In February 2011 my wife Kate and I set off on our motorbikes from Wollongong in Australia heading for Woolwich in south east London. In 5 months we covered about 21,000 km across 20 countries. Firstly we crossed the emptiness of the great Aussie outback and then negotiated the manic traffic of Bangkok, Kathmandu and Delhi. Next came the fabled and dangerous Karakoram Highway through the mountains of Pakistan, up and over the 4600 metre Khunjerab pass and into China. More rough roads through Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan led us to Russia, through Ukraine and then the final 5,000 km push through Europe. www.wollongongtowoolwich.co.uk
“The Karakorum Highway through the highest mountain ranges in the world is one of the most spectacular places on planet earth. Throw into the mix a 15 mile lake that, since a huge landslide in 2010, now covers a section of the road and things start to get challenging………."
Then, as we rattled our way around a rough corrugated corner, the landslide finally came into sight. It was immense. The whole valley was blocked. We just sat there on our bikes, looking at the chaotic scene in front of us. In amongst the rocks, boulders and dust, men toiled. In order to get up and over the landslide, everything that was either going north or south from the lake had to be loaded and unloaded onto the back of 4x4 pick-ups or tractor & trailer. The scene was absolutely crazy. Gangs of labour were humping boxes, bundles and packages by hand on and off the vehicles.