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Archive for the '1. Planning' Category

Chinese VISA: GRANTED!!!

Posted by Simone on August 25th, 2005

Finally today we completed the latest burocratic operations. Now, the preparation phase has been completed (Just in time). Ciao

Fuel bars

Posted by Simone on August 24th, 2005

Dear Readers, as you can see we are almost at the end of our shopping that has been started 2 weeks ago. Tomorrow morning I’m going to get the Chinese VISA and on Friday we will open the real show. Few seconds ago, I went to the haircut, that is russian of course, and she told me that since we decided to fligh Siberia Airline we should drink as much Vodka as we can just not to be aware about any possible inconvenient.
I was shocked!

By the way, hopefully the power bar you can see in the picture above will help me a bit during the trip. I’ve never try them so the effect should be stronger. Let’s hope I didn’t waste money.

Bye, for now.

Got the map!

Posted by Claudio on August 24th, 2005

Great, we’ve received john’s kkh map. Just on time!

A rough plan

Posted by Claudio on August 23rd, 2005

We spent the last few days buying the last pieces of our equipment. Some of them are probably unnecessary and we’ll scatter them along the KKH as soon as the road will get steep. Anyway, it feels great and professional to have them. We have a tent, sleeping bags, stove, cooking equipment, enough iodine to purify all the Karakul lake, warm clothes, tools for reparing the bikes, medical kits, biking gloves, hiking shoes, helments and basically all you need for a decent trek on the mountains. We just hope to find good bikes in Urumqi and all the spare parts that we need. Our cycling plan is not very detailed yet but we have a rough idea:

      Day 1 - Urumqi
      Day 2 - Urumqi (15:51)-> (overnight train)
      Day 3 - -> Kashgar (14:49)
      Day 4 - Kashgar -> Ghez (120 km)
      Day 5 - Ghez -> Karakul lake (70 km)
      Day 6 - Karakul lake
      Day 7 - Karakul lake -> Tashkurgan (100km)
      Day 8 - Tashkurgan -> Khunjerab pass (140km) (by bus)
      Day 9 - Khunjerab pass -> Sost (85 km)
      Day 10 - Sost -> Passu (40 km)
      Day 11 - Passu -> Karimabad (50 km)
      Day 12 - Karimabad -> Gilgit (100 km)
      Day 13 - Gilgit (saving day)
      Day 14 - Fairy Meadows trek (on foot)
      Day 15 - Gilgit -> Islamabad (by bus)
      Day 16 - Islamabd -> Lahore (by bus)
      Day 17 - Lahore (9:00) -> Stockholm (13:45) (by plane)

Good! The distances to cover are impressive, not to count the altitudes. But let’s not think about them now.

Russian VISA: GRANTED!!!!!!!

Posted by Simone on August 19th, 2005

I’ve just received now the 2 passports with the fantastic Russian visa ready to be used to take off from St. Petesburg. Next Step, on Monday we will apply for the Chinese one and the loop is gonna be closed! Ops, I forgot, we should buy the ticket for the train from Helsinki to St. Petesburg and the ticket for the party boat :-) from Stockholm to Helsinki. And the loop now is really closed.

Far too much stuff!

Posted by Claudio on August 19th, 2005

this morning i started to pack.Not even half of what i’d like to bring, already half too much of what i should carry! Reduce! On a bike at 3000m. 100 grams equals one kilo, so every single object must have a pretty good reason to join the trip!

A coffe while planning the trip

Posted by Claudio on August 18th, 2005

We have just bought a few things that we’ll probably need: american tape (for reparing the bike? :-|) , belts for tieing the backpack, locks for the bikes and an helmet. We’ve also realized that we need to minimize our load as much as possible. Probably we should follow Dan’s advice of carrying only what fits in a school bag. Not bad idea. My rule is that after preparing all I need, I’ll halve it. Anyway, we shot this photo during the usual after work coffe while planning the senseless parts of the trip. Since it’s the first
photo we have together, let’s use to present it ourselves. Simone on the left and Claudio on the right.

