Sunday, 17 January 2010

Black patches cleared

After spending one weekend in Madrid, I've got some fresh news about the trip's uncertainties.

On the positive side, I read that there are plenty of travel agencies in Kathmandu where you can easily arrange a group tour into Tibet, so this way I could get back into China on the way from India.

Then I'd head to the West, and then now I know that there are several ways of attempting the crossing into Central Asian countries.

For instance, a possibility that I hadn't taken into account, there is an express train working all year-round from Urumqi, in Xinjiang, to Almaty in Kazakhstan, near the border with Kyrgyzstan.

I became aware too of the buses from Kashgar (Xinjiang) to Osh (Kyrgyzstan), through Torugart pass, but only in warm weather (I hope there is enough of that in September/October 2011).

On the not so positive side, guides keep repeatedly saying that crossing from Myanmar to India not possible to tourists. Maybe I'd better start thinking new paths ahead from Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent (I thought about a ferry trip from Thailand).

Having this new pieces of information, Thailand appears as a likeable base for exploring Southeast Asia (given that no visa is needed, and the ones needed for other countries can be applied for in Bangkok).

In the next days I will get in contact with the Chinese consulate (in Madrid), but their working time is very little really, so I don't know if I'll have success.

Visiting time (in person) is only available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9:30 to 13:00, and telephone service on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 12:30.

I will probably write them an e-mail, because I'm not in a hurry, but in the end, before the trip I will definitely have to go there during those short periods.

PS: I bought a small phrasebook that includes Burmese, Thai, Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese. It could be helpful, but I will write on languages during the trip in some other post.


  1. Oh, maybe you could get Manuel Leguineche's "El camino más corto". He travel around the world and crossed North Africa, Middle East and Far East, in the late 60's... Maybe it could amuse you.

    “El camino más corto para encontrarse uno a sí mismo da la vuelta al mundo. Me dispongo, pues, a dar la vuelta al mundo. Europa ya no me produce efecto. Harto familiar me es este mundo para obligar a mi alma a nuevas configuraciones. Además, es un mundo demasiado limitado. Toda Europa tiene en lo esencial un solo espíritu. Quiero anchura, dilataciones donde mi vida tenga que transformarse por completo para subsistir, donde la comprensión requiera una radical renovación de los recursos intelectuales, donde tenga que olvidar mucho -cuanto más, mejor- de lo que supe y fui. Quiero que el clima de los trópicos y otros muchos aspectos imprevisibles envuelvan mi ser y actúen sobre mi alma, para ver lo que será entonces de mí. Ya están cortadas las relaciones con lo que me sujeta. Siento en mí la beatitud de la libertad conquistada. De seguro que no hay nadie ahora más independiente que yo. No tengo profesión externa; no tengo familia que me preocupe; no tengo obligaciones que llenen mi tiempo; puedo hacer u omitir lo que me plazca.”

  2. A beautiful quote, it treasures a lot of truth. Thanks!