Posted by: TomA | 15 April 2008

A Change Of Route

Its tough deciding which way to go to Mongolia. While its supposed to be an adventure, something fun and exciting and just a little bit dangerous, obviously there’s a line to be drawn: at Iraq and Afghanistan for obvious reasons. We’d still planned on going through the far stabler states of Iran, Turkmen;stan and Uzbekistan.

Yet the more we read about other people’s experiences in Turkmen;stan, the less appealing it seems. Sure – what doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger and provide some excellent and memorable tales. But we’ve read of intimidation, cars being repeatedly stopped by police and costing huge amounts of money in bribes to progress through the country, bugged hotel rooms and the rather tricky visa situation.

A part of me still wants to go this route. For a start, I’d love to go to Iran and experience somewhere I imagine to be completely different to anywhere else. But going through Iran necessitates either turning back on ourselves or driving through Turkmen;stan.

Is the experience worth the hassle and cost? I’m not sure. So we’re looking at, from Turkey, driving through Georgia to Azerbaijan and getting a ferry across the Caspian Sea straight to Kazakhstan. Our other option is to skip the ferry and drive along the Russian coast instead, which may turn out to be quicker.

Are we selling out by taking an “easier” route?


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