Marco Polo's legendary journey overland from Xanadu in China to his home in Italy has fired the imaginations of travelers for 700 years. Even today, traversing the 20,000km Silk Road between Europe and the Far East is a perilous undertaking. But it sounded like just the challenge for Wellington economist Gareth Morgan and his intrepid wife Jo.
With five friends, they set off to travel the ancient route by a very modern mode of transport — motorcycle. Starting from the historic port of Venice, the Silk Riders crossed some of the most remote, inhospitable and politically unstable terrain in Eurasia, from the Balkan states, Turkey and Iran through various 'stans to the isolated western reaches of China, and along the Great Wall to Bejing.
The unfolding Silk Riders adventure kept radio listeners and website watchers entranced. Here, for the first time, is the story of the entire journey, told with the Morgans' characteristic humour and eye for detail, and accompanied by an extensive selection of photographs.