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Join me and experience China, Tajikistan and/or Pakistan in 2018!
Finally the bus to hell* is scheduled and someone’s delusional enough to let me drive it. Okay, just kidding, I don’t think they’ll let me drive it (the entire time) but I’ll be co-leading two back-to-back Silk Road Borderlands Tours.
*And by hell I mean the absolute most beautiful corner of the world… Where the Silk Road meets the Pamirs!
So what that means is:
I’M INVITING YOU TO COME EXPERIENCE THE WILD PAMIR WITH ME AND THE AMAZING GROUP AT INERTIA NETWORK!
I’ve had some of you guys asking about joining me in my travels, particularly my travels in Central Asia and I’ve finally made it happen! Join me, along with the awesome crew at Inertia Network this coming June and July for the adventure of a lifetime through one of my favorite regions and even to a few pockets I haven’t explored yet either!
These off-the-beaten-path Silk Road experiences will be ran back-to-back, giving you the option to either join from the first half, second half or the entire trek. The first trek will take place 23 June to 1 July in China and Tajikistan. The second trek will take place from 28 June to 8 July in China and Pakistan. Of course you can join for both treks and truly get a great taste of life in some of the highest mountains of Central Asia.
If you’re not ready to commit yet, that’s okay. You can sign up for trip updates here. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to click that link in the last sentence and send questions directly to Inertia Network via their contact form, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll try to respond back ASAP.
What are the highlights?
Uhhh, the whole damn thing! But here’s a few draws…
The Silk Road
Jipek Joli, Jadeh Abrisham. Where the orient meets the occident. Famous explorers and conquerors from Marco Polo to Chenggis Khan, Alexander the Great to Ibn Batutta all have been drawn in by the exotic allure of the ancient Silk Road (or the desire to conquer it). This leg of the Silk Road is one of hardest stretches of it to reach making it an intriguing expedition. I’ll be taking you to the pounding heart of Central Asia- where the Silk Road crosses high altitude passes into the Orient.
The Hunza Valley
Surrounded by giants- many mountains over 6,000 and some over 7,000 meters in one of the most visually stunning and little visited corners on Earth. This Valley is a world away- claimed by India, governed by Pakistan, filled with inhabitants that are far removed from either country. Predominantly Ismaili in faith and some of the most warm, welcoming people on the planet. Languages spoken are hardly known on the outside- Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina, however no translation is needed for a chai and nan bread invitation.
One of the most important trading centers of the ancient Silk Road, even so to this day. Where several ethnicities meet to exchange goods in the western part of the Taklamakan Desert in the far western reaches of China. We even have the unique opportunity to be in Kashgar on a Sunday- every Sunday the livestock market brings in people from all over the region to trade, buy and sell sheep, camels, goats, cows, horses and donkeys at the Sunday bazaar.
Living with Kyrgyz nomads in remote Tajikistan.
The country you guys all know I’ve spent a good chunk of time in trying to understand it and falling for the dramatic sceneries. From China we’ll go up and over the Irkeshtam Pass to enter first Kyrgyzstan on Kamaz trucks and then head south via the famed Bam-i-Dunya (aka, the Roof of the World, M41, or the Pamir Highway) into Tajikistan and on to Murghab. After a pitstop in Murghab we will continue deep into the GBAO (Gorno Badakshan Autonomous Oblast) to live with Kyrgyz nomads for a few days. Sleeping in yurts, horseback riding, food preparation, trekking and herding are a few things we’ll get to experience out here. Life is tough in the high pasture and the experience will leave you blown away by how hardy the people out here really are. After experiencing a taste of Pamiri life we will all venture back into China via the newly open to foreigners, Qolma Pass*.
*If we run into the misfortune that the Qolma Pass be closed to foreigners for any reason, which does happen during times of tension whether it be ethnic of otherwise, we will transit through the Irkeshtam Pass again to arrive back in Kashgar the evening.
