The Route

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

"Inagh to China" route, February 2015

N.B. The following itinerary is provided for illustrative purposes only and all dates are approximate.

Date Destination Mileage
(km)
26/04/2015 Rosslare 248
27/04/2015 Amiens, France 621
30/04/2015 Warsaw, Poland 2,209
01/05/2015 Vilnius, Lithuania 2,712
04/05/2015 Moscow, Russia 3,635
12/05/2015 Astrakhan, Russia 5,051
20/05/2015 Khiva, Uzbekistan 6,667
24/05/2015 Samarkand, Uzbekistan 7,374
26/05/2015 Tashkent, Uzbekistan 7,681
31/05/2015 Almaty, Kazakhstan 8,518
08/06/2015 Naryn, Kyrgyzstan 9,910
11/06/2015 Kashgar, China 10,267
23/06/2015 Lhasa, Tibet 13,406
02/07/2015 Chengdu, China 15,677
06/07/2015 Xi’an, China 16,502
12/07/2015 Beijing, China 17,745
13/07/2015 – 19/07/2015 Rest, sight-seeing and a train ride to Shanghai
Proposed
homeward route, starting at Beijing, China
Date Destination Mileage
(km)
21/07/2015 Erenhot, China 18,439
23/07/2015 Ulan Baatar, Mongolia 19,116
26/07/2015 Kharkhorin, Mongolia 19,477
05/08/2015 Tsagaannuur, Mongolia 21,041
08/08/2015 Barnaul, Russia 21,831
10/08/2015 Omsk, Russia 22,738
15/08/2015 Vladimir, Russia 25,147
16/08/2015 Moscow, Russia 25,507
20/08/2015 Kiev, Ukraine 26,418
24/08/2015 Prague, Czech Republic 27,836
27/08/2015 Cherbourg, France 29,190
29/08/2015 Rosslare, Ireland 29,190
29/08/2015 Inagh, Co. Clare 29,438

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