Andy Welch shares some memories and musings from his ride from England to Asia.
1. After sleeping poorly in a dusty, disused hut on the coastal hillside I was eager to get out of the place. I climbed further up the embankment to better take in the breaktaking views across the Black Sea.
2. A memorable climb up to the pass near Dilijan in Armenia. A few hours earlier I had eaten a huge breakfast with a family who hosted me which included numerous shots of birthday vodka and I was still quite drunk.
3. I turned and shot and caught the word ‘exist’ on the bottom of the girl’s shoe. I wasn’t really shooting anything in particular so it was serendipitous. It seemed to transcend the otherwise strong sense of a visual social order.
5. Whilst pedalling along a quite boring road past endless wedding party venues in the Punjab area of Northern India I was flagged down for an interview for a television station in the capital, Chandigarh.
7. After chancing upon a sign in the road I decided to investigate and spent the next 24 hours wide awake watching colourful and empassioned rituals accompanied by relentless drumming at a ‘Theyyam’ in South India.
9. This boy was trying to get me to go into the water for a swim with my camera. He finally gave up but did make it look very appealing because he was having so much fun.
11. I often saw people walking and carrying huge loads on their backs in Nepal which I felt put me to shame with my easy bike luggage and trailer.
13. Whilst Couchsurfing in Delhi I was invited to a brilliant concert by a band called Mouse on Mars who I had never heard of but created considerable merry chaos in the audience.
14. The steppe stretched ahead in an immense physical landscape. After days in the saddle it seemed more as the terrain of my own unconscious mind. It became a continuous meditation and increasingly the physical space seemed to lose its relevance as the slow movement of the bike brought little discernable reward for physical effort.