Istanbul to Xi'an on foot?

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Bart-Jan
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Istanbul to Xi'an on foot?

Post by Bart-Jan »

Hi all,

For a while I've been planning a long overland trip from Istanbul through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan all the way to Xi'an in China.
This in itself is quite a long trip involving a nice bit of planning with all visa regulations, but the complicating factor is that I want to the do the trip on foot whereever possible. This might sound like an idiotic plan, but I really think it is doable, that is logistically, no way to tell whether I'll grow tired of hiking after some months, but that's another problem.
I cannot find anyone who has done a similar trip before, so my main question is, do you think this plan is even remotely possible? I do have quite a bit of travelling experience but I don't know Central Asia at all, except for what I read about it.

A rough planning would involve starting in Turkey somewhere in August, reaching te border with Iran half November. Then spend the winter months in Iran, staying in the north where the wether should be well enough. After that I would cross to Turkmenistan at the beginnning of spring, of course here I need to do some kind of tour, no way they let me walk across the country on my own. After that I will use the summer months to cross the other stan countries and the reach Kashgar before the winter. Assuming I did the maths about the kilometers and the time it takes me to walk them right what do you think of this planning. Is this doable climatewise?

Obviously I do have loads of other questions, but there is no real need to go into them all if the outline of the idea turns out to be an impossable affair.

Therefore I would be really glad to here your opion on this.

Thanks a lot,
Bart-Jan
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steven
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Re: Istanbul to Xi'an trip. Questions.

Post by steven »

Definitely possible, I remember a Japanese guy who was Walking from Japan to Portugal pushing a cart with his stuff who walked the length of Kazakhstan. Pretty tough guy.

Summer in Central Asia is the only time you can walk in the mountains. In the deserts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan it is on the other hand very hot (Turkmenistan in high summer is 60 degrees Celsius at noon).

It will be tough. Only Turkmenistan is not doable. You will have to get a Transit visa, which only lasts for a few days. You will not be able to walk the whole Country in this time.
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Bart-Jan
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Re: Istanbul to Xi'an trip. Questions.

Post by Bart-Jan »

Hi Steven,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

Have you got any idea about the name or anything about this Japanese guy. I think it would be very helpfull for me if I could contact him in some way.
My plan involved passing through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in spring so this should be about right for the temperature and leaves me in the Tadjik en Kyrgyz mountains in high summer.
I'm thinking about arranging some kind of custom tour to cover Turkmenistan. Apparently this won't be entirely hinking, but I would like to remain as close to that as possible. Do you have any reccomendations about tour operators I could try for this.

Bart-Jan
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steven
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Re: Istanbul to Xi'an trip. Questions.

Post by steven »

Hi Bart-Jan,

I Googled it, his name is Masahito Yoshida

http://www.vagabondish.com/tired-daily- ... lks-world/

Tour operators for Turkmenistan...I suggest contacting everyone you can find online. Our partners working in Turkmenistan can be contacted here

http://caravanistan.com/tour_operator/s ... ravel-ltd/
http://caravanistan.com/tour_operator/steppe-journeys
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