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Silk Route Project Craig and Simon are currently travelling from India to Istanbul with the fantastic support of World Nomads. On behalf of Footprints, World Nomad's charity, they will be visiting of a number of projects along the route to deliver supplies of essential medicines to impoverished children.

Thankyou everyone

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 15 November 2006 | Views [1781]

Well what can we say, we did it. We made it overland from India to Europe. For the two of us it has been a truly life changing experience that would not have been possible without the support of World Nomads and their charity Footprints. So after 5 months on the road what were our major hightlight you ask, well there were many but here's some that really stood out.

Our first time representing Footprints and meeting the children of Siliguri, India is something that will stay with us for life. Just seeing the absoulute horror that these children endure everyday of their lives and they are still able to give you the most honest and beautiful smile you will ever see. It was truly life changing.

Similarly, the visits to the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan and the Ukraine were very confronting and emotional experiences. There is a positive side though and giving them much needed supplies was of course helpful. In a way there was a lot more to the visits than just buying them things and leaving. For us to witness the everyday reality of people whose life situation is so totally different to our own and then pass this experience on to others was powerful and humbling. It gives me hope for the future.

We are often asked if we were ever in danger and it's great to honestly say "No", it reaffirms our belief that with common sense (and perhaps a touch of luck) you can travel safely everywhere. There was however once instance whilst in the mountains of Pakistan that gave us a wake up call. Climbing back down from the base camp to Mount Rakaposhi we had to make our way along a path that would not have been more then 1 ft wide, made from shale and had a 100ft drop onto a glacier below which seemed waiting to swollow us up. It was quite literally the most terrifying experience of the trip and one of the few times we thought we had a good chance of dying. But after a very long 10 minutes of making our way along the edge we made it across, sat on the grass and stayed very still not wanting to think about what we had just done.

Without doubt though one of the most amazing drives of the trip was making our way along through the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan and along the Wakhan corridor, this really encapsulated what this trip was all about. Getting off the beaten track and seeing a part of the world that is still fairly untouched by tourism. We expect that this area will be very popular in years to come and change alot. Let's just hope that this change takes place responsibly.

Turkmenistan will always have a special place in our hearts. How could you not be appalled yet in awe of a megalomaniac leader who dominates a country and builds giant statues of himself?

The list really does go on and on but I think it would take a very long time to go through everything, all in all the trip really was a trip of a lifetime, with many challenges (including trying to learn Russian). We hope from what you have read that maybe some of you will give this part of the world a bit of a look, it is truly rewarding. Thanks again everybody for all your support.

The photo above was taken on the on the last night of the trip. Despite the late night cold of Krakow, Poland we celebrated with cigars and wine. It was a fitting finish.

So that's it. Farewell to the dusty deserts and the incredible mountains. Farewell to the rusting Ladas and ancient busses. (Most importantly) Farewell to the endless diet of meat-on-a-stick and vodka. Farewell to the wonderful people. We are tired ... we're going home.

The Travelling Idiots

Craig and Simon

Tags: adventures, footprints

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