A CYCLIST who left behind his job and his girlfriend to tackle a round-the-world bike ride has clocked up nearly 6,000 miles.

Rob Brown, from Darlington, set off from London, in July, bound for China.

He emailed The Northern Echo from Uzbekistan, with a progress report, as he aims to raise £18,000 for the International Childcare Trust, which works with children in Africa.

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Mr Brown said: “Cycling through Turkey stretched the mind mentally due to sheer size of the place and the mountainous terrain.

“Cycling through three weather climates from south to the north, winter was feeling like it was coming in towards the north of Turkey, with the first winter clothes being dug out.

“Arriving in Iran with an open mind, not knowing really what to expect, I met some of the most genuinely warm-hearted, hospitable people I've ever met.

“At the moment I’m in Uzbekistan after crossing Turkmenistan, which I had to hitchhike across after being issued a short three-day transit visa.

“I’m now bracing for the midwinter weather of central Asia, the total distance cycled up to now is 5,750 miles.”

Mr Brown is keeping a blog of his progress. Visit fromheretotherebybicycle.blogspot.com or sponsor him at justgiving. com/ fromheretotherebybicycle