A couple weeks ago I gave my first talk here at Alton Castle. The talk was to a splendid group of year 11 students from The Cardinal Griffin school in Cannock as part of their activity day with the Youth Ministry. I presented on the theme of ‘adventure as a gift’. I absolutely loved it and I think the students did too. #inspirationalstories #motivationalspeaking #schools #adventure #travel #successmindset

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Uzbekistan and the Silk Road Cities

​We approached the Uzbek border, full of trepidation, in the knowledge that a full and detailed search would be made of our entire luggage. An ‘illegal’ item, such as codiene, or a topless snap of a girlfriend, would result in a ‘fine’, or more plainly, baksheesh, a bribe. I was in company with Jonas and Emma, having left Dushanbe together, early on Tuesday morning. We were already nervous, since an earlier mishap at the Tajik border post; I’d forgotten to get my GBAO permit extended, consequently, the guard threatened, several times, to send me back to Dushanbe to get the necessary stamp; a 160 kilometre round trip I was loathe to entertain. I repeatedly shouted and pointed at the dates in my passport until, some 20 minutes later, the guard relented, allowing me to join Jonas and Emma on the short cycle to the Uzbekistan border crossing.

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