Towards the silk path
EXPERIENCE

Maurizio de Biasio.

On the road towards the Silk Path

Samarkand is a suggestive destination: crossroads of cultures and history. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it lies along the Silk Road in faraway and barely known Uzbekistan

Reaching this city was exciting, just like living and fulfilling a dream; a solo journey of 38-days, 14,000 km travelled amongst the relics of a very ancient past, but occasionally in symbiosis with present day. It was not easy to get there: unforeseen events, uncertainties and obstacles, at times forced me to modify the route. A constant thought continues to cross my mind: "Will I be able to get an entry visa to get into Turkmenistan?" Just like I feared, no visa...and in the end, as often happens on an adventure trip, one is forced to take an alternative route, plan "B", if not "C", etc.

A special thanks go to my dearest and most important travelling companions: my indestructible and inseparable Stylmartin Continental Black and my small, reliable and stainless Kawasaki KLE 500.

My travel journey

I hop on my bike and quickly get through Greece and Turkey without any particular problems. Within a few days, I reach Iran, a destination I had already been to a few years ago. To get to Kazakhstan (avoiding Turkmenistan), I had to take a 2000 km detour through Azerbaijan to get a visa. My next adventure was sailing on the Caspian Sea aboard a cargo ship with Kazakh, Russian, Azerbaijani and Uzbek truckers; what an experience! I disembark late at night, after 24-hours of travel, I’m back on the saddle and then off again: new hitches and mandatory detours. 

I finally get to Kazakhstan and the best is yet to come; the desert and along the Kazakhstan steppe is filled with dozens of dromedaries and camels that watch me curiously but uninterested in my passage. 

Day in day out, I realize that I am truly far from home; my destination, Samarkand, finally becomes a reality under my feet and wheels. I pass the two most important and fascinating historical cities: Khiwa and Bukhara, as I get closer and closer to my dream. I am finally here and able to admire it! What a tremendous effort, but extremely satisfying! Samarkand is a peaceful place. You can breathe history here! 

My journey is not over yet: my return trip is waiting for me. I get on my motorcycle once again and start my trip back, this time abandoning these beautiful lands. I travel thousands of kilometers until I reach Russia: its vastness and open spaces blinds me. I cross Astrakhan and Volgograd, once known as Stalingrad. I continue through Kursk, land in Budapest and continue to Bled, Slovenia. I’m getting closer to home. I stop and think to myself and only then do I realize; how fortunate I am to have lived such an incredible experience. Seeing the world and cherishing people’s history.

 

Maurizio de Biasio.