Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


You are here: Home / News / Progress!

Personal tools

Log in

Forgot your password?


(That's progress as in betterment of my condition as opposed to Progress the Russian space supply capsule. There are some launches in late August from Baikonur which might be timely, though how much you get to see from the cheap seats (ie. at the side of the road) other than a bright light going up, I don't know. Perhaps there's a loud bang?)

It would be easy for you all to imagine that I've been sat back doing sweet Fanny Adams for the past few weeks and, by and large, you'd be right. But it's not entirely true. I have sent a couple of harrying emails off to my man in China and some exasperated replies when he's prompted me for information he already has for a visa-related document that I found out I needed because I'm making a special "self-driving" tour of China. He then had the gall to charge me an extra $50 to get this document.

Anyway, I've finally gotten a document from him that I didn't ask for, a letter of invitation as well as hotel booking confirmations together with the suggestion that I apply for an ordinary tourist visa and make sure that I don't mention any "self-driving." Perhaps things didn't go too well when he enquired at the local tourist board for the document I need or, perhaps, he hasn't done anything at all and is hoping I can bluff it.

I should be able to bluff my way at the Chinese consulate, explaining how I intend to appear in a remote corner of China, as there are several buses that cross the borders (from Pakistan and into Kyrgyzstan) and websites and guide books regularly reference them. Indeed, there's some talk of problems with crossing no-man's land at the Kyrgyzstan side (there's tens of km of it) and having to have your bike taken on the bus. Surely they mean a pedal cycle and not a heavily laden (250kg? excluding me) motorbike? There is, of course, only one way to find out.

So, I shall attend the Chinese consulate on Tuesday and with a bit of luck I should get my passport back at the end of the week. That leaves the change of flight. I've gotten nervous about getting my passport back from the Chinese (following the Pakistan debacle) so I won't go flight changing 'til I've got my passport back in my hot and sweaty hands.

I had a mooch at the Gulf Air website and you seem to be able to get an Economy (Q) seat at reasonably short notice though there's an element of pot luck to it. Whether those seats are available to flight swappers is another question. Actually, I've not seen how I change my flight, let's hope there's a flight change service phone number. There's a minor complication in that I now have a different passport number. That couldn't possibly cause a problem, could it?

So, with a bit of luck I could be back on the moto and traveling in mid-June. Hurrah!

Document Actions