Explorers Connect

Journey Without A Map

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

My Argentinian wife, Ayelen, and I need to get ourselves in trouble. The plan, an old dream of mine, is to get to Kashgar in western China, go to the famous horse and camel market there, buy a few pack animals and head off into the vastness to see how far we can get before we have to eat the animals!

OK, realistically we'll want to be selling the horses or camels in the end, not eating them, but we don't yet know where we'll try to end up after 3 months and that's part of the plan too. Rather than follow a map we want to follow the leads presented to us by the people we meet along the way, so we won't be taking a map or GPS with us. But we will be making a film of the journey and will be looking for a good human story to interweave with our own. To that end we may well look for a local companion to translate and become the third camera person for some or all of the journey. Above all we want to be tested and get well out of our comfort zone. To get 3-4 months we have to get there by the beginning of February and it'll be very cold then. Availability of grazing is going to be a deciding factor in our eventual route and in the choice of animals.

Perhaps the journey will have an historical angle and we'll follow in the footsteps of Sven Hedin or Sir Aurel Stein, or maybe we'll simply choose an eventual destination and make up the middle bit? Information on how difficult the police will make such an endeavour is conflicting at the moment so it's been difficult to get more specific than that. Filming the journey, of course, is also likely to add to problems with authorities. All that's for certain right now is that we arrive in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on the 7th February and that we'll be hitch-hiking into China from there.

We have very very little money to achieve all this and I'm looking for as much sponsorship support as I can get. Power-Chargers have graciously agreed to charge up our batteries with their amazing solar equipment and I am still trying to get hold of some old prime lenses and fixed aperture telephoto lenses for our Canon 5d MkII. We need a top mic too.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received. Thanks for looking and do please follow the adventure via our website.