Category Archives: Uncategorized

Up and over the mountains – Kazakhstan

The Adventure

After having travelled for a while, we have sometimes started to wonder about what true adventures actually are. It seems that the word is being used far too often, and whenever I hear it now, it has an echo of a well-worn cliché and also I am to blame for it.

I suppose we have been quite safe and lucky in our journey and been sort of sheltered in a way, whether it’s because we have been playing safe or whether it’s because travelling is not actually as dangerous and adventurous in the times of GPS and modern technology as some may think, I do not know for certain (but I think it’s a bit of both). However, even after a good few months, if people ask me “what is our biggest adventure?” or “what has been the most adventurous time/event in our adventure?” I say “Kazakhstan!” and so does Dainis and Ivars and it has probably also been The One Adventure.

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East We Go – Kazakhstan

The Land of Kazakhs spreads wide

After all our big hopes of travelling through different countries of Central Asia were crushed, in the end we would have to do with one BIG country – Kazakhstan, which, after considering all the pros and cons would have been perfectly fine with us if it was not for one slight problem.

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Year 2014 – The road so far

Our adventure started on September 15th, 2014. December 31st we are 2250 kilometers from home, having traveled about 4700 kilometres by road.
We have had an amazing time visiting Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the breakaway state of Transnistria, Ukraine again, AR of Crimea, Russia and finally – Georgia. We are now residing in Tbilisi and plan to be here till the middle of February. We are still looking for ways to acquire two bicycles in the place of stolen ones but we will continue our journey to reach the place furthest away (Pitt Island in New Zealand) by any means.

Marking the end of year 2014, we looked back on the road so far. We are offering to take a peak at our adventures from September to December 2014 through this short video compilation.

Music: “Smile” by Møme.

The Road Less Travelled to the Place Furthest Away

HOW MANY ROADS Adventure No 1
From Riga, Latvia to– Pitt Island, New Zealand
September 2014

How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man? The answer to this question was searched by Bob Dylan, as well as the British author Douglas Adams. In “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Douglas Adams proposes a theory, that before being called a man, one must walk down exactly 42 roads, while Bob Dylan merely states that the answer is blowing in the wind.
The search for the answer must begin somewhere, so why not start by testing Adams’ theory in practice? The first step in our quest to find the answer is the journey from Riga, Latvia to its antipode – “The Road Less Travelled to the Place Furthest Away” expedition.
Our Mission
You probably remember childhood cartoons telling you that if you dig through the centre of the Earth, you’ll end up in China. In fact, a straight tunnel leading to China would have to be started in Argentina or Chile and not in any other place. Needless to say, any attempts to dig such a tunnel would be futile, silly, and most probably would only cause great harm to the planets ecosystem. Traveling along the surface of Earth would probably be a better idea.
The place furthest away from Riga, Latvia – its antipode – is located in the Pacific Ocean between Antarctica and New Zealand. We think, however, that the geographic coordinates aren’t that important – we intend to travel to the farthest inhabited place from Riga. And that’s the Pitt Island of the Chatham Islands archipelago in New Zealand, located 18010km away from the capital of Latvia.
Obviously, buying a plane ticket and flying to the place furthest away from your home in a matter of hours or days could hardly be considered challenging. We don’t think that would count at all – as it surely wouldn’t be the road less travelled by. We plan to use as many transportation options as possible and only use airlines when there is absolutely no other option. Biking through various countries, taking trains and ferries will let us experience the road less travelled by in its fullest. We’ll cut off the traditional tourist paths and educate ourselves on the various cultures and natural wonders every country during our trip can offer.
The Motivation
Even though we’re a few centuries late for discovering America, we believe there’s still plenty to explore on our planet. All you need to do is dig a bit deeper, and noteworthy discoveries are sure to be found. And that’s what our journey is all about.
Everyone has at least considered traveling around the globe at some point in their lives. More often than not, the motivation for the journey is simply widening horizons and having fun. Also, it’s almost inevitably a dream that never actually comes true. The reasons vary – sometimes it’s fear of the unknown, at other times life just takes an unexpected turn and soon that dream is no longer easily achievable. Our purpose is to show ourselves and others that making your dreams come true requires only fortitude, strength of will and determination to pursue your dream till it’s fulfilled.
The Route
Our adventure begins with a train trip through Belarus, visiting its capital Minsk for a short while. After that, the railway will take us to Ukraine’s capital Kiev. After having tried out the deepest subway station in the world, we’ll travel deeper into Ukraine and cycle to Moldova and then back to metropolitan Odessa in Ukraine. After that, depending on the political situation in the country, we’ll either keep cycling through the Crimean peninsula, or set sail across the Black Sea. The third option would be to take a “quick” detour and cycle along the western coast of the Black Sea, visiting Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. One way or another, the road will take us to the birthplace of wine – Georgia.
With the winter on our heels, we’ll have to start cycling more enthusiastically, as the winters in Iran are as harsh as December blizzards in Minnesota and thus we won’t have much time to explore Armenia. Nevertheless, sooner or later we will have to face winter and the vast deserts of Iran. The area of Iran is approximately 26 times larger than that of our country Latvia, and cycling across this Middle-Eastern country will not only test our spirit and fortitude but also the structural integrity of our bicycles. Traveling through Pakistan won’t be a walk in the park either, with its western province Baluchistan being a rather active conflict zone. Anyway, after 8000 kilometres on our bikes, we’ll end up in India, where it’ll be time to rest our legs and drive around in, perhaps, the cheapest car in the world – the Tata Nano.
After having explored India, we’ll continue our journey through Nepal, Tibet and China. Travelling through the Himalayas, our trip will have to be quick, because tourist permits are granted for a very limited time. From central Asia, it’ll be time for ferries, trains, buses and hikes as we make our way to our destination in New Zealand. A lot depends on what happens during the journey, but we hope to reach the Pitt Island in one year after departing from Riga.

There has always been more than one world, more than one Planet Earth. We have been created equal but our experience and the roads we take set us apart and thus each of us sees and experiences a different Earth. Our time on this planet is limited to a certain degree but despite of that we all have the possibility to share our unique perception of this world. And through this exchange we have the opportunity to see what we have never seen, to hear what we have never heard and to rediscover the world around us from a completely different perspective. With your kind permission we would like to become your medium of our world, showing the Planet Earth through the filter of our perception. This will be an opportunity for you to find, hear and see a different world and for us to discover it, listen to it closely and show it to you.
We will look – so you can find it,
listen – so you can hear it,
discover – for you to see the world anew.