Traveling to Kathmandu on a motorbike has been a long time dream of mine. Following the old hippy trail of the seventies, from Europe to Istanbul and on to Iran, Pakistan and India. Even Afghanistan was still on the map in those days, being a favourite traveller hangout thanks to its hospitable people and cheap supply of the worlds best hash. A true adventure, in times without internet or mobile phones.
Today, politics, terrorist activity and a lot of red tape make traveling through this volatile region difficult. In planning our route a lot of constraints had to be taken into account. Most importantly, we wanted to avoid the dangerous province of Balochistan in western Pakistan, where kidnappings and bomb attacks are daily reality. Secondly, rumour has it that due to the elections in June, the Iranian border might be closed to foreigners. So we wanted to be able to skip Iran if necessary. The resulting route will be longer, more costly and require even more red tape, but it’ll make for a very interesting detour via the silk roads of Central Asia and China, and over the Karakoram Highway into eastern Pakistan.
We plan to reach the Himalaya in June, just in time for the mountain passes to Ladakh to open. After India, we’ll continue to Nepal, where our journey will come to an end in the great city of Kathmandu.