ASTANA – Well-known Polish explorer Jacek Palkiewicz said on Wednesday that he had decided to end his traveling career by following in the footsteps of legendary Venetian Marco Polo on the Silk Road, which connects Asia and Europe.
“There comes a time in life when you have to pay attention to age, but you want to leave a mark, an important trace behind you. The Silk Road is a symbol of adventure for a man like me who loves to travel,” Palkiewicz said in a press conference in Astana.
Palkiewicz is known for his extravagant trips around the world, which he has completed in the past 40 years.
His travel highlights include a trip across the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat and his trek through the Amazon jungle, where he discovered the source of the like-named river, opening the way for the waterway to be considered the longest river in the world.
In addition, he is a member of the Royal Geographical Society and the Russian Geographical Society.
“When I was a child, like many children, I dreamed of Marco Polo, who is a symbol of adventure. I read his documents with interest and dreamed of following his journey. I wanted to travel along the Great Silk Road, and now I’m going to do it,” Palkiewicz said.
Palkiewicz is set to begin his expedition in mid-2018 in the Chinese city of Xian and will travel across the Asian continent for two months, before concluding his adventure in Warsaw.
“My plan is to travel 10,000 kilometers through seven countries, and I plan to stay eight days in Kazakhstan. I would like to see the places where history was preserved, I would like to feel the depth of their culture,” the Polish explorer said.
Kazakhstan is a central point on the Silk Road, as trade caravans traveled through the Kazakh steppe from the middle of the 2nd century, creating a transcontinental route.
“With globalization, where everything happens in an instant, many things are full of chemistry, bad ecology and terrorism, and I want to see something real, authentic and primordial, and I think I’ll find it in Kazakhstan,” Palkiewicz said.
Kazakhstan is preparing for this adventure by creating tourism products and new routes through the places that the expedition will visit, Kazkah Tourism Board vice president Timur Duysengaliev said.
“We plan to develop the route with the greatest possible number of tourist attractions and sacred monuments that are interesting for tourists,” Duysengaliev said.