear life as we were driven up and over a windy mountain pass and down an equally windy and bumpy valley to Jalal-Abad."

Read more about our experience here.


"The trail was sloped again, and any semblance of road vanished as we hit a scree and talus field that seemed to have destroyed all but the corners of the road. We navigated down about a kilometer of scree with the trailers. With no good paths, we each chose our own adventure. I got tired of taking fake, crappy switch-backs and went for the controlled slide method for a small section. Each time we made it down to where it seemed the road would begin, we would again watch it disappear from in front of us. It was challenging, but a fun sort of adventure."

Read more about our experience here.



Kazakhstan


Celebrity Walker Blog: Christina

Christina, a good friend and colleague, walked with us from Almaty westward through the great grasslands of Kazakhstan, a homestay, a few trials & tribulations, her birthday, and boy oh boy did we get close to Bishkek before she had to depart.

 

Oh no! This journal is missing!


"We were pretty bored as we waited, but, eventually, the lawyers came and then it got a bit more interesting again. They separated us and interviewed/interrogated us for about 20-30 minutes each. They asked us about our religion, jobs, family, and how we found out about the Silk Road."

Read more about our experience here.



China


"Our final section of China brought us from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, to the massively vital trade hub of Khorgos, the port between China and Kazakhstan. When I say, “brought us from Urumqi to Khorgos,” it’s not that much of a stretch considering the number of times we were detained by police..."

Read more about our experience here.


This is a guest blog by Marta Nowak. Although Marta only walked with us for a day, we spent a lot of time together, traveling around southern Xinjiang and leap-frogging our way through a few towns north of the Heavenly Mountains. This entry is from Marta's perspective during a layover day that ended up being a very eventful day of Yurt Building.

Read more here.


"Having spent more time away from our trailers than we ever anticipated or intended to, we arrived back in Hami in a weird place. As a group, we had isolated ourselves before coming back and tensions were felt in every direction. We were not in a good place having left much unsaid; festering for the last two weeks..."

Read more about our experience here.



"We anticipated this section to be the most challenging, but we had no idea of the kind of challenges it had in store for us..."

Read more about our experience here.


"This regional summary is a weird one. To be completely honest, this region (or rather, this transition between regions) had more distractions and interruptions to our walk than it had actual walking, so bare with me..."

Read more about our experience here.


"The trucks passing by are too numerous to count; it is easy to see that the Silk Road is still alive in this place. The expressway, in fact, is a testimony of this, part of the One Belt One Road initiative,..."

Read more about our experience here.



This is a guest blog by Conner Keeffe who walked with us through southern Gansu Province from Day 19 to Day 39. Conner is our friend from the states who has been a strong supporter of the walk, helping us organize the 'telling the story' portion of this adventure. For a fresh perspective on this expedition from Conner, read more here.


"Exiting Shaanxi meant climbing into the mountains. At first, it was a daunting task as our experience in Shaanxi had been relatively flat..."

Read more about our experience here.


"Southwest Shaanxi Province is a fertile basin ringed by mountains and smattered with villages and towns with few big cities. Most of the time,..."

Read more about how our journey began.


Silk Walk Expedition


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