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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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is there such a thing as over planning??

hi all

next year im going to ride back to england from aussie, boat to indonesia, up to laos fly to bangladesh, nepal, india, stans, across the caspian,(if the boat feels like leaving when i get there!!) into europe, home! just like that ish,
my question to you is, is there such a thing as over planning?? yes there are a few things that you need before you leave, visa's, carnet, insurance, but apart from the things to get you into the country why is it so important to find everything about the country before you get to it? surely isn't part of the adventure not knowing what is around the corner?? and if you want a idea of whats to come why not just ask the locals when you get there?
i know there are a few extreams like desert, moutain or jungle riding where you need to do a bit of reaserch, please let me know what you think and if anyone has just up and left how you got on? cheers

trev
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  #2  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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I know a guy that has planed trip of 2,000 miles or so for 3 years now. A trip with no paper work or any thing. Hes got places to stop at places to see places to eat at, places for gas, places to pee. I gust get some time off and go be he likes the planning. once you get get all the little bits of paper the governments like to collect Id gust go, get some maps to see when your lost, and go. If its hot go early in the morning dont use a goose down parka, hay you can gust get some stuf from a shop in the area. I do that. Smiles go along way point at what you want or where you want to go.

lets see bring water, stay dry, dont forget socks, stop and take pics a-lot.
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  #3  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Hi

I will be leaving 'sometime' after June, still not planned that far. I know I am flying to the States to start with, not sure which end, depends on the weather there. I have a vague plan, I know I want to see some people I know via interent, there are some must see sights, but mainly just cruise around and have a decko. If I bump into someone who says you should check this out, well why not, it may be great, it may not, but that is the travel experience.

I have a few years to do it and have absolute no interest in a timetable, visas, carnets, weather excepted of course.

One thing I would do and that is make sure that the countries you visit are not having 'internal political problems', this could be a problem, other than that, go with the flow.

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Nice one dude - sounds like an amazing run.

I'm one of these people that like to plan, but I think that's because I enjoy it almost as much as being out on the road.

I like searching for the maps, researching routes, reading about the history, working out what to do if something goes wrong. For me the time planning the trip is as much a part of it as the actual riding.

Having said all that the planning time on each trip gets shorter and shorter, I know what kit I need now, I know where to get awkward maps from, I know how to deal with difficult situations - but the point is each time it's different and requires a different amount of thought and prep.

TBH I'd be amazed if I manage to look at half the things I've 'planned', but I still got to sit here at the computer, or in Stanfords for months before departure and 'plan' my journey (read day-dream). For me, it extends the life of the trip - but then I only get to go away for three weeks each year. I suspect things would be different if I was going to be away for substantially longer.
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  #5  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Hi I think myself and Martyn cover this a few weeks ago, too much planning leads to inflexability so be fluid in your route, ask questions of the people you meet on the road about attractions conditions ect, take your time and above all have a safe enjoyable journey.

Lee
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  #6  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
too much planning leads to inflexability
Lee
I don't think I necessarily agree with that.

Being fluid on your route is great, you have to be. But consider that if you know what is ahead, or you know more about the history of a location, then that frees you up to be more flexible, because you have more knowledge.

I find myself arguing for over-planning, which is not what I intend, merely that the pursuit of knowledge, the pursuit of understanding, is gained as much from research before your trip as it does during your trip.

Serendipity is at the heart of discovery, but sometimes you need to have planned to put yourself in a position where that can happen. Possibly.

m
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  #7  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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yep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
Hi I think myself and Martyn cover this a few weeks ago, too much planning leads to inflexability so be fluid in your route, ask questions of the people you meet on the road about attractions conditions ect, take your time and above all have a safe enjoyable journey.

Lee
Yep lee the guy mentioned above who has been planning a trip of 2,000 miles for 3 years! I bet the first bit of a deviation or road closed and hes gonna have to turn back home cos its ruined his plans!

some of the best rides/ trips/ adventures I have ever had were ones that i had threw the planning away on!, you know the kind of thing, " Hhmmmm... I wonder where THAT road leads to? I have passed it a few times now and maybe should find out!"
Consequently I have discovered "new" roads, great places to Eat, new friends and have discovered sometimes more about Myself than the land around me.
Plans are great as a start, or if you have a fixed goal in mind.. but you MUST be prepared to be Flexible...... Im sure if anyone posed the same questions to Simon ( 125cc in south america) Lorraine ( on a mission from Dog) or Gatogato ( Geoff, was lost in the Dariam Gap) or even the founders of this site Grant & Susan Johnson, they would all say the same thing: BE FLEXIBLE!


Martyn
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  #8  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Wink It takes all sorts

Some people are travelling to a schedule (often to get back to gainful employment in a timely manner), that requires a plan.

Others are simply "dicking around".

Both approaches are valid.
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  #9  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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didnt say they werent Walkabout..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Some people are travelling to a schedule (often to get back to gainful employment in a timely manner), that requires a plan.

Others are simply "dicking around".

Both approaches are valid.
Didn't say Otherwise!

But lets just say your plans go awry?

What do you do? press on regardless through say a country that has floods and bad roads and may make your trip a week or three longer? or do you take the "flexible approach" and quickly re-assess the situation?

There are also 2 approaches to reading your post! I COULD read it as you are saying that people without jobs are 'Dicking Around' that would be me then?

martyn
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  #10  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Different Strokes?

