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Travel writing: Silk Trail Expedition
Where the north and south Silk Roads split, near the remote city of Kashgar in north-western China, the expedition pioneered a mountainous route never previously seen in its entirety by a westerner – the Xinjiang-Tibet highway, which climbs to altitudes classified by medical practitioners and mountaineers as High, Very High, and Extremely High. At such great heights the oxygen content in the air is reduced from the 21 percent found at sea-level to as little as 10 percent. We laboured at altitudes between 11,000 and 17,648 feet for seven long days, feeling old beyond our years.
Our progress was slowed, all the way from the Crimean Peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea to Mumbai port on the Arabian Sea, by punctures, damaged wheels, cracked windscreens, and border crossings delayed for hours by officials bristling with suspicion, but the expedition was completed successfully and my last task, in the unseemly luxury of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, was to write speeches about the adventure for presentation by senior Land Rover executives.
A few examples of blogs I posted from the expedition to a personal website, when I got chance, can be found under the case studies heading ‘travel writing.