As our current resedency is in Nijmgen, this will be our starting point. The official launch has been moved from Goodwood Circuit, UK to Prague (Praha) in the Czech Republic so this will be our first stop on route.
After a very intense and mindblowing launch we will drive through Poland (Polska), and Belarus (Беларусь) straight to Mother Russia just in time for Tea in Domodedovo (Домодедово) with our friends.
Here we will gather all our courage and stock up on enough water, fuel, supplies and various knickknacks to get us ready to conquer the Stans!
Onwards and more south to go next, visiting Astrachan (Астрахань) where we will take the border crossing into our very first Stan of the trip: Let us introduce you to The Republic of Kazachstan (Қазақстан Республикасы)
This is where we will come face to face with the vastness of the Caspian Sea. We have already pledged a vow that we will take a dive into the sea no matter what the weather is like, so bets are on! From Astrachan (Астрахань) it's one straight, long, boring drive over terrible roads through the desert of Kazachstan to the border town of Beyneu (Бейнеу) where we will cross into our second Stan: The Republic of Uzbekistan (Ўзбекистон Республикаси) First stop and not to mention one of the (saddest) highlights of the trip: Moynaq (Mo‘ynoq) previously located on the shores of the Aral sea, now more than 60km off the distant shores and surrounded by rusted ships, dust and sand. After this interesting stop we will head on towards Nukus (Nokis) for some sightseeing before heading on to Xiva (Хива) for some real silk road experiences. After driving past the Amu Darja ( آمو دریا) river we will cross the border into The Republic of Turkmenistan (Türkmenistan Respublikasy) at Gazojak (Gazadzhak).
Straight to our first destination over questionable roads; Mary (formaly known as Merv, Meru and Margiana), an oasis in the Karakum desert (Garagum). Apparently one of the most impressive, preserved silk road settlements on route! After this onwards toward the border town of Turkmenabat (Түркменабат) before heading back to The Republic of Uzbekistan. By this time we hope that Pablo will still be going strong. First stop is Bukhara (Buxoro) which is on the UNESCO world heritage list and has been a hub for traders and travellers since its foundation over 2,000 years ago. Situated on an oasis in the Zerafshan river delta in central Uzbekistan, Bukhara lies on a crossroads of ancient trade routes that stretched across Central Asia, and was a vital stopping point for merchants on the edge of the Kyzyl Kum (Red Sand) and Kara Kum (Black Sand) deserts. Moving on towards Samarkant (Самарқанд) which is also world heritage, we will be able to walk around a place that was conquered by Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan. After this much culture it´s time to experience nature and we will be taking the Panjikent border crossing (Панҷакент) into our fourth Stan: Tadzjikistan (Тоҷикистон)
Not just to get another stamp and visa. No, Tadzjikistan (Тоҷикистон) is home of the Pamirs which are the sister mountains of the Himalaya. This is where Pablo will be tested immensely. The high climbs and bad roads have been known to break cars and souls. Additionally the high altitude creates tiredness and a fog in the brain. Our first real stop before we hit the Pamirs is the capital city Dushanbe (Душанбе). After stocking up and gathering all our courage we will take the challenge of Pablo's lifetime. Once we have endured this challenge and Pablo is still road-worthy, we move on toward Kirgistan (Кыргызстан), one of the highest lying countries in the world and part of the Himalaya. Amazing scenery and great road conditions throughout the country which will seem like a breeze after the Pamir Highway. After this we will pop back into Uzbekistan (Ўзбекистон). We just can’t get enough of Uzi and will be passing through the capital city; Tashkent (Toshkent). We then push on through Kazachstan (Қазақстан) and this time for a very long time. We will be visiting the old capital of Alma Ata (Алматы) and Semey (Семипалатинск) which is the most radio active city in the world! This border town is extremely interesting and will be our last stop in the stans. Here we will cross the border back to Mother Russia and going through the Altai region to Mongolia (Монгол Улс ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ) for our last and final challenge.These desolate and empty plains are apparently the most impressive on earth but also killing for cars like Pablo. It will take days to get through the deserts, steppes and tundras before we see the capital of Ulaanbataar (Улаанбаатар). This will be our last stop before the finish line.
Ulan Ude: H E R E W E C O M EInterestingly enough, if we make it in one piece we will not let that stop us from adding an extra couple of thousand kilometers to our trip. We plan on bringing Pablo home safe and sound. This will be one long haul back to Domodedovo (Домодедово). Then a stop in Kaliningrad, previously known as Koningsbergen (Калининград) for some culture and sightseeing before we drive straight home again. Hopefully in one piece!
Please note that during our trip you will be able to follow our progressHere!