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The Silk Road: The Artery of Ancient Life, The Romance of Names

Samarkand. Bukhara. the Oxus River. Wakhan. the Pamir Knot. Kashgar. Turpan. Romantic names from the distant past that are only slightly more widely known now than centuries ago, connected by a web of beaten tracks spun across the distant interior of Asia. The Silk Road is actually many roads, where civilizations, epochs, sceneries and ancient commerce tied themselves together over the greatest expanse of land-based exploration in human history.

In August of 2019 we will travel one of these most scenic and momentous tracks, from the ancient Khanate of Samarkand, through the ruins of ancient Panjakent, past the intriguingly remote northeast corner of Afghanistan- the Wakhan Corridor, into the complexities of the Pamir Mountains, then over the high and obscure Kulma Pass into distant Xinjiang Provence, to Kashgar, to Turpan, and ultimately to Dunhuang.

Our guide will be Surat Toimatsov, our old Tajik buddy from Dushanbe who has climbed, hiked, hunted and explored this region his entire life. We’ll visit the people and places he has known and traveled with, as we drive the ancient roads that are in slightly better condition now than when only camels could manage them.  We’ll hike to remote Kyrgyz camps and stay in their nomadic yurts. We’ll attend the Sunday market in Kashgar, the largest, oldest and most bizarre weekly market in Central Asia. We’ll finish with a visit to the Cave of the 1,000 Buddhas, a most sacred and remote Buddhist shrine on the edge of the Takla Makan Desert.

This will be a rugged road trip on mostly dirt roads. Some days will be quite long.Although we will spend our nights in the best accommodations available, this means we’ll often sleep in yurts, hunting camps, local homes and local hotels with 0 Star ratings. All participants must be willing to experience this little-traveled world witha sense of humor and a well-developed sense of adventure.

Silk Road Itinerary [] Silk Road Details