Route Planning

I have been researching routes and software to store the routes and help with the planning. I think I will use tripit as it gets good reviews and having played around with it it would seem to do what I need.
Routes across europe are plentiful. After that most people seem to choose going through russia rather than Iran. I have read several blogs from people taking both ways and at the moment I think I prefer Turkey, Iran and the Stans (look at a map to see what the Stans are) with the current tension with Russia over Ukraine I think avoiding that area is best.
The next bit is where it gets tricky. Travelling through or anywhere near Afghanistan is a non starter. The only viable overland from here is to enter China. From there you can get to the top of Pakistan and then into India. Alternatively you can go across the top of Tibet and into Laos. China insists all foreigners are escorted so that means riding in a group and handing over lots of money. The problems get worse on the other side of India because you cannot get into Burma to get into Thailand again entering China and being escorted is the only overland option.
I have found a uk company offering escorts through China in September 2015 but the price is about ┬ú3k for a dash across to Laos or ┬ú6k for a month long tour in China finishing in Thailand. I don’t know how much it costs for an escort to Pakistan but I think I read about ┬ú 800 somewhere.
If I go the Pakistan route I could opt to get the bike shipped to Bangkok from Calcutta or even ship it home and fly to Perth.
Hmmmm. I need to think about this.

7 replies on “Route Planning”

A lot has happened in the world since I wrote this blog entry. The situation in Ukraine has got worse so that route is still too risky but the situation in Iran and Syria with IS means that whole area is now impassable.

At the moment I have decided the route across the middle east is a non starter so I have started looking at alternatives.

No matter which way I go I am looking at a flight to reach my brother, and given the bike will need to be freighted back, the whole project looked doubtful for a while.

I am now looking at two other possibilities, one is to do the pan-American highway from South to North America. The other is to ride down through Europe and Africa. If I went to America, I would freight the bike back to the UK and fly myself back via Australia. If I took the Africa route, I would decide when reaching South Africa to either ride back or freight the bike back to the UK while I flew back via Australia.

An added complication is the Ebola outbreak in Africa, that may effect the route I choose through Africa. Also Egypt seems particularly hard and expensive to cross so I am looking for alternatives to going that way.

I would prefer Africa, but America may be the safer choice… but if I wanted safe I would stay in the UK!!

The whole world seems to be in turmoil but time is on my side and I can change routes at very short notice, The only thing I can do now is keep as many options open as possible.

I have now settled on a route down West Africa to Cape Town. I can avoid the Ebola effected areas.

The route will be:
UK, France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Senegal, Mail, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, DRC, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.

I will take a decision whether to ride back up or to fly and ship the bike back once I reach Cape Town.

Nothing definite on that – My original plan was to travel through the middle East but world events have overtaken that idea. Once I reach South Africa I have a number of choices – ride back home or ship the bike back and fly back home. If I fly back I may come back via Australia. It all depends on how I feel, how much time I have etc. If I do not fly to Australia, I will be planing a visit to you soon afterwards.

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