After a required very long hiatus, which they have had to take for multiple administrative reasons, Dimitri and Gulnara are ready to continue.
courtesy Nexus Expedition, SOURCE
2015 planned 6530km route: "while skipping obviously any country which are currently facing domestic wars and/or facing the threat of potential ISIS, al-Qaeda, or else, related kidnapping and/or murdering."
courtesy Nexus Expedition, SOURCE
World Circumnavigation route, past, future and alternative, Dimitri Kieffer with Gulnara Kieffer joining some stages. (click to expand)
courtesy Nexus Expedition, SOURCE
Dimitri: "We spent the last two months in our respective native countries of France and Russia, where we have been already able to secure our visas for Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman. These are not some of the easiest countries to travel through as globetrotter Gunnar Garfors recently wrote in his blog: "The World's 15 hardest countries to visit": #4 Saudi Arabia, #9 Turkmenistan, #11 Uzbekistan."
World Circumnavigation: Dimitri Kieffer’s 2015 route

Posted: Aug 11, 2015 09:25 am EDT


(Correne Coetzer) To be able to reach Eastern Africa the most directly, Nexus Expedition’s first and foremost needs to cross the Arabian Peninsula, "while skipping obviously any country which are currently facing domestic wars and/or facing the threat of potential ISIS, al-Qaeda, or else, related kidnapping and/or murdering, especially in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya,” Dimitri Kieffer explained in his blog.


He and his wife, Gulnara, want to continue the 6530km 2015 stage of the human power world circumnavigation Dimitri started ten years ago.   


Last year August they stopped in Bukara in Uzbekistan and have arrived their again to continue on their bicycles, though the country to Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. "It has not been easy to secure all of the visas needed for the countries we are hoping to cycle through over the next few months, taking as well into account the combination of Gulnara's Russian passport and my French one!” 


Multitude documents submitted for visas


"For example, the Saudis asked us to submit a notarized and certified letter by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs justifying the legitimacy of our Nexus Expedition, as well as medical reports, copies of our wedding certificate, birth certificates and filled out applications where we were asked to share a large amount of personal information such as our religious affiliation."


"The Iranians asked us to disclose the complete list of all the countries we have ever visited, a proof of international insurance and a registration number provided by a travel company in Tehran.”


"They also explained very clearly to each one of us, (at the Iranian consulate in Paris, France for myself and at the Iranian consulate in Kazan, Russia for Gulnara) that in no shape nor form we should hold the Iranian government accountable for any harm which could be done to us physically, materially or financially while crossing their country.”


"This request can be quite intimidating but this was not the first time for us and probably not the last... “


An important note Dimitri added: They have found recently that it is not allowed to enter Turkmenistan with a Satellite Phone. If the customs officers find it, they will either confiscate it or not allow them into the country.


Planned route and alternative route


Check this blog post for a very detailed description of the couple's visa requirements and their cycling, with some rowing, route, as well as alternative route if the preferred route can’t be done.  



Nexus Expedition began in February of 2005 at Knik Lake in Alaska. Dimitri Kieffer competed in the Iditarod Invitational Race, traveling 1,100 miles in 37 days by foot and snowshoe from Knik Lake to Nome. From this beginning, Dimitri would embark on a human-powered journey to circumnavigate the world.


To this day, over six winters and four summers, Dimitri has covered 17, 812 kilometers (11, 067 miles) from Anchorage Alaska to Bukhara, Uzbekistan: trekking, swimming, skiing, rowing and cycling across Alaska, the Bering Strait, Far Eastern Russia, Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


According to the Rules of Adventure at AdventureStats:

A true circumnavigation of the Earth (around the world) must:

- Start and finish at the same point, traveling in one general direction

- Reach two antipodes

(Antipodes = two diametrically opposite places on Earth)

- From the above follows that a true circumnavigation must:

- Cross the equator a minimum of two times

- Cross all longitudes

- Cover a minimum of 40,000km or 21,600NM (a great circle)

(As done only by Jason Lewis and Erden Eruc)





ExWeb interview with Dimitri Kieffer, from a Russian detention to where the camels roam free



ExWeb interview with Dimitri Kieffer: lessons from a bicycle saddle


ExWeb interview with Gulnara Kieffer, Baptism of Fire on The Road of Bones


Human power circumnavigation update: Dimitri Kieffer racing against Russia's winter


ExWeb interview with Dimitri Kieffer (part 1/4), I simply realized how clearly focused I needed to be along every step


ExWeb interview with Dimitri Kieffer (part 2/4): I needed three things to succeed in the Far Eastern Russia: patience, patience, patience


ExWeb interview with Dimitri Kieffer (part 3/4): generous people, magic moments, low points, and The Missing Link


ExWeb interview with Dimitri Kieffer (part 4/4): Completing the Missing Link


Best of ExplorersWeb 2012 Awards: Erden Eruc, a Thousand Miles and One Thousand More


Best of ExplorersWeb 2007 Awards: Jason Lewis, world circumnavigation


Rules of Adventure (World Circumnavigation)


Locked up, ill and stripped of his horses: Long Rider political prison victim in Turkmenistan



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