Disclaimer: Due to the number of comments that have been received it has been felt necessary to clarify that this trip is in no way based on "The Long Way Round" which the authors of the trip were not aware and nor was it first broadcast of at the time at which this trip was drunkenly conceived. The authors of this trip would like to distinguish their intended trip from the journey undertaken in "The Long Way Round" in that unlike Charlie Borman and Ewan McGregor they are not experienced riders (they have both only been riding motorbikes for just over one year), they are not receiving sponsorship and they will not have a support crew with them at any point on the journey. Just to avoid any further confusion it has been thought that it would be helpful to point out that Tom Horovitch and Peter Caley are both fictional characters and are not famous film stars.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

General Update

We are still on schedule to leave on 5th June and, since our last entry, we have decided to leave the decision to carry on the journey Australia bound into Iran and beyond until we reach Almaty (in Kazakhstan). At that time we will know whether we will be able to obtain a visa for Iran and whether we can afford to carry on. We are therefore applying for a visa authorisation number for Iran now (we would pick up the visa in Central Asia if we are successful getting the authorisation number) and we have sent off our applications for the carnet (the import / export licence required if we are going to go further than the Iranian border) and will ask the RAC to process these if we need the carnet. The cost of the administration for each carnet is well over the price of an around the world air ticket, so we need to think very carefully whether we are prepared to make this financial commitment. We have also spent some time looking at the route home from Turkmenistan, which is where we would need to turn back if we didn’t proceed into Iran. This route looks possible, but our main concern would be the weather which would be getting very cold at the time that we would need to head back into Russia.
We are doing well with our visa applications. We now have visas for the Russian Federation, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. We are applying for our visa for Pakistan next week and we will be applying for visas for Turkmenistan and Tajikistan when we are in Almaty. We have also obtained a permit to travel the Pamir Highway (see last entry re. the Pamir Highway).

On the home front, I left my job on 12th May (10 days ago) and had a very nice send off at a local pub (see picture (right) of me and the business affairs group). Peter left work last Friday and has a removal firm at his flat today. The removal firm are moving what he isn’t taking on the trip into a storage facility near where his parents live in Cirencester. All being well, he is due to complete the sale on his flat in the next couple of days. Things are not going well at all with the flat I have rented out. First of all there was leak from the flat above which caused £700 worth of damage to the ceiling and then the problems with the foxes materialised again (the picture below was taken by Tony, the porter, and is of one of the fox cubs that was living under the flat). The foxes were causing a smell so bad that the tenants threatened to move out and at one point it even looked as if they were preparing a legal case against me. On top of all this, as a result of the foxes living under the flat the place became infested with fox fleas and an insect called a Wharf Borer which apparently lives in wood in the foundations of buildings (see: http://www.pest-watch.co.uk/wharf_borer.html ).
After the flat was treated three times by Rentakil, had numerous visits from different building contractors to seal all the air holes leading to the foundations of the building and three visits by decorators to fix the ceiling, the problems now seem to be under control and the tenants seem to be calming down. If all of this wasn’t bad enough, I found out last week that a window in the loft in the house I own in Stoke-on-Trent had been letting in water which has been seeping through the ceiling into the tenant’s bedroom causing the ceiling to sag and look like it was going to fall in. The quote I have had from a building contractor put the cost the reinstatement work at £4000. This includes putting a new ceiling into the bedroom and redecorating the loft and bedroom. Unfortunately the tenant in Stoke is a night worker and sleeps during the day. As a result of the reinstatement work he may need to take over two week off work. The cost of the work to both properties and the compensation that I have had to pay both tenants is considerable and has come at a time when I find myself with no income (having just left work). Everything that has happened with both properties seems like unbelievably bad luck at the most inconvenient time. It has meant that I have had to focus most of my attention on these problems whilst blindly putting one foot in front of the other to get the many things to do with the trip done. At times it has felt as all of this has been some sort of a test. Hopefully the worst is now past and I can focus my attention saying goodbye to friends and family and finishing off the preparations for the trip.
This entry was written by Tom.


At Sat Jul 22, 02:25:00 am BST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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