After several years of gainful employment, finalising our respective studies and our New Year’s Eve wedding, 2014 presented an ideal opportunity to test ourselves – and our new marriage – by attempting to cycle from China to South Africa.
From Europe (Philip) and South Africa (Fran), we met through a shared interest of outdoor activities whilst living and working in Perth, Australia. Our intended route was established through Philip’s long-held interest in exploring the Silk Route and Fran’s desire to explore more of the African continent. Our starting point will be Kashgar in western China, and our intended finish point is the Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. Our planned journey broadly follows the former trading route of the Silk Road toward Turkey before turning south to Egypt and continuing down to Cape Town.
A trip of this nature comes with numerous challenges to overcome. The terrain and climate are relatively easier to anticipate, whilst the political sensitivity in pockets of our route have proved difficult to plan ahead for. For these reasons any published schedule should certainly be taken with a pinch of salt.
Notwithstanding the above, the challenges of the first year of any marriage will likely provide a more entertaining detour to any schedule.
Philip and Fran