Route Update – 16.10.12:
There have been many changes to the proposed route since this section was last written. We were supposed to be starting in Turkey and going to Iran, Pakistan and into India.
Trouble with visas, weather and climate, flights and bike/luggage transportation costs conspired against us and forced us to make changes to our plans. In the end we chose to start in Budapest. We started heading south west towards the Croatian coast (at the time of writing we are in Split), then we will head south, through Montenegro, Albania and Greece, until we run out of road to cycle on. At the moment the idea is to head east toward Turkey and Iran until visa restrictions (mostly likely Pakistan) stop us in our tracks and force us to make yet another new plan. For now we are just enjoying the freedom that Eastern Europe has to offer and will deal with any problems when they arise.
Below you can see the route that we have taken. The placemarks indicate the locations at which we have stayed.
Original – 03.07.12:
An impossible attempt to put a line on a map, which would connect all the places we’d like to see.
The original idea was not to plan too much. We both have places we’d like to see but we also realise that seeing them all might not be possible. The world is just too big, especially when travelled on a saddle of a bike.
So apart from visas and some severe weather conditions we don’t want to be restricted. This is not a race or a challenge. It’s us living the dream and we are planning to enjoy it as much as possible.
But we do have to start somewhere. How do you start though, when even the starting point is an issue? We’ve already decided that we won’t be cycling from our doorstep. Therefore our possibilities were endless, and so were indeed our plans. We had thought of heading to Africa first. Why we’ve decided against it, I now no longer remember. Since we will be starting out in September, we had to find somewhere that would be comfortable to cycle at this time of the year. Once the weather subject came up, Geoff decided that we need to be in the Himalayas at the right time of the year. September seemed like a good month to be in Nepal and so that was our next starting point. I had my objections: after all we wouldn’t be physically ready for challenges of the Himalayan passes and that probably wouldn’t be the best start. I am aware that cycling hundreds of miles anywhere else in the world won’t really prepare us for those hardships, but it might give us some confidence and essentially make for a more agreeable beginning.
Since the departure date wasn’t going to be moved forward we had to move Himalayan adventure further into our trip. After pondering over some possibilities we both agreed that Turkey sounded like a good place to start. We’d fly to one of the cities there and start cycling east towards India, through Iran and Pakistan. We will have around three months in lowlandIndia, where we will be able to explore as much or as little ofIndiaas we please. Then we’d move northward into the Indian Himalayas around May, where the weather should be favourable. We hope to spend another 3 months in the Himalayas before heading off to South East Asia where we will travel through Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. After this, the idea is to go northwards into China, up to Beijing, where we will roughly follow The Great Wall of China westwards, before we start to move south into Tibet and ‘freewheel’ down the Friendship Highway into Kathmandu.
Any detailed route plans beyond this point would probably be a waste of time as the chances of us actually following a predetermined route are virtually zero anyway. However, the very very rough plan after Asia is to hitch a ride on a yacht and do some island hopping in the South Pacific, then onto New Zealand and Australia. If we manage to cover this distance, then we’d want to get to South America and cycle from Tierra Del Fuego to Anchorage and then from South Africa to Egypt. At this point, we don’t know what might happen next. Will we go northwards through the Middle East to finish the ‘Stans’ or will we head west across the North Africa and into Europe? Who knows? We certainly don’t!
There are many places on this projected route that have not been mentioned, like The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, the Caribbean, Mongolia and Japan. These are just some of the places, not on the initial route that we would love to visit and if the opportunity for a detour presents itself, then the original plan will be out the window and we will just follow our noses.
Planned as on the map below, it is a monster of a journey. But we have time and for as long as it makes us happy, will be following this line we’re now trying to draw on a map.
We aren’t doing it to say that we have done it or to tick off the places we’ve been to. We simply want to see the world, meet people, whose everyday lives are different than ours and ultimately to have a great time doing it.
So what you see on the map is the initial plan. Where our fate and steeds will take us we’re yet to find out.