Silk Roads to Shanghai Silk Roads is a two-man unsupported journey from Istanbul to Shanghai. The expedition is being undertaken to raise funds for Self Help Africa.
The journey will consist of three separate adventures each paving the way for the next. Stage 1 - Istanbul - Kathmandu 8500 km by bike from Istanbul to Kathmandu via Turkey, Iran, India and Nepal. Stage 2 - Xining - Yangtze river (Source) 1000 km run over the Tibetan Plateau to the source of the Yangtze River, we aim to complete the distance in 25 days and without any rest days. Stage 3 - Yangtze river (Source-Sea) 6300 km by packraft from the source of the Yangtze to its mouth at Shanghai. Background (Previous Adventures) In 2009 David Burns and Maghnus Smyth set out on a 17,500 km unsupported cycle from South Africa to Ireland to raise funds for Self Help Africa.
The idea was born in an email. It was intended to be a once off, a single great adventure. 11 months and 21 countries later, everything seemed different. Changed by the deserts, by the mountains, by the sun, by the snow, but mostly, and most completely, by the people. Adventure had taken hold. Upon returning they swapped the bikes for running shoes and took part in a 260km ultra marathon across the Sahara desert. Their latest venture is a ride, run and row across Asia. Taking the old silk roads from Istanbul they head east to the Himalayas and down the mighty Yangtze river to Shanghai.