I think it's down to the type of person you are, some love it some hate it. I'm more in Matt's camp on this one I think, I love the researching, the dreaming, the spreading maps out of the floor, and all of that, I can do it for hours, days, weeks - no problem. But I count that as researching not planning. I'm not necessarily going to draw up a list of everywhere I must go and stick to it, but I might draw up a list of places I'd like to go, and when I think I could get there. That will then form itself into a route that I'll probably take, but unless there's specific reasons, like visas running out, or meeting someone, or flights and boats, I'm not going to say I can't go off down that side road and have a change of plan.

I know for the next trip, there's a certain amount of rigidity, but that's more because it's been imposed by others, mainly the Cinese authorities, whether I'll find it restrictive I don't know, but probably I'll end up with a feeling of having missed out on something, because I've had to stick to THE PLAN.

Some people would probably find that unbearable, and want the flexibility of not knowing, others would find it unbearable because they don't know enough.

For me over-planning is when you end up using not having planned enough as an excuse not to go. But that's all it is, an excuse because in yourself, you don't feel ready.
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  #11  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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I'm with Matt on this one. Forward planning is sooooo much fun - and it is, IMHO, at the research stage where you learn so much about a particular country .. its geography, people and culture. The final ride through is just the physical experience - 'the icing on the cake', so to speak, which is always over all too quickly.

I learned my lesson back in the mid 1990s. Remember that there was no GPS or meaningful Internet in those days; nor, therefore, were there any social forums - like this one - where travellers (and prospective travellers) can exchange & learn information and share ideas. I remember, back at that time, riding around and exploring western/central Europe with nothing more than a rough idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see. My only navigational aid was a jumbo-sized AA road atlas, which just fitted inside, and on top, the contents of my trunk-box .. plus the mandatory pencil + a pad of notepaper, of course! No decent mobile cell-phone networks existed then, nor did I understand the local lingos .. apart from the usual smidge of schoolboy pigeon-French. No doubt you know exactly what I mean, because you were probably there yourself too [metaphorically-speaking] back in those days.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I re-call riding homewards (to the UK) from Austria, crossing through Switzerland into the Black Forest area of Germany; broadly following the westbound Rhine-hugging road(s) from south of Lake Konstanz. At the north-western corner of Switzerland I then passed through the Swiss townships of Schaffhausen and Neuhausen into neighbouring Germany. Good job done - so I thought[?] .. onwards to France!

Little did I know, at the time, that I was within just 2-3 kilometres of one of Europe's most spectacular showpieces; namely the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfalls in Europe. I realised all this of course when I got home, and thus quickly learned that to ride off on a 'wing-and-a-prayer', although it will bring its own escapade.. can and will make you miss-out on so much of your adventure.

So I recommend that you do your research thoroughly beforehand; it will enlighten and prepare you for the fantastic journey ahead - and without doubt it will ultimate enrich the overall experience.

Just my two-pennies' worth.

KEITH

PS - I went back to the Rhine Falls the following summer [!.. ]
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  #12  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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For what it's worth, since I've been planning this trip for longer than most you have been alive; knowing where you are going and why, what you want to see, and what you want to avoid should make the ride more enjoyable. Having said that I also have to state firmly that when we begin there will be no real timetable except to avoid winter, and that if we decide to miss "A" and instead go see "B" there is no trouble in that. We have read everything we can find on each country, learned languages (even knowing that we can get along without them) and using other guides chosen those monuments, gardens, natural wonders, etc., that would be nice, but not vital to making the trip worthwhile. Sure it is great to say "Let's go on a really long ride and just see what comes up," but you might just ride right by something that had you known about it, would have been the highlight of the trip. In 1965, I rode right by the exit for an Airplane museum in Arizona right off what is now called I-40. For me, it was a cruel disappointment to know that I missed seeing it. Had I done just a bit of research, I would have known about it and gone there. By doing research I DID find the RAF Air Museum just a bit out of London and was there (planned for) on the day that visitors were allowed to sit in or tour some of the planes from WWII. Now THAT was a highlight. We know where Iquazu Falls is in SA, where the undergound churches carved in rock are in Ethiopia, and so on. Research and planning should let us die in our old age still looking at and sharing the photos and memories.

Joe
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  #13  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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PS. I am not dicking around, just retired and have waited for this adventure for 40 years.

Joe
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  #14  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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dont do it!

the less you plan the better. All you need to know before you go is how to maintain your trusty steed and what the visa requirements are. The most planning you would need is entry and exit points and dates (set by visas).

I ran into a Canadian couple that had planned their every move through central asia - consequently they got very upset/angry when they arrived at a border a few hours late and had to spend a night in Turkmenistan when they should have been across the border in UZ. They did not enjoy the extra night at all because they had not planned for it - bizarre...

The ferry across the caspian is pretty regular Trev, so don't worry about making it, just rock up pay and play. I found the service better than the Eurotunnel, if it did take slightly longer

Dont think about the future too much until you're in it, and enjoy!
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  #15  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Wink Blessed are the planners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hindu1936 View Post
PS. I am not dicking around, just retired and have waited for this adventure for 40 years.

Joe
Hi Joe,
I am also retired and I am dicking around, after a lifetime of following plans and instructions to the letter (and beyond on occasions).

I can't speak for anyone else though.
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