Landcruising Adventure Newsletter
Hello friends,
Happy greetings from a new chapter in our ongoing overland journey. We are in Georgia – in the Caucasus that is, not in the US. It wasn’t evident to get here, by any means. Like I mentioned in the previous newsletter, some countries have kept their borders closed, others left us in the dark about their policies.
Lake Tengiz, off road Central Kazakhstan (©Coen Wubbels)
Meanwhile we enjoyed a wonderful summer in Kazakhstan. Bloody hot as it was, easily 40 degrees (104F), it is one of the countries in our journey that is not high on anybody’s bucket list but which has surprised us during several visits.

The much visited southeastern corner offers alpine lakes, national parks, canyons and mountains but after our visit there, we decided to do a visa run and explore a very little known area: the center.
Lake Tengiz, off road Central Kazakhstan (©Coen Wubbels)
It required lots of hours on horrible roads to Zhezqazghan, a copper industry area which once flourished thanks to the Soviet gulag (prisoner) system, of which only a memorial remains. Thanks Bauerdzhan for spending a couple of wonderful days with us, showing the sights.

The nearby Ulytau Mountains are considered the Kazakhs ancestral lands, rich in history and an incredibly beautiful landscape, which was worth all that off-roading. Even the Land Cruiser hummed with satisfaction and gave no issues, for once.
Border crossing Russia-Georgia (©Coen Wubbels)
Meanwhile our ‘exit strategie’ was a regular topic of conversation. When back in Kyrgyzstan we found a way. Instead of repeating myself, here’s the blog post with our last 'Where are We'.

Book: The Last Overland

Of course I have books for you. As we speak I am loving this read: The Last Overland, by Alex Bescoby. There is a long history to this particular story, which is called the First Overland, which I mentioned way back when in a newsletter.

In short: in the 1950s, six Brits traveled in two Land Rovers, Oxford and Cambridge, from London to Singapore, the first motorized overland journey to that corner of the world. Oxford was found back decades later on some island, and Alex decided to drive it back from Singapore to London, with the author of First Overland, Tim Slessor, aged 87.
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The personal touch is that we got to meet the Last Overland Team in Uzbekistan and spent an evening in inspiring, energetic company.
Get "The Last Overland" on Amazon here
For a full list of books we have been reading on overlanding, take a look here:

In honor of Dervla Murphy

dervla
Then, you may have heard Dervla Murphy died last May, aged 90. She was one of the most iconic travelers of the 20th century and left a rich heritage of books about her incredible journeys: hiking in northern Pakistan in winter with her daughter, cycling alone to India in the 1960s, and walking with daughter and mule through remote Peru among them.
Her book In Ethiopa with a mule had me captured. She hiked by herself, well, with a mule, through the super remote highlands in the 1960s when many local people had never seen a white face. As is typical of her journeys, she stayed in many people’s homes and despite getting robbed several times, she kept having faith in people. This is a jewel among her travel memoirs.
Get "In Ethiopia With A Mule" on Amazon here

Instagram: @the_travely

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We just met Valeria and Lukas very briefly on a chance encounter in Georgia, but we are sure to see more of them in the future. Apart from their wicked Hilux and homemade shell, their Insta is out of this world! (pun intended)

Shop

New in our shop: bucket hats and baseball caps, all with the familiar designs by Coen with variations on our iconic Land Cruiser, Roadtrip, Overlanding Pur Sang …
lca-shop-bucket hats
lca-shop-baseballcaps

Overland Haven

Our stay in Georgia couldn’t have started better than it did. Dog-tired from driving days on end, 2500 kms through Kazakhstan and 2000 kms through Russia, we had little eye for our surroundings when we crossed into this country. We just needed a rest.

Fellow overlanders Grant & Sarah recently bought a piece of land and will alternate their travels with living here, on Overland Haven. They have opened their terrein to fellow overlanders and to our surprise we weren’t the only one. It was great meeting you all, Chris & Gabs, Grant & Sarah!
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One thing led to another, we spent a great evening drinking homemade wine at the neighbors, helped with a wine harvest which traditionally ended with a feast.

How good a start can you have in a new country, right?!
Sidenote: No, we don’t get paid by promoting anybody’s book, website, organization or otherwise. We just feel the compassion these people have for overland travel and we want to share the good vibes!

Our latest blogposts

Bye-bye Stans, Hello Caucasus! (Where are We - Georgia 1)

Georgia, church (©Coen Wubbels)
No, we are not in the US. We are in Georgia, the small country in the Caucasus at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Georgia borders Turkey, Armenia and Azerbeidzjan in the south and Russia in the north. Exiting Central Asia Due to covid restrictions, borders remained closed much longer than we expected. Last summer our travels were …

Books about Central Asia, Mongolia and the Silk Road

Central Asia Books (©Coen Wubbels)
An overview with books about Central Asia (Mongolia, Stan Countries) and the Silk Road: Non Fiction, Fiction, Travel Memoirs, Guidebooks.

Finding our Way to Lake Tengiz (Off-road Kazakhstan)

Lake Tengiz, off road Central Kazakhstan (©Coen Wubbels)
It took some time to figure out whether there would be a short cut to Lake Tengiz, in Central Kazakhstan. Thanks to our friend Bauerzhan from Zheshkargan, who is an avid traveler and off-roader in his own country, we mapped out a route on our gps. From Alkalyk we wondered where exactly we had to leave the main road and …

The Ancient History of Kazakhstan at Otrar

history of Kazakhstan at Otrar (©Coen Wubbels)
To restore or not to restore, that's the question... Well, I think it is at Otrar, a historical site in southern Kazakhstan. The oasis lay at the junction of important caravan routes: west to Khorezm and the Volga, south along the Syr Darya towards cities such as Merv and Nishapur, and east along the Arys to Taraz and beyond. Otrar …

What’s next?

wild camping in Kazakhstan, Yellow Canyon (©Coen Wubbels)
The big question, as always… For now we’ll enjoy a beautiful autumn in Georgia and will then decide how/where to spend the winter months. Stay tuned for more.

best,
Karin-Marijke & Coen
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