Our original plan was to ride out to China via Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia; then to either ship by sea or, possibly, fly the bikes to the West Coast of the USA, ride east and fly back with them from Toronto or New York. It was a grand plan but fraught with potential problems, not least the cost! In a flash of inspiration we looked at each other and said, almost as one, “What are we doing? Why don’t we ride back overland?” It was such an easy decision to make. While the round-trip adds hugely to the mileage, for us, this is a once in a lifetime trip and it makes more sense to take the roads less travelled and see places that we are unlikely to get the opportunity to see again.
On the other hand, difficulties finding an agent to handle all the necessary permits and guide nearly put paid to the whole enterprise. Hooking up with GlobeBusters’ Ace to Ace tour in Kyrgyzstan was a pragmatic choice, providing us with a one-stop solution to our paperwork woes while, at the same time, giving us the opportunity of a lifetime to see China and Tibet in a way that few foreigners ever experience.
From Beijing, we will head north west to Mongolia, visiting Ulan Baatar and Kharkorin, before crossing into Russia to join the Trans-Siberian Highway. From Moscow, our original plan was to head for Kiev in the Ukraine, then Poland, Prague in the Czech Republic, Germany, and France. However, due to the political situation, and the luxury of having a 6-month Russian Business visa, we may well return via the Baltic coast and take the rare opportunity to visit the tiny Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. We’ll catch the ferry from Cherbourg, and are currently scheduled to arrive back home in Inagh on Saturday, 29th August. Well, that’s the plan anyway. However, with a total round-trip distance of nearly 30,000km, anything could happen …
22nd April 2015
N.B. The following itinerary is provided for illustrative purposes only and all dates are approximate.
|13/07/2015 – 19/07/2015||Rest, sight-seeing and a train ride to Shanghai|
homeward route, starting at Beijing, China
|23/07/2015||Ulan Baatar, Mongolia||19,116|
|24/08/2015||Prague, Czech Republic||27,836|
|29/08/2015||Inagh, Co. Clare||29,438|