Charles Dearling

Methusleh On The Move

Charles Dearling

A grumpy old man who got the travel bug late in life. I now like to go to unusual and exotic places. Have visited Vietnam (3 times - first trip in 1971 but it doesn't count, since then visited again twice - in 2003 with Carol and 2008 with the "almostnomads"), Europe 1976, New Zealand 1982, Malaysia (five ties), Singapore (eight times), Turkey 2011, Jordan 2011 (took part in an archaeological dig at Pella), US North East + California as well as Eastern Canada in 2009, US West Coast and Western Canada 2011, China 2010, Borneo 2012 - that's where I had an altercation with a motor cycle and tested the local Malaysian Hospital System - not bad - on par with Australia (except for the Ambulance Service - quicker to walk). In 2013 I visited some of the "Stans" - Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kashgar in China, followed by Turkey, Iran and the UAE. Highly recommend Iran. Mongolia was visited in 2014 (caught up with one of my traveling companions from the "Stans" - Flo from NZ. She was on the same tour as me again). Then it was off to Hong Kong and Macau. 2015 - off to Siberia and the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East - amazing. On the way home stopped off in South Korea (the North is on the bucket list). Back to China in 2017 - an overland trip from Xi'an to Kashgar to complete the Silk Road. Interested in history, archaeology and trains and try to satisfy all three where ever I go.



Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai October 16th 2013

Dubai Tuesday 15th October OK I’ve been in Dubai for two days now and the holiday has turned to shit – literally. Ro if you remember the first day in China ……… (well not quite I’m not going both ends). I think you get the point. One thing I forgot to mention in my last blog is the traffic shock I got when I arrived here. During the drive from the airport I was appalled to see the behavior of the drivers: they were actually driving within their respective lanes and were courteous to each other. What uncommon behavior in the Middle East and Asia. Amazing. The next thing of note were the number of hookers who were handing out business cards inviting you to a particular address, or if you like ... read more
Dubai - East Coast Tour
Dubai - East Coast Tour
Dubai - East Coast Tour

Middle East » Iran » North » Bandar-e Anzali October 11th 2013

Caspian Sea loop: Tehran-Klardasht-Chalous-Anzali Port-Masouleh-Rasht-Tehran Here it is the end of the first leg of the Caspian Sea Loop. We arrived in Chalous this afternoon. The city is located on the shores of the Caspian Sea. This evening whilst walking down along the beach I said to Emir that if somebody 10 years ago had said one day you will be standing by the Caspian Sea, I would have asked them what they were on. Back then I never thought I would travel as much as I have. I guess I have Carol to thank for that, she was the one that finally convinced me to go back to Vietnam in 2003. I don’t know if she realized the beast she had let loose. But then again maybe she did, we had planned on ... read more
Tehran to Chalous
Tehran to Chalous
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Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran » Tehran October 9th 2013

Esfahan to Tehran Couple of things I failed to mention yesterday. We drove past a mosque that had the odd name – The Mosque with the Shaking Minarets. Didn’t go in. Apparently if someone in one minaret can get one to sway (apparently relatively easy) the other sways as well. Emir said he can remember being at the top of one as a kid when it started swaying – some young lads in the other were making theirs sway. Now no one can go up the minarets. I guess too much damage could be done. The other thing involves a mosque as well. I had heard about this one and was looking forward to see it, and trying an experiment. The mosque in question is the Masjed-e Shah (now Masjed-e Imam). In the main ... read more
Esfahan to Damghan
Esfahan to Damghan
Esfahan to Damghan

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan October 6th 2013

Yazd to Esfahan Saturday 5th October Today was one of those days that was to be laid back – a simple 330 km trip to Esfahan with one stop to view the Jame Mosque in Naein at about the halfway point. The trip was across desert and it was hot. The truck traffic was heavy. A quick look at the map showed that we were on the main north-south road between Tehran and Bandar-e Bas. The later place is on the Straits of Hormuz and is the major port for Iran. The truck traffic consisted of a wide assortment of cargoes. Not much happened on the first part of the trip, but as we neared Naein, at a small spot on the map called Noganbad, I spotted an old caravanserai, in fact ... read more
Yazd to Esfahan
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Yazd to Esfahan

