East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Mysterious Orlandini

The Karavansara Challenge 2016 has yet to start1, and already strange connections are beginning to appear.
On the first page of her Forbidden Journey, Ella Maillart writes (my translation)…

Finally, the Italian Orlandini, having spent one year in China, was ordered away from the Xinjian frontier[…] He covered great distances by bicycle, an ideal means of transport in Central Asia, and tells a curious story, according to which, having been mistaken for a spy, he risked being poisoned in Inner Mongolia.

And that’s it.
An Italian, traveling through Central Asia and Xinjian (or Sinkiang, or Chinese Turkestan) on a bicycle, and being mistaken for a spy and almost poisoned?
How comes nobody ever told me his story?! Continue reading