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othalan 9 Feb 2011 23:09

RTW Route Planning
 
I'm planning a trip to wander the world for a few years. My route is only approximate, but I thought I'd post it here in case anyone has advice, or is interested in what I am planning.

Here is a map approximating my route. Dates shown are only guesses. The route is meant to show only the generic direction I will travel, not the exact countries I will visit. The route through Africa will depend on the political situation at the time. The route through Asia will vary based on time of year, but will hopefully include the regions noted.


https://docs.google.com/drawings/pub...A&w=1222&h=623

This map is about as detailed as I had planned to get preparing for this trip. The exact route will be determined only so far ahead as is necessary to (a) plan ahead for visas, (b) plan ahead for shipping the bike, and (c) keep moving forward at a pace sufficient that I accomplish my goals before running out of money. I should have funds sufficient to stay on the road a minimum of 3 years.

Comments?

TurboCharger 10 Feb 2011 09:20

A few comments to get the ball rolling
 
Looks like an amazing adventure, I'm very jealous. How long do you think it will take? Do you have the funds to ride for 3-4years? I guess that's how long a world trip would take without stopping.

I can't really comment on America or Africa as I haven't been there (yet) but here is my two bobs worth to get the ball rolling.

Europe: Is it worth spending some time in Scandinavia. Norway has some amazing coast roads, arguably the best in the world.
It doesn't look like you plan to visit much of Italy, but the Dolomites are well worth a few days.

Indian Subcontinent: It looks like Bangladesh is on your route, I'm not sure how it is to get into Bangladesh with a bike... I would check this out, failing that Nepal is a must visit.
The leg through Northern Pakistan, along the KKH will probably be the most expensive part to get through China. I understand from fellow riders that the few days will cost you US$1500 per person. This will take a chunk out of our beer kitty.

Australasia: I'm not certain but I think East Timor and Papua New Guinea are no go zones. Also, since you're going to Australia, you might as well see more of it than just the east coast. Go inland, see the real Australia. And if you go south, don't miss Tasmania, absolutely the highlight of Australia by motorcycle.

Also all up I see about 10 passages requiring either air or sea freight. I think that this will really start to hurt the hip pocket. If possible you might want to consider trying to reduce the number of times you freight the bike. If you estimate the cost of the bike and you to fly 10 times then at US$1000 each time it adds up to a lot of beers, or tanks of fuel (gas).

Let us know how your plan progresses.

pecha72 10 Feb 2011 11:44

Papua province Indonesia, to Papua New Guinea, to Cape York Australia....... I think that´s going to be very tough to do!!

And there may be some ferries in Indo (when they depart, is anyone´s guess, though!)... but to cross from Indo to PNG, and especially from there to Oz, it´s more likely to be a private yacht or something like that, which you´ll need to arrange once your there. Good to keep in mind there are no ferries between Oz and its northern neighbours.

East Timor seems do-able (..well, most of the time!) and from there, you can ship with Perkins as cargo to Darwin and fly. Kupang, West Timor, may have some small like shrimp-boats going to Oz in the dry season.

Me, I would include Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Malaysia into that itinerary (and western side of Indo is just fantastic, too, so its not a big shame, if you "have" to go through there!)...

In southern Africa, if I could I would make a loop to Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, and then find my way northwest to Victoria Falls, which is worth a longer detour. I don´t know how Zimbabwe is right now, but you can visit the falls from the Zambian side, too.

Norway is great, when the weather favors you, though Scandinavia in general is quite expensive. But if you dont stay very long, maybe it doesnt affect the budget so much on a trip like that.

othalan 10 Feb 2011 16:55

I clearly was not clear enough the first time: This Route Is Approximate. It does not represent an exact list of countries! I may not visit some countries that seem to be indicated, and I will not miss some others that are not indicated!

I actually hesitated to post this particular map. It represents the ideal, my most ambitious plan. But I figured start there, get feedback, then whittle it down to the reality of what I will actually do.

