It didn’t take long after deciding to do the adventure, before we had a rough draft of a route. Since then, it has gone through numerous changes and refinements, but the basic principle is simple: We leave home heading south, and when we hit Cape Town, ship the bikes to Australia and head home. How hard can it be?
Note: The pictures in this post are extraordinarily not our own – we have not yet been around the world to take our own.
We begin by leaving Denmark and heading through western Europe, aimed at Gibraltar. After spending a couple of weeks getting into the groove, we cross the Gibraltar strait to Africa. From Morocco, we head east through Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya to Egypt. We hope the political situation in northern Africa will get better before we leave, but at the moment Algeria seems doubtful. We do, however, have recent proof that driving through Libya is possible. In Egypt, we turn right and ride south while looking at some pyramids. We’ll go to the Aswan ferry, which seems to be the only way to cross into Sudan. We’ll keep going south through Sudan and Ethiopia, but turn west after crossing into Kenya at Moyale. From there we’ll take a trip around Lake Victoria to Rwanda and Burundi, which I have some connection to from my time as a scout.
Going back east, we’ll take a “break” at Mount Kilimanjaro, which we plan to scale (along with all the other tourists). We’ll cross Tanzania – and maybe do some safari’ing and visit Zanzibar along the way – aiming for Lake Malawi. We then plan to follow the west coast of the lake, until we break of west towards Victoria Falls, which hold the title of the world’s largest water falls. Through Zimbabwe, which I’ve gained an interest in since reading the excellent book Mukiwa: A White Boy In Africa by Peter Godwin. Maybe we’ll also visit Botswana, if there is anything of interest there.
Finally, we reach South Africa, where we’ll also pass through Swaziland and Lesotho. After approximately 5 months, we’re now ready to leave the African continent.
Now the plan is to fly the bikes to Perth in Australia. Our guess is it’ll be nice to visit a place that is culturally closer to what we’re used to. After sorting out freight and customs-stuff we set our sights on Uluru/Ayers Rock and Alice Springs. Should be a nice bit of outback riding. After Alice Springs we break off to the south for the last time, to reash Adelaide. Then it’s time to go home. Thus, we’ll follow the backpacker route up the east coast, ending in Darwin. We’ve scheduled around 2 months for Autralia, but I have a dream about being a truck driver for a month or two in a mine, so if that’s possible, we might extend our stay and earn a bit of money.
In Darwin we’ll find a freighter to Indonesia and hop across the islands till we reach land in south east asia, where we will tour Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. We’d also like to visit Vietnam, but it seems impossible to bring our bikes there, so we might backpack that for a couple of weeks with our bikes parked.
Now, Myanmar/Burma blocks our route. Even though the dictatorship has opened a bit lately, it is still impossible to bring your own vehicle. Instead, we will fly or ship the bikes to Bangladesh. Back in the saddle, we’ll set our sights on Nepal and a hike to Mount Everest base camp. We leave Nepal through the northern edge of India (which we have decided to largely skip through on this trip) to Pakistan. This is where another challenge awaits: Afghanistan.
As a result of obscure negotiations between Great Britain and Russia in the 19th century, the southern forme Soviet contries are sealed off from Pakistan by the narrow piece of land called the Wakhan corridor. It is a part of Afghanistan, which stretches all the way to China. It its only between 10 an 40 km wide, but it is Afghanistan after all, and thus not advisable to go through. So we have to pay dearly to cross through China. The good thing about that though, is that we’ll get the opportunity to ride the spectacular Karakoram Highway.
The route continues via Kashgar in China to “The ‘Stans,” Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. We cross into Iran, which should be home of some of the most hospitable people ind the world. On our way out, we hope to be able to cross Kurdistan in northern Iraq, a country I have a bit of backstory with. Since the break out of the Iraq war, Kurdistan has been by far the most stable province, and it should be possible to visit it in relative safety. I think a trip to Basrah, which I know better, will have to wait some decades.
Finally, we enter Turkey and the Bosporus Strait. With Denmark within reach, we’ll probably put the long leg ahead up through Europe.
We plan to be on the move for about 14 months and the route is – in its current version – about 46000 km long, crossing something like 46 countries.
Depending on exactly when we leave, we’ll be back home by the end of 2016, the experience of a lifetime richer.