KHH Weblog 2005

Posted by Claudio on August 17th, 2005

I’ve found a nice weblog of three Brits who are biking from Pakistan to Kashgar just right now. Nice posts, they are making me unpatient to start the trip. Few quotes:

The only complication at this point was the weather, with the monsoon in full flow it was chucking it down

So, it’s good we dealyed our trip to avoid the monson :-)

From here it’s 25 km up the side of the Indus but the temperature was rising fast up to an unbelievable 42 degrees in the shade, it just takes all your energy out of you. We suffered another bout of punctures which is beginning to test the patience,…

42 degrees in the shade ? Great. From the Finnish 21 degrees in the sun it’s going to be a shock. Simone, let’s bring more glue for reparing the tyres…

Unfortunately there is a strong rumour doing the rounds at the moment that the Chinese are not letting people cycle over the Khunjerab Pass itself. this is as you can imagine, a bit of a blow!! We may be able to cycle up to the Pass and then come back down to Sost before taking a bus over to China, otherwise we may just be forced to take a bus. But real information is hard to come by and I guess that we won’t actually know untilwe get to Sost…

I’ve heard the same rumour. At least coming from China, we can ask the bus driver to drop us just after the border on the Khunjerab pass and start biking from there. Unless, we will find a better workaround ;-)

The road clings to the cliff and is rather scarily made of loose stones. From Tato it was then a 2 hour trek up to Fairy Meadow campsite which is at about 3300m on the way up to Nanga Parbat base camp. This fantatic campsite is so relaxed and must be one of the most spectacular places I have ever camped. As sun went down we were sitting on a bench watching the shadows lengthening on the Raikot Glacier and over the Nanga Parbat massif itself.

Great, then we can’t miss it either.

And the people are still so nice - come to Pakistan, ignore anyForeign Office website. I’ve never felt safer,…

Of course, it’s safe !!
Nice weblog, I’m following it. Keep posting.

Flights tickets are ready

Posted by Claudio on August 13th, 2005

i’ve picked up the tickets yesterday. Thanks riikka for helping us with this weird combination of flights ;-)

Posted by Claudio on August 11th, 2005

Filling the form for the russian visa :-)

A simple but beautiful map

Posted by Simone on August 11th, 2005

Terrain profile

Posted by Simone on August 11th, 2005

Pakistan VISA: GRANTED!!!!!

Posted by Simone on August 11th, 2005

I like this VISA….

Flights bought!!

Posted by Claudio on August 10th, 2005

After a long search, we have found the best flight combination. Our plan is to fly to the Xinjiang’s region in western China, bike to Pakistan and, if we make it, to fly out from Pakistan. We’ll start in Helsinki by catching the train to St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s one of my favourite city, so we’ll spend the weekend there. On Monday evening, we’ll take the overnight flight to Novosibirsk with Siberian Airlines and then we’ll fly straight to Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang’s region. There, we’ll probably spend one night and buy the mountain bikes. Urumqi is a pretty big city that should offer a decent choice of bicycles. From Urumqi, we’ll take the overnight train (22h) to Kashgar. We’ll spend a couple of days in Kashgar to visit the city, buy the food and get ready for biking. We plan to bike from Kashgar till Gilgit (about 700km) and then,if we still have some stength and time, we’ll try to bike till Islamabad. Otherwise, we’ll catch a bus to Islamabad and then to Lahore. From Lahore, we’ll fly to back Stockholm with SweFly where we’ll catch the overnight partying cruise Viking Line to Helisnki. All the flights are changeable and refundable, so we can always modify the trip if we get stuck somewhere.

Posted by Simone on August 8th, 2005

Hi, even during my daily work I’m thinking about this biking trip. I’m really looking forward. The countdown is already started. Simone