Archive for May, 2008

May 26 2008


The bridge across the Bhosphorus on which we crossed into Europe and the main shipping lane leading to the Black Sea ports from the Medditterranean Sea

The cathedral of Saint Sophia in central Istanbul. A place occupied by both Christians and Muslims down the centuries.

The Blue Mosque….. a major landmark in Istanbul and a major centre for worship for muslims here in the city


About to cross the bridge into Istanbul , the end of Asia and the beginning of Europe, a real sense of achievment !!!


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May 26 2008


Our journey took west through Turkey taking the most direct route to Istanbul. This meant 3 days travelling through the northern half of Turkey, a route that brought us down from the plateau leading from Iran and over some some high passes up into the snowline and down to the central plains of Turkey. We spent 3 long days sat on Tara until finally reaching Istanbul. This city is a real milestone for us and we feel a real sense of achievement having come this far. What has really been apparent on our journey so far is that people all along the way have wanted to help in any way they can once they found out what we’re trying to achieve. I couldn’t thank people enough for that.
Istanbul has been a great place to relax for a couple of days. We found a hotel overlooking the Bhosphorus Straits … loads happening here and of course this is where Europe begins for us. Celebrated with a couple of beers down on the water front.

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May 23 2008

Mt Ararrat

Mt Ararrat from Turkish border




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May 23 2008


Domes at Esfahan and mosque – a beautiful city mid way in Iran




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May 23 2008

Earthquake ruins at Bam

… destroyed in 2003, half population lost their lives


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May 23 2008

Beluchistan Desert

Shots of journey through Beluchistan Desert with police escorts








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May 23 2008

Golden Temple Amritsar


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May 22 2008

Turkey – technology and chickpeas

We are finally back in the land of technology, not that we know what to do with it – especially on a Turkish key board.

Our armed escort in Iran ended some 3 days after crossing the border. The reason for the escort was the result of drug runners crossing between Iran and Pakistan. Unfortunately a Japanese tourist fell victim to one of these gangs and is still being held for ransom at this time. For our safety in Iran we were given an armed escort and weren’t allowed to leave our hotel without one. Our journey was made even longer as we had to wait everytime we were handed over to a new patrol. The Iranian people made us feel very welcome everywhere we went. In Pakistan our armed escort was for much the same reason although in Quetta and the journey west from there you can’t be too careful for obvious reasons.

We really enjoyed our time in Iran but were also glad to be in Turkey. Had a minor disaster at the Iranian Turkish border, after only just managing to scrape enough money together for the visas (nobody – not even the banks – want Australian dollars) we went back to the immigration desk only to find Steve’s British passport had expired in January. After hastily removing the visa stickers and putting them into the Aussie passports we were on our way. He really should find himself a better travel agent!!

Had a great start to Turkey stayed in a fantastic place overlooking Mount Ararat and underneath an old Kurdish palace. Unbelievable views and so tranquil, well that was before the karaoke started at 8pm. Sank a few Turkish beers lovely stuff.

We are now on our way to Istanbul and travelling well on these roads. We are over half way and holding up very well. The food has improved, we had chickpea soup for breakfast and chickpeas in tomatoes for lunch and goodness knows what we will have for dinner but the chickpeas look good.

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May 18 2008

Update from the road – Saddle Sore

Well we have reached Esfahan one of the most beautiful cities in Iran, we are staying here for 2 nights to regain our sanity. Steve has been sorely tested by the terrible driving of the Iranians. We are so looking forward to a cold beer in Turkey and I can have my hair back. I have to wear a head scarf and a shawl in 35ºC not very comfortable. We are able to travel without the armed guards now so progress has been faster.
We are not able to access the website yet as most of the internet is blocked here. The photos will be loaded in Turkey in a few days so you can see what we see.
We have been treated very well by the Iranian people, they are very friendly.
Happy birthday to Eleanor for 11 May, to my Mom 70 today and to Niel 4 years on 15th.
Will be in touch as we can

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May 15 2008

Bad roads, the desert and an armed escort in Iran

Our journey took us from Lahore south to Multan as our planned route had to be cancelled due to the security situation in the mountains leading to Quetta. So we took the long hot journey south to come north again to reach Quetta having had an armed escort through Sibi and on to Quetta.
We then headed into Baluchastan and into the desert area. Roads here were abysmal and all 3 of us felt the strain of the heat and the slow progress. Our arrival in Iran went smoothly and after clearing customs we were given an armed escort for the 3 days we have been here. Last night we stayed in Bam which if you remember was totally destroyed in 2003 by an earthquake. The people here made us feel so welcome and still the city is in the stage of being rebuilt. The roads here are fantastic and Tara has enjoyed speeding along at 83 kph. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to download any pics but we’ll hopefully be able to do this in Turkey which we hope to reach in about 5 or 6 days time. Overall the journey has been a fantastic experience although challenging and some times very scary especially through the desert areas of Baluchastan. Our short amount of time we have for this has meant we’ve spent long periods sat on Tara who has been fantastic only a few minor breakdowns but easily fixed.

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