African Trails Trans Asia Overland- Istanbul to Beijing


Hi and welcome to Af Trails! Meet Rosie (the world’s most awesome overland truck), and Suse the world’s most awesome driver (the pax made me write that)! All aboard, lock and load!

Week 1- Battles, Byzantium, bushcamps, baths, boat trips, birthdays…. and a few sneaky beers!

Leaving the majestic city of Istanbul in our wake we begin our 4 month Trans Asia overland heading south to the Gallipoli peninsula, the scene of some of the bloodiest battles of WW1 and the modern day pilgrimage for many Aussie and Kiwi travellers. Visiting ANZAC cove, the cemeteries of Lone Pine (AUS) and Chenuk Bair (NZ) to name but a few, this solemn day ended with a salute to the fallen at the Boomerang Bar, Eceabat.

Crossing the Dardanelles we visited the ancient city of Troy. Our local guide Mustapha turned what many describe as piles of rocks and rubble into a fascinating account of the Trojans and their famous Trojan horse. With the ladies dreaming of Brad Pitt we continued to our first bushcamp of the trip- an unmarked camp with no facilities… how’s the serenity?

Efes (Ephesus) is the second largest and one of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world. We spent the day exploring the ruins, the Artemis temple, St Johns basilica and the Ayasulak fortress. With the extensive history lessons of the past few days it was time for some hot pools, sun and sand.

After our first bushcamp of the trip the pax have really taken to making the most of every opportunity to bathe… Pamukkale where the turquoise water cascades over the naturally formed calcite hot pools presented an enticing bath in what appears to be arctic waters. 

En-route we collected fire wood in the high passes of Ba Dag (Daniel Craig, aka Bond jumped off here in Skyfall), we then dropped down 1500m to the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea. A boat trip to Butterfly bay and the various coves and islands in the area was a perfect way to celebrate a birthday… Happy Birthday Slats, (Nicola Slattery)! Week one ends with a free day to explore the surrounding peaks, take a walk to the ghost town of Kaya, paraglide off the mountain or simply enjoy the glassy waters of the lagoon where our campsite lays.

Thoughts of the week:

Scott, aka Jesus- “It feels great to be back on the road with Suse and meeting the group who will be riding alongside me on this trip to China. I am ridiculously keen to find out what the Silk Road has to offer. Bring it on!”

Neil- “I’m on this trip for a little adventure before dementia!”

Game of the week (or possibly the century)-Tractor… As the name suggests it involves the spotting of tractors, the colours, operation, waving drivers etc.  We will be posting rules and updated scores weekly. The adjudicator and game master is Steph.





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