Friday, 20 July 2012

....and we are back!
Currently in Panjikent. Will be traveling back to Dushanbe tomorrow morning.
There is so much to tell and hundreds of pics to share.
Tajikistan is an amazing place. The people are super friendly.

Best description of the terrain we were in is like the European Alps 200 years ago. Just empty paths and the odd shepherd. A place lots in time.

Legs are recovering, blisters healing. Sun tan already fading.
Already missing the routine of getting up early and getting the primus heated up anticipating sore shoulders from my heavy pack.

As the heat is melting me here in Panjikent I am off to devour a water melon to help me cool down.

More to come soon.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

News from the trailhead....

Ok, not news, but at least a couple more views....See here for the last two check ins from the guys. Looks like they have made it over the first big pass...

Monday July 9th
GPS location Date/Time:07/09/2012 16:13:39 TJT 

Message:Hello from the Tajik Mountains!!

Click the link below to see where I am located.

Wednesday July 10th
GPS location Date/Time:07/10/2012 16:55:09 TJT 

Message:Hello from the Tajik Mountains!!

Click the link below to see where I am located.

Til next time.....

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A bird's eye view....

Hi all,

Wifey here! As Pete is not going to be able to access email for the next couple of weeks, I promised him that I would keep everyone posted on his locations as he and Jan make their way farther into the mountains and indeed, their journey! So after a day in Dushanbe they made their way to Langar in the north where they would have spent yesterday acclimatising and catching up on jet lag, before they started walking 'upwards' today.

The messages are pretty basic and can't be personalised but take a look at the link below from their SPOT satellite message last night for a bird's eye view of their position. As well as being a huge relief to see for those of us who are back at home, its also amazing technology. It also raises the question, is it actually possible to truly disconnect or get away from it all anywhere in the world anymore, or are we  always somehow under a watchful 'eye'?.....

Promise to keep you up to date and Pete will match the locations with the lived experience when he's back! All the best, Brenna

SPOT Jan and Pete 
GPS location Date/Time:07/07/2012 17:28:03 TJT 

Message:Hello from the Tajik Mountains!!

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,69.56009&ll=39.44485,69.56009&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Safe ans sound in Dushanbe!
Heading North tomorrow morning vey early.

We start walking in three days!
Enjoying wrapping my head around the Russian Language!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Journey begins.....

Finally I have got some time to sit down and post my first blog!
My bags are packed and I’m pretty much ready to go.
At first I was very hesitant to keep a blog. I had a look at the many blogs out there where folk are sharing their adventures and couldn’t help but notice how many of the blogs were along the lines of “Look at me....aren’t I great!”
For me it is not about conquering a mountain or getting to the top, to be the first the fastest blah blah blah.... B&*@!cks!
So my intention is to share my experiences as honestly and open as possible as I walk my talk. I have for over 15 years now been leading others as they pick up their pack and head out into the wilderness to challenge themselves and their views, values and goals. But its time to practice what I preach. I will use this space to record my reflections and experiences as I explore for myself not just the mountains of Tajikistan but what it means to be on a “Journey”, especially the one within. 
It occurred to me a few months ago that I started this journey in the Drakensburg mountains in South Africa when I was 16. I would have never guessed then that I would be on so many more walks all around the world. Looking back to my experiences there and what I do now I realise it really is an amazing way to find your path and find life long friends along the way.
For you all map geeks and folk who love the technical info you can see we have marked our route on Google earth on Jan's Blog Our Route Our basic walking itinerary is: 
To travel over land to the very small village of Langar (2500m). We will stop here to acclimatise. We then head south through the Tabaspin gorge (3200m)
and then over the Tabaspin Pass (4040m) to Yagnob Valley (2500m). This is the part I am most looking forward to a there are locals living here completely isolated from pretty much every thing. They have to be completely self reliant to stay alive! Then we’ll walk through the Yagnob valley downstream to Margebi Poyon. We reach the main road north at this point.
From here we will travel in some form of vehicle to Sarytag. We start walking again following the Sarytag Karakul river upstream to Karakul lake (3000m) Continue following the Akhbashir river to walk over the Satytag Pass (4160m) to the confluence of the Kaznok, Abusafedsoi and Tavasansoi rivers. Our final day will be to walk over the Tavasang pass (3300m) to Magurzor lake for a well deserved rest!
We then head to the city of Penjikent and then back to Dushanbe. Jan will be continuing on to the Pamirs in the south for more trekking with our friend Remco.
The maps we are taking will prove to be interesting.... the Russians are not famous for their map production. We will just have see what come around each corner at times.
The other day while I was with a friend Mags she pointed out something really interesting. The British OS map are some of the best in the world. With the right training you can navigate your self anywhere in complete darkness. However life seems to be more like a general tourist map. Using these you know roughly what to expect but sometimes you have to just go and look around the corner to see what’s there....for you never know.
While I am on the road I am not expecting to be able to get online very much. We will be checking in via a GPs device called “Spot” This will be linked with Google earth and my wife Brenna will be posting these is as they come in. (Not to mention waiting for news that we’re doing ok!) Battery permitting we hope to do this once a day.
For the tales of each day I will be blogging them in delay with hopefully some amazing photos when I am back. 
Many thanks to 
Brenna and Ellie for supporting me. ;-)
Mom for being mom and some financial support. 
Venture Scotland for giving me the time off.
Mags Kerr and Dave Key for insight and inspiration 
Jan Bakker My friend and trail partner who has to share his tent with me!
Cotswold Outdoor shop for all the advice on the equipment I needed. 
and all those who I have bored to death already with my chat and excitement.