Funds: I should have sufficient funds for 3 years minimum, possibly 4+ years if I am careful with money and/or reduce ocean crossings. The side-journey to Antarctica is another very big expense I want to do if the timing works out, but is one I will have to revisit once I see how fast I am going through my funds. Once I am on the road and see what my actual expenses look like I will have a far better idea of how long I will be able to travel and to what extent I need to simplify the trip.

Indonesia to OZ: Seems I have a bunch more research to do, I had not looked closely enough at that leg. Thanks!

OZ: I would like to spend more time in OZ than is indicated, but my funding will almost certainly be running very short by that point. I'd hate to do it, but I may drop off New Zealand to visit more of the continent. And Tasmania, thanks for the suggestion!

Africa: I should note that I hesitated listing any route at all through Africa as I plan to vary it based on the political situation when I am there. I had forgotten about Victoria Falls, that is a location I would like to see!

Europe: Europe in general is an expensive place and will eat up my funds fast. I do hope to spend more time and visit Italy, Scandanavia, and a bunch of other locations, but I'm not certain if I can afford to.

Thanks for the feedback all!

othalan 10 Feb 2011 17:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by TurboCharger (Post 323568)
The leg through Northern Pakistan, along the KKH will probably be the most expensive part to get through China. I understand from fellow riders that the few days will cost you US$1500 per person. This will take a chunk out of our beer kitty.

Yikes! Thought I could avoid China on that route, but clearly I was delusional. I'll have to revisit that. Thanks for the warning!

realmc26 10 Feb 2011 23:45

+1 on seeing more of Australia, would be silly not to do the full circuit or at least not get into the centre or see Tassy.
Work an extra 3 months if you have to but don't miss the South Island of New Zealand. Leave your bike in Oz. Take a soft bag to N.Z and rent a bike for a week or so to reduce shipping costs.

TurboCharger 11 Feb 2011 11:30

Shipping to India from UAE or Oman
 
I noticed you aren't going through Iran/Pakistan. I understand from other members on this forum that the shipping directly to India from middle east is expensive and Indian port customs are more bureaucratic than land customs. I suggest you also spend a bit more time researching the best way into India. There is a lot of info on shipping to India, here are a few links to get you started:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...oman-uae-21170

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...possible-23163

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...to-india-35947


Enjoy the trip planning, it can be long and tiring when you all you can think about is being on the road but it is very exciting.

Bergrider 11 Feb 2011 20:04

East Himalayas, SEA and Oz
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TurboCharger (Post 323708)
I noticed you aren't going through Iran/Pakistan. I understand from other members on this forum that the shipping directly to India from middle east is expensive and Indian port customs are more bureaucratic than land customs. I suggest you also spend a bit more time researching the best way into India. There is a lot of info on shipping to India, here are a few links to get you started:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...oman-uae-21170

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...possible-23163

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...to-india-35947


Enjoy the trip planning, it can be long and tiring when you all you can think about is being on the road but it is very exciting.

A great way to start is sketch it out, then grab the threads and good ones here to be sure.

I'd strongly suggest don't miss Bangaldesh, the East Himalayas and the 'beautiful Bhutan" - it's worth the effort.

Why miss Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia ?? cheap as chip and such amazing peoples and places.

Oz, count on 15,000km minimum, tropical hot and wet to alpine cold - you'll have a ball.

Over-plan then go with the flow -

Cheers n Ride Safe
Frank.

othalan 12 Feb 2011 00:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bergrider (Post 323763)
Why miss Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia ?? cheap as chip and such amazing peoples and places.

Two reasons:
(1) No matter what route I pick, people will say "Why miss xxxx?"
(2) I had to pick something to post, and honestly I don't know here I will be that far into the trip....

My major alternate route includes those regions (at the cost of Japan, and possibly Mongolia as well).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bergrider (Post 323763)
Over-plan then go with the flow

No worries there, seems to be my philosophy in life!

