Hi All, I debated about whether to start a thread now or later because the trip may never start like we had hoped. My girlfriend and I have both made a snap decision to leave our jobs in the UK and go back to Oz with an aim of making it to Magadan via the Balkans and the 'stans. Departure is 7th May, today's date is 9th April, and we don't have a single visa.
Mid-march some time Noah who's riding RTW at the moment (thread http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781893
) emailed me and fellow inmate stampy asking when we're going to join him and the answer was "sorry mate, not enough time to arrange visas and stuff we're gonna leave it to next year" - one week later - "see ya in Russia dude!"
I don't think a trip like this ever truly happens on a snap decision though, it all starts with a seed that was planted many moons ago and slowly begins to form in your mind until eventually something changes and you throw caution to the wind and do it. That's at least how it started out for me. It was a restructure at work that said now's the time to do it, before kids and all that.
The wheels have been in motion for a couple of weeks to get the LOI for a multiple entry business for Russia, an Uzbekistan LOI and the passport is now at the Kazakh embassy for that visa. Realistically we don't expect to have all the visas before we leave but if we can get the Russian, Kazakh and Azerbaijan one before we leave it will at least allow us to go east. We'll get the Georgian and Turkish visa at the border and then we'll get the Tajik and the Mongolian in places we stop long enough to wash ourselves.
One of the harder decisions was what to call the thread without letting one's insecurities take over. One glance at the thread names there are things like 'Solo trip through Siberia, Bam Road and Mongolia', 'First Trip on 2 Wheels. 10,000 miles. 21 years old' and other such incredible feats, so it was hard to pick a name that would generate some mild interest. I called my trip through South America 'No house, no job, no girlfriend' which to me eloquently stated - do whatever the fuck you want. Now we're paying off a house, and I have a girlfriend...maybe the next major trip will be the trifecta
A 'walkabout' is a rite of passage for Aborigines and basically means venturing into the bush to fend for yourself. We plan to get off the beaten track as much as time allows and to wild camp most nights. Every third night we'll stay in a hotel / hostel / whatever, so long as we can freshen up and we don't need to pitch a tent. The Touratech hair dryer and Touratech straightener are coming too (compact ones of course) - pretty sure they didn't have them in the Dreamtime. I did remind her there's no power on the Mongolian plains but that hasn't stopped her. We all need our comforts.
We've done a fair bit of practice trips together just around the UK and I'm pretty confident the bike is up to the task.
Every now and again my girlfriend (inmate new-rider) will chip in with her updates as well.
Bike service and prep starts on Friday