There have been many remarkable feats of human endurance over the centuries. The early trade routes between the east and the west would undoubtedly rank among them. They covered some of the most inhospitable parts of the earth, with searing deserts and blinding sandstorms, to frozen high mountain passes.
That was then. This is now. In 2010 there is a four-lane divided highway most of the way from Xi'an to Kashgar. The few bits that don't have it soon will. Tourists step out of air-conditioned buses through turnstiles into theme parks that in some cases are beginning to resemble Disneyland, with everything from concrete camels to coloured lights, and the inevitable souvenir shops. There were times that I wished I'd done this trip twenty years ago.
Like most of us, Graham Meale spent a good deal of his life hostage to a mortgage. In 2004, at age 47, he realised that there was more to life, got his first passport and began working hard to fill it up. He has travelled extensively in every continent except Antarctica. His goal is to see every nation on Earth that doesn’t have a McDonalds.
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The Golden Land Published February 18, 2015
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Colourful Canyons Published November 18, 2014
Pining for the fjords Published August 11, 2014
Scandinavia in Green Published July 08, 2014