Rockwell 14 Feb 2011 03:30

I've been planning my trip for almost 3 years. I met my girlfriend last year, told her about it, and immediately picked up a passenger.

She's Portuguese, and we're planning on spending the winter in Portugal (2012-2013). Look us up if you're around there are that time. It seems like you might be.

Here a a few versions of my route:

Trip - Google Maps

Wordpress Route (Part I) - Google Maps

othalan 18 Feb 2011 18:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rockwell (Post 324075)
I've been planning my trip for almost 3 years. I met my girlfriend last year, told her about it, and immediately picked up a passenger.

She's Portuguese, and we're planning on spending the winter in Portugal (2012-2013). Look us up if you're around there are that time. It seems like you might be.

Here a a few versions of my route:

Trip - Google Maps

Wordpress Route (Part I) - Google Maps

Looks like a fantastic trip, I do hope we can meet up on the road!

I like the chart you put together on your route planning page for temperature by country. Interesting way to lay it out! But out of curiosity, do you realize that Bolivia in December is the middle of the wet season?

Guillaume 21 Feb 2011 01:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rockwell (Post 324075)

Rockwell I wanted to PM you but it won't let me until I have 5 posts.
I'm planing a similar trip leaving fall 2012. If you ever pass by Montreal let me know, I would be very happy to pay you a drink and discuss routes.

Sorry for Hijacking your post Othalan.

othalan 23 Feb 2011 07:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by BernieGreiner (Post 325403)
Around the world, or RTW, mean that You are preparing for the trip of a lifetime. If you know you want to head out around the world, but do not really know where to go because Round the world , gives you too many options, take a look through some of the common destinations of RTW.

Oh, knowing where to go isn't my problem at all. The list of places I want to visit is far larger than my budget. This route is designed to pass by what I currently consider to be the high points on the list of places I want to go. I also read blogs periodically to get new ideas, so my list is actively growing.

Hemuli 23 Feb 2011 19:50

One question from my side:
Quite many seem to travel from west to east. Why this way? Why not from east to west?
Is it due to climate (easier to avoid rainy seasons) or something else?

othalan 24 Feb 2011 06:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemuli (Post 325498)
One question from my side:
Quite many seem to travel from west to east. Why this way? Why not from east to west?
Is it due to climate (easier to avoid rainy seasons) or something else?

Fantastic question, it made me think a lot about my route decisions.

Climate is a unquestionably big factor in deciding where I go when, but it doesn't really decide which direction I travel. Just as easy to make plans in the reverse direction, especially with the type of wandering route I am planning.

The reasoning I used is somewhat like this:
  • Several destinations in Europe are listed equally as my #1 destination on this trip, but it is a very expensive place to travel. I thus do not want to start there so that I can practice traveling frugally before arriving.
  • Asia (southern portions) and Africa (except Egypt for the Pyramids) hold the least interest to me. I thus do not want to start with either of those.
  • My starting location is thus South America, Australia, or Russia/Mongolia.
    • Australia & Russia/Mongolia both involve shipping the bike immediately, and I would like to ride away from home.
    • South America involves only a short boat ride around the Darien gap.
  • THUS: Start with South America.
  • I want to arrive in Europe relatively early in the trip, but I need to be there May-September roughly for good weather.
  • I could arrive in Europe directly from South America, but it makes more sense to travel up through Africa for many reasons.
  • THUS: Next up is Africa and Europe
  • From there, I just need to look at the climate to determine where I will go next.
Now, I should note that I consider all of this subject to change.


For example, if shipping directly to Europe from South America would save me $4000 over shipping to South Africa, I would probably do that and adjust my route accordingly.

Or if I decide I absolutely must get to Russia/Mongolia early on, I could go there after South America, and travel west to Europe, then south through Africa.

I have also considered trying to work in Europe for a year working as a Software Engineer so that I can both work up more money and spend more time in an expensive place I am looking forward to visiting. If I do that, it could change everything about my route from then on.

I may even decide to completely ditch all the above and rework my route from scratch.


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