Landcruising Adventure Newsletter
Hello friends,
Greetings from, again, Kazakhstan and welcome to our first newsletter of 2020.

This time we are about to board a plane and fly to Tel Aviv to start the 1000-km-long National Trail. Fingers crossed that we won’t drown; in Israel the rains appear to be unending right now.
Our last part of our Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan - Kazakhstan loop this winter brought us to Khiva, Uzbekistan. This country has the best-preserved architecture of all Central Asian countries and Khiva summarizes that wealth all in one concise area: the old citadel.

Ala, this makes Khiva a top tourist destination, however, in January there were few people around. For a couple of days we strolled the narrow streets, admired old summer (outdoor) palaces, museums in former madrasas, incredibly tiled walls of mausolea and minarets.

If you like sightseeing, put Uzbekistan on your list!

Which brings us to the next topic: books

Recommended Books

Travel Memoir - Sovietistan
Interested in traveling to Central Asia? Get inspired by Sovietistan. The travel memoir by Erica Fatland (journalist) gives you lots of background information on the five ‘Stan’ countries.

Non Fiction - Vanished Khans and Empty Steppes
While not the most exciting book but easy to read, Robert Wright details the history of Kazakhstan from ancient times to today, giving insight into a country most of us know so little about.

Fiction - Silk Road
Not into factual books but rather a novel that teaches you a thing or two at the same time? Read Silk Road by Colin Falconer, who in this book takes you to the Silk-Road era with travelers going from Europeans to China, and the cultures encountered on the way. And, yes, in the end it’s all about timeless love.

The Overland Reunion

Overland Reunion Sign Up [©photocoen]
After our hike in Israel we will fly to the Netherlands for a visit to family and friends. And, of course, have our annual Overland Reunion. Future, present, and past overlanders, are you ready for a weekend in the woods?

Put May 15/17 on your agenda.

Car Talk

Center Steering Arm replacement by Euro4x4parts [©photocoen]
As you may remember from our previous newsletter, the Land Cruiser is – again – in dire need of some TLC. Next June, on our return to Kazakhstan, Coen will be back in workshops once more. Luckily our friends form Euro4x4Parts will provide us with some small and easy to carry components including engine mounts and universal joints.

However, stuffing a complete suspension set in the overhead bin of an airplane will be a big nono.

Then there is the gearbox. Since a few months the third gear has been annoying us the crap out of it. We suspect the synchro rings to be gone. While shifting back from 4th into 3rd goes well with some practice and a gentle hand, sometimes it's to no avail and the gear gets stuck in 3rd gear. We will try with heavier gear oil to see if that changes anything. But... we fear that a gearbox rebuild is next on our list.

On the one hand we are lucky that these parts are readily available. The problem, however, is that they are on the other side of the world and not in Central Asia. Shipping is our only option and we are looking into getting how we can get the parts to us in the near future.

We are looking for contacts who can help us with the following parts:
  • Full suspension set
  • Gearbox overhaul kit
  • More plutonium for the flux capacitor
Do you (or do you know someone) who has these lying on the shelves gathering dust and would like to help us out – please get in touch!

Who Else is on the Road

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 16.14.31
Rosie is 73 years old and running from the UK to Nepal. How cool and awe-inspiring is that? She is currently crossing Turkey. As during her 5-year run around the world (2003-2008), she is running for charity.

“I meet people I would never meet any other way and actually it is a way of giving more to life because I have more. You don’t go out and you don’t wait for the world to come to you.” ~Rosie Swale Pope
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 16.19.49
Alice is walking across the Sahara – 2000 kilometers and 11 countries on foot. What a spirit! In the company of camels and guides, Alice has many stories to tell on her website and shares fabulous pics on Instagram.
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 16.23.49
Michi and Thorben are driving with their two kids in this wicked Merc truck. They rebuilt it, crossed from Greece to Israel and are now exploring the Middle East.

Did You Know?

LCA tote bag collection 2
We have a selection of accessories on offer in our shop, featuring Coen’s designs. Take a look at the colorful gathering of cotton bags, zipper pouches, water bottles, tote bags, and drawstring bags. The collection keeps growing.
LCA Sticker Collection 1
Having said that, the Landcruising Adventure Stickers remain among the best-sold goodies. Check them out. They are available in many designs and different sizes.
We got some great feedback from readers with some design ideas and Coen has been sketching pages full of them. We are sharing them first with our Patrons so they can chime in and tell us what they think before Coen makes the final cut.

Take note: more is coming soon!

New on You Tube

Here's a video clip showing you the remote landscape in northern Tajikistan. We explored and explored some more, broke the steering (not in the video) which got us stuck in this valley for a few days.

Hit the button below to check it out. By the way, did you know that all our patrons get to see the videos a few weeks before everyone else? Consider becoming our patron and enjoy additional benefits as well.

Latest Blogs

The Most Popular Blog Posts on Landcruising Adventure

overlanding with Landcruising Adventure
Of the 400 articles on our Landcruising Adventure website, which are best read? What have been your most popular blog posts on our website?

Tajikistan Travel Budget Report - Travel Expenditures on our Road Trip

Tajikistan Overland Travel Budget Report
Our Tajikistan travel budget report, detailing travel expenditures during our road trip including documents, fuel, camping, car workshops.

Why we Travel Overland - The Tuzbair Salt Lake in Kazakhstan

We travel overland to the limestone cliffs of Tuzbair, Mangystau Region, Kazakhstan
The freedom to drive into the wilderness and free camp amidst the Tuzbair limestone cliffs in Kazakhstan - that's why we travel overland.

Chores when Overlanding in Uzbekistan (Where are We - Uzbekistan 2)

Overland Uzbekistan, empty roads through desert
Overlanding in Uzbekistan brings specific challenges: finding diesel, understanding SIM Card logics, and registering on the app.

Tajikistan Overland Travel Guide - Travel Information for Your Road Trip

Overland Road Trip in the Pamir Mountains, Bartang Valley, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan (©Coen Wubbels)
Travel information for your overland journey to Tajikistan: budget, roads, gas stations, camping, and more in our Tajikistan Travel Guide.

What's Next?

If you like to know how we are doing on the trail in Israel, best check out our Facebook Page and keep an eye out for our Where are We updates on the websites.

Meanwhile, do check out that YouTube clip from the Bartang Valley in Tajikistan mentioned above and tell us if you liked it.

Another great video of the Mangystau regions is scheduled for our Patrons in February.
If you’ve enjoyed our blogs, you have our patrons to thank – at least in part. Patreon helps us to stay freelancing and create more website stories for everyone to enjoy!

Thank you for supporting us on Patreon:

Aeron, Augustus, Barbara, Bernard, Bordan, Calin, Chris, Craig, Eric, Henk en Marianne, Jack, Jan, Joost, Judith, Justin, Katja, Lena, Marieke, Matt, Mike, Monique, Mélanie, Pauline en Wim, Peter en Michelle, Rob, Robert, Travis, Ylona, and Yolanda.

We now have a tier system that includes unique benefits – Go check it out.

Keep in Touch

We’d love to get your feedback on our newsletters and blog posts. Just hit the reply button and we’ll get your message. If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, please forward this link to a friend - Thanks!

Our next newsletter will follow after our hike, somewhere late April or early May. See you then!

Karin-Marijke & Coen
Landcruising the world

Every Mile
Tells a Story

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