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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Help us plan - Australia to England

My partner and I are planning a trip from Australia to England (hence the title) to hit the road Oct-Nov of this year, arriving in the UK around a year later. A rough outline of the trip is below - but we have a few questions, particularly around which route to take once we get to India.

We'll be starting from the Kimberley, NW Australia (I work for an NGO, which is sending us there in about a months time - we'll do a cannonball run from Sydney on the bike), and traveling 2up on a 650 V-Strom. I'm a Kiwi, she's English, I'm 30, she's 28, we'll have around $40K hidden in our boots

After doing the top end of Australia, we plan to ship from Darwin to Dili, then ride up slowly through SE Asia, then fly the bike and ourselves to Nepal around March of 2013.

We'll then spend a bit of time in India, and it's about here that we're unsure as of which route to take next. I'm very keen on heading through Pakistan to Iran, then Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, England. However, I'm unsure about whether the Pakistan/Iran route is actually a good idea?

How does this actually work? My understanding is that we will have a police escort for part of this section of the route - is it only for small parts or the whole shebang? Does this add extra cost? Is the trip still good with the escort, or will we simply be driven through at high speed without stopping? Is it actually going to be safe even with the escort?

Our other route options are to head from Pakistan into Afghanistan - but I imagine that this would actually be a dodgier route - or to head from India and go through Tibet and Xinjiang and into Kyrgyzstan (if we went this way, then we'd aim to ride across to Turkey and continue as originally planned from there).

The China option is one that appeals to us a lot, but I understand that it is quite expensive? Can anyone give us a rough estimate of how much this might actually be? It'd also be great if we could be pointed towards any companies that can do this part of the trip? We'll have a bit of flexibility as to exactly when we enter China - if we're looking April-May, is it likely that we will be able to find others doing the same route to split costs with?

Many thanks for any advice you can give
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Old 12 Jan 2012
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how exciting for you.

Have you read Emily and James's blog

Motoventurers: honeymoon world motorcycle adventure

its rather detailed and same direction as you
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'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone'-
http://fernsforays.com/ UK to Asia on a DRZ400 2012-2013
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  #3  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Although starting from New Zealand, I’m slowly doing exactly what you have in mind sanpedro .. in 2-3 month planned stages at a time; executing two stages every year. Entirely do-able (2 up) on a 650 V-twin; in my opinion, the perfect machine.

You’re going to leave the Top End of Oz, and arrive in Timor-Leste & Indonesia at the start of the Wet Season .. so remember to take along some decent foul-weather gear! .. ..

Don’t hesitate to contact me (PM or e-mail) if you need any more info.

All the best

Keith
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  #4  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Pakistan & Iran: yes there are some dodgy areas in those countries, and some of them you cannot avoid, if you go overland from India to Turkey. But then a lot of people have gone through there without a problem, and in fact most report, that they´ve enjoyed their stay there.

But nothing is certain, and travelling can never be 100% safe. I´d say however, that the biggest likelihood of any serious trouble will be related to traffic. The local people in both countries are a sight to see in themselves – they are extremely friendly. Nothing like the picture in my mind, before I went there. Really an eye-opening experience! It is really a shame, that those warm-hearted people have to suffer because of politics and bad leadership.

In short: of course I´d follow the situation closely, but if I was able to get visas to both Pak & Iran, at least in the current situation, I don´t think I´d have a problem to ride through there again. But what will happen with Iran in the future, for example, remains to be seen.

Police escorts for us were free 4 years ago, and more of a problem (very slow / waiting at checkpoints) in southeastern Iran, than they were anywhere in Pakistan, where they at least drove at a decent speed. In fact we had a lot less escorts in Pakistan, than we had in Iran (coming from Turkey, all the way from Bam to the Mir Javeh border). But I hear this could have changed a lot, some report to have been escorted all the way thru Pak. BTW, the police should not even let you enter the really problematic areas.

Afghanistan, for me, would simply be a definite "no-go". But are you aware, that you should be able to also pass it by on the northern side (North Pakistan / Karakoram Highway to China, and on to the Stans, then head west)? This involves crossing to China, so the preparations, guide and all will step into the picture... but apparently it only necessitates a few days inside China, so the costs may not skyrocket, especially if you´re able to hook up with some other travellers and go together. From Nepal thru China to the Stans will require you to stay in China a lot longer (and Tibet could be the most expensive area to arrange).

Something more from our trip (Europe-Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India and onwards to SE Asia & Oz, and 2-up on a DL650 actually!) here:
www.moto1.fi/blog.htm
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  #5  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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@fern - hadn't come across that blog before, so more reading for us

@keith - how does that work? have you been leaving the bike along the route and coming back to it, or shipping it there and back to Kiwiland each trip? Surely the latter is super costly?

@pecha - i've lived in vietnam and china and had a bike in each, so i've had a taste of what to expect. with your trip, were you given an escort for the entirety of each country, or just for those areas considered dangerous?
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Old 13 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanpedro View Post
@pecha - i've lived in vietnam and china and had a bike in each, so i've had a taste of what to expect. with your trip, were you given an escort for the entirety of each country, or just for those areas considered dangerous?
In Iran, no escorts until Bam, and then escorted all the way to the Pakistani border (we were ´convoyed´ with two European cars heading the same way). The Iran part was extremely frustrating, because they were just unbelievably slow, and when arriving at a checkpoint to change the escort car (one vehicle usually only went from one checkpoint to the next) we often noticed, that there is no car there, and then had to wait and wait for it. Also the road was easily good enough to ride 120-130 kms per hour, but they could decide, that now they´ll only want to drive 50-60, and you´re following them. In Zahedan, we were also escorted to our accommodation... but this could not be handled by the highway police, it´s a job for the city police (from the city limit it was probably 2-3 kms to the hotel!) So again we waited for over an hour at the local police station for them to arrange some vehicle (and when it finally arrived, it was just some local´s motorbike)....

In Pakistan, to our surprise, no escorts until after Quetta (but there were plenty of checkpoints in Baluchistan, and we were be stopped at each one, and our personal & vehicle details checked – they often close the road with a chain, so beware of those, especially if you have poor visibility; for this and other reasons, do NOT travel in the dark in this area!)... I think we were escorted thru the Bolan Pass, heading towards Sukkur (at that time, you were not allowed to continue straight east from Quetta, think this could still be so).... and then some occasional escorts thru the towns, or into them, if we were going to spend the night there (in city areas, watch out for missing sewer hole lids – I once dropped my bike´s front wheel into one!) And after leaving Multan, heading to Lahore, no escorts. During our trip, the escorts generally moved faster in Pakistan, and the police also seemed more friendly.

I believe the Iran part could still be like that. But you might have more escorts in Pakistan now, and it could be time-consuming.
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Old 15 Jan 2012
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thanks - the info in this thread plus a few PM's is leading us towards getting a few quotes for a china trip - both for the quick blow through from pakistan and for a slightly longer entry from nepal. what info i have so far is definitely meaning we'd need to find ourselves other folk to team up with to have any chance of being able to afford it. i guess i'll be putting a thread up here to look for people shortly!
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Old 28 Jan 2012
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Two more posts before i can email
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One more yay!
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Sanpedro,pm sent
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response sent
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