I might be a little way round the globe, but I’ve taken a little time to write to my local Member of Parliament in England. I’m writing from an area of the world where the wishes (and votes) of the citizens are routinely undermined by powerful, corrupt politicians. Living in a democracy where your voice can still make a difference is a luxury you may take for granted.
I’ve been in Yerevan for about three weeks and the hold-ups continue. My friends here like to joke that by the time I finally get this deep-winter sleeping bag and pedal south towards Iran, it’ll be spring and I won’t need it any more!
That may turn out to be the case, but in the meantime it’s still well below freezing by day and by night, and I’ve heard reports that temperatures in the deserts of not-too-far-away Turkmenistan are still approaching minus thirty — even the nearby Iranian city of Mashhad is currently experiencing nighttime lows of minus twenty-five, according to an Austrian cyclist. I’ll certainly feel much happier with this new sleeping bag whilst cycling towards the Tibetan plateau, where the altitude will have more effect on temperatures than the time of year.