Oh and did I mention that Pamir Sky? During the day I swear the sky is a different blue than anywhere else I’ve seen on Earth, but the nightsky… Come experience some the greatest, world-class stargazing and I’ll even show you how to shoot the stars, only if you love cameras and are a night owl like me… otherwise I’ll let you sleep. (Bring a tripod if you wanna take photos!)
The Karakoram Highway
Also known as the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway. This is one of the highest highways in the world (some will even try to argue that it is the highest paved highway in the world, but I’m not here to argue that claim). We’ll exit China over the Khunjerab Pass and cross into the Gilgit-Baltistan areas of Pakistan. This is one of the most scenic drives in the world- glimpses of some of the worlds largest glaciers, peaks that scrape the outer reaches of the atmosphere, beautiful little villages and more.
Want to read up more? Or are you sold and ready to book? Click here to see the full itinerary and/or reserve your spot!
Off the beaten path adventure
Leave those floppy hats and flowy maxi dresses at home. This isn’t going to be your run of the mill group tour experience. At times it can even be a challenging journey. Temperatures can be boiling in the desert areas around Kashgar and downright freezing in the high mountainous areas of Tajikistan and Pakistan we’ll be exploring. Altitudes can get pretty high, like damn near 5,000 meters so air is thin and adjusting to the high pasture is very real. Most western amenities are nowhere to be found, meaning squat toilets are the norm and there’s not a Starbucks in sight. Not to mention, we will be getting some insight into the lives of some of the most remote and forgotten groups of people on Earth- this isn’t just a trip, it’s going to be an extremely unique experience.
It’s not all bad though, the unreal sceneries, unique cultures and hospitality that literally knows no bounds will outweigh every discomfort of traveling this remote area. This is a rugged expedition likely very different from anything you’ve ever done before and you’ll not soon forget.
Oh yeah, then I’ll be there…
Showing you why I suck at being a travel blogger. (I’m not looking for sympathy, I know I don’t fit the mold. I don’t #doitforthegram, I’m not a fashionista, I don’t try to sell you a destination without mentioning the downsides, and you’ve probably already noticed I don’t often appear in my own Instagram posts).
However, I am here to show you some nifty tricks with your picture taking devices from cell phone cameras to point-and-shoots to DSLRs. If cameras aren’t you’re thing I’m always here to provide entertaining (and usually crude) commentary, I can even regale you in tales of my idiotic life so far, so really ASK ME ANYTHING.
Okay, okay here’s the fine details:
We have decided to split the trip into two for those that with to only visit China and Tajikistan or China and Pakistan! Of course those of you that want to experience the entire expedition can join for both legs of the trip.
China & Tajikistan Core Week: 23 June to 1 July, 2018
China & Pakistan Peripheral Week: 28 June to 8 July, 2018.
The core week of the trip from Kashgar over the Irkeshtam Pass briefly into Kyrgyzstan and on into eastern Tajikistan to live with the Kyrgyz nomads and back over the Qolma to end in Kashgar will take place 23 June – 30 June, 2018.
The Peripheral week from Kashgar into Tashkurgan over the Khunjerab Pass into Pakistan’s Hunza Valley via the Karakoram Highway to end in Kashgar will take place 28 June – 8 July, 2018.
Start and Finish:
Kashgar (Kashi), Xinjiang, China for both legs of the trip.
We will only be taking about 8-10 passengers, so sign up quick before all the slots are gone!
$3,550 USD if traveling with us for both the core and peripheral weeks from 23 June – 8 July.
If joining us for only the core week in China and Tajikistan from 23-30 June the cost will be $1,950 USD.
If joining for only the peripheral week in China and Pakistan from 28 June – 8 July the cost will be $2,200 USD.
So what does the cost include?
Accommodation, food, transportation, visa invitations, guides, and most all activities.
What it doesn’t include:
Airfare, visa fees, travel insurance (yes, you’ll be required to carry travel insurance).
So join us for the experience of a lifetime in Central Asia!
You can click below to read the itinerary and all the details!