FEB 8th 2017- 121 days / 71 working days until departure.
In the middle of Tashkent’s deep dark winter, the distant thought of touring again is one of the only things that motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. Well that, the money from work and the fact that work will certainly occupy my days, bringing me closer to June 9th.
People say that I should not think about things that far away, enjoy the day, don’t plan my life away, but when there is something as big as the tour we have in mind, it would be irresponsible not to. It takes a lot of planning.
The four years in Tashkent that will have passed by the time our tour begins in mid-June have indeed been rewarding, both professionally and financially. They have been fun too, at times, but it is definitely time to go now. This extra year has put us both in a position to explore without worrying too much about unexpected costs, and will allow us to enjoy an occasional splurge on some luxuries.
There are only so many more journeys to work providing tantalising glimpses of the Tien Shen mountain range that I can handle before the itch to explore becomes too much. I’ve wondered what’s over those hills for so long, and no matter how many ‘out-and-backs’ we do from Tashkent, my thirst is never quenched.
The microcosm that is our lovely pink house provides a nice retreat from work, and a lair to think about adventure and devise our cunning plan, the last few months of which have been rather productive. Our website www.pedalgogy.net has received well over 4000 hits, so too has our previous blog. We have had some press coverage in an industry magazine ‘The International Educator’, on the website of our chosen charity www.pwsa.co.uk, and local newspapers in the UK and in Ireland are about to run a story.
Our 2017 school Cyclothon event is shaping up nicely, with over 100 riders expected this year. All being sponsored to cycled around our schools campus, raising money for PWSA. Our aim is to leave Tashkent having collected $6000 for the charity which will go towards early diagnosis, treatments and providing guidance and support for networks of families. We will also have made lots of people aware of the syndrome. So we do feel that we are already achieving something for a greater good, rather than just our own personal desire for adventure.
So, are we ready? Well, no. There is a lot to do still. Inoculations, visas, and a few more pieces of gear, some practice rides with loads, a lot of school work to do and a lot of fitness to gain. Overall we are optimistic; I think that we are pretty well prepared. I’ve had malaria & blastocystis hominis, my gall bladder has been removed and our stomachs are used to being unsettled so perhaps we are ready in this respect. We are also well accustomed to driving rules, or lack thereof, climate, terrain and customs. So we are hoping that the day in June when we pedal out of our garden’s gates for the last time will be the start of a truly once in a lifetime journey to explore our world.