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Mar 23

John Pilkington

Clacton & North East Essex Arts & Literary Society

21st January 2013 John Pilkington. Georgia to Afghanistan. In an exciting sequel to his last talk for us, John follows a spectacular branch of the Silk Road from the Caucasus across the Caspian Sea to Samarkand. He then turns south-east before finishing in Kashgar, China’s so-called ‘Crossroads of Asia’. Sponsored by DEREK and SHEILA NORMAN.

Georgia to Afghanistan Caucasus farmer

 

In an intriguing sequel to his ‘Axis of Evil’ trip, John followed a spectacular branch of the Silk Road from the Caucasus across the Caspian Sea to Samarkand. He then turned south-east to explore the High Pamirs of Tajikistan and Afghanistan – a region well-known to Marco Polo – before finishing in Kashgar, China’s so-called ‘Crossroads of Asia’.
Afghan riv
Yes, I’ve been travelling again, this time in Central Asia. As a sequel to my previous ‘Axis of Evil’ trip, I followed a less-travelled branch of the Silk Road from the Caucasus across the Caspian Sea to Samarkand. Then, reeling from the beauty of that legendary city, I turned south-east to explore the High Pamirs of Tajikistan and Afghanistan – a region well-known to Marco Polo – before carrying on to Kashgar, China’s socalled ‘Crossroads of Asia’, and finishing on the Great Wall. Afghanistan was an absolute highlight. Crossing the river from Tajikistan was like stepping back a hundred years. On the Tajik side there were cars, electric lights, piped water and central heating; on the Afghan side donkeys, candles, water buckets and smoky yak-dung fires.
In the company of two horsemen I reached the source of the River Oxus, helped along by generous bowls of yak’s-milk yogurt and salty tea, the staple diet of the sheep and yak herders in this isolated corner of Afghanistan. As always I took lots of photographs, and I’ve put the best of them into a new presentation. The digital slide/sound show Georgia to Afghanistan generally lasts an hour, but can easily be adjusted to your needs. I provide all equipment, including a big screen. My fee for this talk is £380 plus travelling expenses.
If you’d like to make a booking please get in touch.
My contact details are: John Pilkington 9 Culverwell Gardens Winchester Hants SO23 9JG Tel. 01962 863965 Fax 01722 504594 E-mail john@pilk.net You can read more about this and other talks and books at www.pilk.net.

2 comments

  1. Enter78

    Silk Road from the Caucases of Georgia John Pilkinton

    Despite the snowy conditions and a somewhat depleted audience, an absolutely splendid evening was enjoyed by those who braved the conditions to hear John Pilkinton give a wonderful slide lecture which started on the Silk Road from the Caucases of Georgia across the Caspian Sea to Samarkand and finishing in Kashgar, the crossroads to Asia. And what a journey – his description, which accompanied the superb illustrations, left the audience spellbound and opened their eyes to the area and people.

    His journey took him through very ancient cities, very modern cities, very rich areas, very poor areas, modern sculpture and very ancient edifices. He talked of the people, the deserts, the reason why a vast lake had been depleted because the water had been diverted for irrigation but, most importantly, the people. He ended with slides of the faces of the people in that region. This was a marvellous lecture and the members cannot wait to hear him again after his next journey.

    Audrey Owens
    Press Officer

  2. Enter78

    Georgia to Afghanistan-Arts and Lits-Princes theatre 21/1/2013
    Well………………………………………………………… this evening’s performance could really be described in a very concise way-breathtaking! Not only was the content extremely interesting but John’s obvious and sincere enthusiasm thrilled the audience and I’m sure that all in attendance were so glad they made the journey to the theatre on such a dreadful and miserable evening(it was snowing as we left!)

    His clarity of speech, the diction and content made us all feel that we had actually been on this sometimes arduous journey with him to the `high Pamirs`(I thought, at first, he said Pam Ayres-how the devil did she get involved in this??)-he met people, on his way, whose images mirrored the difficult circumstance in which they endured rugged, daily life but their faces radiated a wonderful happiness and contentment that is sadly lacking in photographs of those who have far more in material comfort-this is indeed true richness of spirit.

    This, one of several presentations that John has prepared(he gave his `axis on evil` talk the last time he visited the society|) covered his travels from Georgia to Afghanistan and how he finally traversed the `silk road` -a place he had dreamed of visiting all his life and at the `crossroads of Asia.` He also was at pains to point out his great passion to find the beginning and the very root of the river Oxus and how he precariously balanced way up in the rocks above a glacier to photograph this and prove that he had actually been at the source! During this journey he visited some villages, often in solitary and obscure locations, magnificent sites and exquisite buildings-some of them mentioned in the chronicles of Marco Polo.

    Another magical evening, proving, yet again, that `live` theatre is far more preferable to just spending your life sitting in front of the television!

    Miss Jennifer Kersey(painted lady)

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