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd October 4th 2013

Shiraz to Yazd AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! When are guides and driver, or guide/drivers in Asia and the Middle East going to understand – when you say stop I would like to take a photo, you mean now not 2 bloody km down the road. Also when you say next time we see X can you stop as I would like to take a photo – you don’t get the photo. Why? Cos the driver is in the middle of the road overtaking two trucks, a bus and couple of cars. The only reason that you can see for overtaking was because they were there in front of us. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! OK Ro, I’ll take a deep breath - INNNNNN and whooooooooooosh! OK I’m over it, got it off my chest. Thursday 3rd October: An early ... read more
Persepolis
Naghsh-e Rostam
Naghsh-e Rabat

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz October 3rd 2013

Tehran to Hamadan and Kermanshah, and onto Shiraz Well your now reading the ramblings of one pissed off little vegemite. For the Rome and Phoenix connections: when we were kids there was an advert on TV for Vegemite (similar to Marmite – Americans – google it). The theme of the advert was kids running around to a jingle – we’re happy little vegemites. Anyway why am I pissed – tell you later. I have to catch up on two days, so here goes. Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September: We left Tehran heading for Hamadan about the same as driving from Canberra to Sydney. Again, as Saturday was an odd day, we had to taxi to Emir’s car. Once there we picked our way through the Tehran traffic and headed sort of ... read more
Ali Sadr Caves
Mausoleum of Avicenna (Bu Ali Sina)
The Tomb of Esther and Mordecai

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran » Tehran September 27th 2013

Iran Wednesday 25 September: All morning spent travelling. Picked up at hotel and taken to the airport in Istanbul. Check-in, Immigration no problems – smooth as. After that – well I won’t complain about Sydney International Terminal again. The arrivals area is friendly and airy, the people helpful. Sort of the opposite in the departure area. People (shop assistants in Duty Free) less than helpful and give erroneous advice. Would you believe that there is only one ATM in the whole departure area at Ataturk International Airport and that is hidden away in the HSBC VIP lounge. Doesn’t dispense USD – only TL, Euros and GBP. Had to withdraw in Euros. The Flight I was on was Turkish Airlines TK 0870 and was code share with Iran Air. The departure board... read more
Tehran
Tehran
Tehran

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul September 24th 2013

Istanbul Interlude Resting in Istanbul for a few days. Things went sort of pear shape at the end of the Kyrgyzstan leg of the tour – all my own fault. On Saturday night after the end of tour dinner I got into a Vodka drinking session. Went to be well and truly under the weather. Had to be woken and dragged to the airport – at least I sobered up enough to make the flight. One person was not so lucky – wasn’t allowed on the aircraft. You’d think after 60 years I would have learned! Anyway got to Istanbul safely. Still had the toothache and had already decided I would see a dentist in Stambul. After arrival at the airport (and Mandy you were right about the line at Visas) I made it ... read more
Basilica Cistern
The Hipperdrome

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek September 21st 2013

Kashgar to Bishkek Tuesday 17 September: Not much to report today. We left Kashgar early (07:30) for the long drive back to Tash Rabat (Yurt Camp) where we arrived at about 16:00 sans one bus and half the group. Olga and our driver Oleg just left to see if the others were in difficulty. At the camp we met up with a group of five Australians and New Zealanders. Based on information received at the border it’s going to be cold tonight. Last night at Tash Rabat it was minus 50 C. The trip back was generally a reverse of last Friday with the exception of less traffic, including buses. There were only two or three that we saw and one of them was empty. The major change to the scenery was ... read more
Kashgar to Biskek
Kashgar to Biskek
Kashgar to Biskek

Asia » China » Xinjiang » Kashgar September 16th 2013

Bishkek to Kashgar Writing this update in Kashgar in western China. We are in one of the most westerly of the Chinese Provinces – Xin Jiang. The population of the province is mostly Uighur (pronounced Wee ger). There are also a large Kyrgyz population who are located in the western part of the province and in Kashgar. There are also a fair number of Chinese who have been part of the Chinese “trans-migration” into the region. The Uighers and Kyrgyz tolerate the Chinese (Han) but resent their presence. The first leg of the trip to Kashgar from Bishkek was Bishkek to Tash Rabat. I’ll take up the story from Bishkek. Tuesday 10 September: Left Bishkek by bus after having met up with the rest of the group the night before. The makeup is two ... read more
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