28 days to departure… UK to Australia
No pictures, just musing in words.
For those who have missed the subtleties on the website and not on Facebook we are leaving the UK next month to drive to Siberia and then onward to Australia.
Considering the magnitude of our trip I have not been very vocal about its run up or preparation outside of our immediate circle of friends. A long time ago I had hoped it would not be like this, that I would have time to write and develop the website and keep everything fresh and informative. The truth is though, since letting work know we were leaving, handing in our notice, telling our landlord, packing up the house (still not complete), finalising utility bills, Visa applications, getting Christmas out of the way, seeing family and friends we have not had much time to think about it. The saving grace was that we have 3 weeks in the new year to finalise our equipment and finish off the few jobs needed on the 90 and trailer whilst in the comfort of the parents house, but while I write this I realise that this may not be enough time… however, it will have to be!
While I write this I am sat on my Alpkit bouldering mat with the laptop on a Peli case. I’m staring at Plastic boxes with kit in and even more kit out on the floor. Everything else has gone. No sofa, no TV, no fridge, freezer or washing machine. The garage is still full of equipment which needs sorting out. An ARC welder, grinders, drills, workbench, shelving. Its all still in there with the trailer.
We are out of time here in Bristol and I think the only sensible thing to do now is to jam everything into the trailer and the Land Rover and take it to my parents where I can sort it out. Our equipment is loosely organising into relevant Peli cases, and plastic boxes but there has yet to be a ‘dry run’ to see if everything fits. Does everyone else’s adventures start this way? I envisaged a Tom Sheppard style run in to departure but this does not seem to be happening. I guess moving out of your home coupled with planning and preparing for an extended overland trip wasn’t going to be easy.
OK I lied. There is one picture. But that is only because I thought that those who do not know, would like to know, where we are going. We leave on the 26th/27th January 2013 and the route is given in more detail below.
Our route takes us onto the continent where we will drive to Copenhagen in Denmark to spend a couple of days with friends. From here we leave for Stockholm (Sweden) and onto the Gransfors Brux Axe Forge/Factory for a brief tour before heading back west into Norway. Around the latitude of the Arctic Circle we will team up with 2 (or maybe 3) other Land Rovers for the march north to Nordkapp. This is the most northerly point in Europe and is well within the Arctic Circle around 71 degrees North. From here we will head directly south into Finland through the Lapland region where we hope to do some Dog-sledding! Down through Finland to Helsinki and onto Russia into St Petersburg for a few days. Our Eastern Europe leg is still a little loose but we will pass through the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland into Hungary and into Slovenia. Crossing the Western Balkans (Croatia,Bosnia, Serbia) we will visit Romania and Bulgaria before heading to Turkey Around the end of March. Visas for Central Asia will be picked up in Ankara and we will then drive through the Caucasus region (Georgia & Armenia) before transiting a small section of Russia called North Ossetia. Skirting around Chechnya we will head for the Kazakhstan border to begin our Central Asia leg of the journey. We will pass through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and back into Eastern Kazakhstan before passing back into the Russian Altai region to transit to Mongolia. A month here before we re-enter Russia for 2 months in Siberia to have a look around at some the worlds last truly adventurous roads. The BAM and the Road of Bones will occupy most of our time in this region before we take a ferry out of Siberia to South Korea for onward shipping to Australia.
That is at least the plan anyway. Undoubtedly there will be a lot to overcome on the way but hopefully we will make it! I do have a rough timeline put together which we can hopefully stick to otherwise the seasons are going to effect us.
Anyway, that is enough for now, more to follow.