Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Yet these maps are pretty much impossible to obtain back home in the UK. The few that are available are often on sale at impossibly high prices.
For a long time I have wanted to do something about that. Good quality maps of China and Russia are available in China and Russia - and it's about time they were available here in the UK, too.
So I've decided to set up a specialist online map store, supplying exclusively foreign-published maps from countries whose mapping has until now been hard or impossible to find. Starting with Russia and China, I am working with local map publishers in those two countries to bring their cartographic wares to the UK market.
The maps will soon be for sale on www.farflungmaps.com - the home of quality maps of Russia and China.
The market is there, I am sure. Over half a million British nationals visited China in 2010, and nearly quarter of a million visited Russia. Add about the same again from France, and a million Germans. All these people need to know where they are going, and many of them would love a map as a souvenir.
Of course all these maps are available in China and Russia - if you know where to look. If you're on holiday, or on a business trip, chances are you won't have time to track down the local bookstore in Shanghai or Moscow. Really, you want the map before you leave home, so you can plan your travels, and you'll want it when you arrive at Pudong or Domodedovo airport, too.
Did I mention that all products on farflungmaps will be delivered free anywhere in the UK and Europe? The site isn't built yet, but it will be coming soon. Keep watching this space.
Friday, April 30, 2010
This will therefore be the final message on this channel. No further transmissions will be made.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So I made one. Here it is:
Map showing location of public libraries in Birmingham.
Any feedback and suggestions for how I could improve the map would be welcome.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday 9th September 2005. Changle, Zhejiang, China.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
12th January 2006. Shang Yun, Yunnan province, China
Funny little hotel room: two-tone walls, green and dirt, and a rotting arm-chair. But you don't expect much for 10 yuan. The laoban tried to get me to take a 20 yuan room on the grounds that I am "too tall" for a 10 yuan room. I think this is not in fact the case; time will tell.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Here's his opening paragraph:
"In the vast natural wind tunnel that is Dabancheng, the gales that roar between the snow-capped mountain ridges get so strong that trains have been gusted off railway tracks and lorries overturned."
This takes me back 2-and-a-bit years to when I was trying to cycle through that vast natural wind tunnel, on days 158, 159, and 160. On day 158, in particular, coming out of Turpan, the wind was so bad that in six-and-a-half hours on a flat road I only made 47 km - and that was before the wind really started blowing. Once it really kicked up, making any sort of forward progress at all became impossible. I had to lie low in a culvert under the road and sit it out.
Someone told me at a petrol station that trains were blown off the tracks in that sort of wind; I wasn't sure whether he was exaggerating. Apparently, though, it's true. Either that, or Jonathan Watts got his information from the same bloke I did.
Friday, May 30, 2008
(That link will take you to a page on Rob Thomson's blog - which I heartily recommend. He has some stories to tell.)
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
21,542 km from Shanghai, or 42,000 km from Exeter, my bicycle carries me back to Belgium, 29 years and a month or two after having been born there. It's a long way round to getting nowhere.
It has rained a lot in Europe recently, as you have probably noticed.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Please write to Asmund and say that you miss him and want him back on the 2wheels blog. The setting is perfect. I'm in Almaty, nobody knows where I'm going from here, and there may be no news from me for weeks on end. Asmund would be perfectly in his element, free to speculate wildly about any number of potential catastrophes.
Then there is an underscore (_).
Thursday, June 01, 2006
End: Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan
Distance: 155 km
Avg: 20.5 k/h
Max: 38 k/h
Total: 13,438 km
Total riding days: 175
Riding hours: 0930 - 2110 (Chinese time)
So, farewell then, China.
Across the border, the smell of low-octane petrol says: welcome back to the USSR.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
In 14 hours time they will let me over the border, inshallah. Yesterday I haggled with the borderfolk for a long time. It really wouldn't be such a bad thing to let an honest man into Kazakhstan 2 days before his visa officially starts, would it?
You must wait here, said the borderman. Khorgos (Huoerguosi, the Chinese call it) is a lovely place, said the borderman. Time will fly here, said the borderman.
I am watching the time flying by, on the tips of growing grass.
Meanwhile, there is always the blossom.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Start: Hillside above Sailimu Hu, Xinjiang, China
End: Khorgos (Huoerguosi), Xinjiang, China
Distance: 90 km
Avg: 23.7 k/h
Max: 48 k/h
Total: 13,283 km
Total riding days: 174
Riding hours: 0930 - 1930
Braked down the hillside from the world's most booooootiful campspot to the main road and went down down down an extraordinary green valley (how long it has been since things have been green and lush) full of Kazakhs chasing livestock around on horseback (the Kazakhs, not the livestock), and selling honey and honey-flavoured kvas, back into the hotlands, the flatlands, the really rather drablands of the Xinjiang semi-desert.
(No, I haven't shaved. That's Andrea, a German cyclist heading for Kyrgyzstan.)
I am now sitting in an internet cafe in a place whose name I do not know, not far from the Kazakh border.
More than that I cannot currently tell you. But when I can, you will be the first to know, I promise you.
Hang on in there.
Monday, May 29, 2006
End: Sailimu Lake (west end), Xinjiang, China
Distance: 25 km
Avg: 17.1 k/h
Max: 46.5 k/h
Total: 13,192 km
Total riding days: 173
Riding hours: 1905 - 2110
For me this has been the most beautiful spot in all of China. They save the best to last.
Green and white mountains, crystal waters, flowers everywhere, sunsets the size of... something pretty big.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
End: Sailimu Lake, Xinjiang, China
Distance: 116 km
Avg: 13.7 k/h
Max: 36 k/h
Total: 13,167 km
Total riding days: 172
Riding hours: 0845 - 2030
Who's been leaving tracks in my desert campsite?
Oh, just a little beetle.
Things were a bit moister 116 km later, with the sun setting over the supposedly salty but in fact fresh enough to swim and cook in Sailimu Lake.