We are off again …
Our next “To the Ends of the Earth” adventure is about to begin, this time we are riding from Vladivostok to London. We are leaving our bigger bikes at home and taking 2x Yamaha XT250’s which we feel will work better for us with the rougher terrain, while still being suitable for sealed roads.
Our bikes have just left for South Korea and we fly out on 21 May to Seoul, catch the fast train to Busan to get our bikes, then ride to Donghae to catch a ferry to Vladivostok – this is the way to get bikes to Russia from New Zealand.
From Vladivostok we ride through Siberia to Mongolia, the ‘Stans (including the Wakhan Valley), Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Europe and finally London.
The journey is about 26,000-30,000km and should take about 4 months.
There is a lot more admin preparing for this trip than The Americas. We are steadily getting our visas together which is quite a process with first having to obtain Letters of Invitation from some of the countries. Murray from Silk Road Adventures (www.silkroad.co.nz) in NZ has been a legend helping us with this, answering all our questions as we try to get our heads around it. Thanks Murray!
Because we have to enter Turkmenistan on a specified day and meet the required agent at 10:00am, as well as book and prepay hotels there and in Tajikstan and Iran to get our LOI’s, we have had to work backwards and make a detailed itinerary. Lots of work now but hopefully will avoid hassles on the road once we get riding, and we like it that way.
We also needed carnets, and both bike and personal insurances – tick.
Over last summer we did a shakedown run around some back roads in Taranaki to make sure we were happy with our set up. All good.
Also want to give a shout out to Chris at Motomail (www.motomail.co.nz) in Auckland – he has a good range of great gear and really knows his products. Thanks Chris!
PS: A slight change of plan… Only 9 days to go until we leave and we hear that Iran has changed its entry requirements. This means a quick look at options to re-route. We are now heading north in Turkmenistan and crossing over the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan. We have had to apply (and pay for) new Az visas, but fortunately can change our Turkmen visas. I guess this is how things roll in these types of countries.