Jeez ! Time is really flying. If everything goes to plan I should be on the road the first week in September ! 2010 that is ! Crikey, thats only just over three months time.
Me and Neil (my travel partner) took a long weekend ride around Wales with his friend Noel. It was great fun. We got to try out our travel bikes fully loaded and experiment with our luggage set up. As always, lessons were learnt and it really showed the importance of going for a few trial runs with the bikes before we hit the road properly.
As for the riding, the weather was fantastic. We spent four days idley cruising around the Welsh countryside. Looking for places to wild camp, drinking tea in small villages and explore and in almost a “throwing darts at the map” type style that I really love.. .
We had also arranged to meet the two New Zelanders for “Tea and Scones”. These are the guys we will be leaving Europe with and had originally decided to share the cost of a Libyan tour with .. They were very friendly and seemed pretty laid back about most things. Like most kiwis I have ever met in fact I reckon we’re all going to have a lot of fun and mischief !
The ride home wasn’t as smooth going though. My bike kept breaking down on the motorway leading to more doubts in my head about the sensibilty of taking an unreliable, temperamental 400cc Enduro bike on a 16,000 miles overland trip… We shall see !! They say it’s the problems that make the adventure !
Well, predictably enough the route has changed again.. A new development in the Mediterranian Ferry system “should” open up a route directly from Venice (Italy) to Alexandra (Egypt). This will allow us to skip the beaurocracy and large costs incurred with trying to cross Libya and Tunisia.
The new plan is to take the ferry from Spain to Sardinia and then to Italy.. Ride south and pick up the boat from Venice into Egypt then head south down the east coast as first planned. This should save us a couple of weeks and plenty of pound stiring enabling more frolics in the south and what I think of as “REAL AFRICA”.
Nothing is in stone yet so watch this space !!
The last month i’ve really spent a huge amont of cash on spare parts, riding and camping gear ! I thought I had all this stuff from South America until I realised id sold or given it away while on the road. My bike, riding gear and sleeping bag was sold in Colombia, my tent abandomed in Buenos Aires, and having a different bike means I have had to buy a whole new bag of spare parts for the trip ! Buying 16,000 miles worth of spare parts in one go is very expensive.. TRUST ME !!
I still havn’t sorted out my Carnet (An expensive, time consuming but compulsury document for import and customs of my bike in Africa).
I still havn’t got my passport translated into Arabic
I still havn’t got any travel insurance.
I still havn’t organised any malarials and jabs.
I still havn’t got my bike running reliably
I still need a load of bike spares
Oh, and i’m still walking with a limp and can’t really use my right knee !
So.. Things right on track then !! Here cometh the madness !