Thursday, August 25, 2005

Update: 25th August

Into MONGOLIA! All good, amazing amazing amazing, but where's the road?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Update: 22nd August

150 km from russian border nr old nuke testing site at Semey. Just seen our first forest for weeks!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Over the Top

Tien Shan
Originally uploaded by myblackboxrocks.
Almaty. We had been wondering why no other teams were heading through the Fergana valley - Then we got there, all the borders totally chaotic, closed; we wasted a day finding the only one open to foreigners. On the plus side the local people really looked after us, putting us up for a free B&B on two occasions.

Into Kyrgyzstan, Mini had engine issues which lost some time but a local mechanic had a 5 minute fiddle and we were motoring past yurt camps over the Tien Shan to Biskek. We had a freewheel race down the other side and beat Mini by 3km, but pushing the car at 3000 metres was our first exercise for a month so we took a holiday at Kyrgystan's equvalent of Butlins at crystal clear Issyk-Kul (Is he cool?). Amazing views of the mountains all round.

The exhaust was welded back together and it's time to get a move on, but will the police agree?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Update: Saturday 20th

On a sandy beach in kyrgyzstan, cool clear water and glaciers behind us. Wonderful! Try to make finish in a week.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Update: 19th August

Yet again mini broke... Lost a whole day.... Having a super supper in Bishkek,crossed tien shan,kyrgyzstan rocks, exhaust fixed in 13m.Ace!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Look, proof - still healthy?!.*!

Blackbox FM going out live now to a 50m zone in Uzbekistan. Big shout out to the Mongol mini and Rolling Johnstones, and any other locals who happen to be tuned to 88.5 MBBR FM Txt in ur requests now. "don't touch dat dial"

Samarkhand. Sorry for the HUGE DELAY in posting to the site, Russia, Kazakhstan and now Uzbekistan don't seem to have many internet cafe's. We crossed Russia to Volgograd then headed down the Volga to Astrakan, into Kazakhstan and over the top of the Caspian to Atyrau (nasty) Then down the west side of the Aral and into the desert into Uzbekistan - 40 degree heat, only compensated for by an excellent night sky and shooting stars. Then into the absurdly irrigated valleys of Uzbekistan and the vast swathes of cotton growing in a desert thanks to some idiot in soviet Russia 40 years ago...

News!: Just before the Russian border, Mini snapped a rear suspension bolt and after a 6 hour bodge we then had another 6 hour wait to get into Russia because a spotty oik wouldn't take dollars for insurance (you can't pay in rubles since it's illegal to take them into the counrty and there was no exchange on the border at 4am)

Russia - Vodka plying, shashik munching bunch of lunatics. Enough said.

Police - Insist on driving our cars drunk and point out that sunroofs are great for machine gun turrets but otherwise no real problems (having said that Luke got "done" for speeding today as we screeched past a radar gun at 110kph in a 70 zone at 7am this morning, the guy was severly hungover (actaully still drunk) and hadn't seen us coming, claimed we were doing 73 and took a packet of Marlboroughs to nullify those 3kph)

Uzbekistan much nicer than the bit of Kaz that we saw which was a flat dust plain of nothingness with the odd booming oil town that offered nothing unless you had a suitcase of dollars from a western oil company (very odd, only middle aged Brits "on business")

Going to crack on to Kyrgyzstan, can't wait for some mountain air. Love to all - Click on the picture to see all our other ones on the photo site.

Sam and Luke

ps. next big post may not be till Mongolia, will keep texting. xxxx

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Outside Kiev

OUtside Kiev
Originally uploaded by myblackboxrocks.
All is well, Kiev is full of Huge Porsche Jeeps when only 20 miles out it's still very much old Ladas and Horses and Carts. Car running well so we're going to push onto Russia.

Have no idea how far we are compared to everyone, We're roughly with Mongol Mini but they're catching us up after having to wait for their V5 in Krakow.

Love to all.

Monday, August 01, 2005

1:En Route live from Checkpoint high tea

Rally Massive
Originally uploaded by myblackboxrocks.
Got off to a great start getting onto an earlier ferry...then got a puncture in Belgium. Luke's all nighter on Saturday began to show as he totalled an unimpressive 1 hour behind the wheel yesterday (Sunday) leaving me with a more respectful 9 hours to get to Nurnberg. Camped in Erlangen.

Glad to be off the Autobahns where we were very much confined to the slow and boring lane. Luke managed only to graffiti the parking lots with MBBR stencils between naps.

PRAGUE! Lovely (girls) "I will marry here" - Luke Cardew 01.08.05

Tomorrow its off to Krakow - Keep an eye on our txt updates at

and have a look at all the other photos on our picture site by clicking on the one here.

Ps. kkrrrrr & kkkwwwwww were very helpful.(See photo of Margit from Casa Leone)