Here’s how our trip developed and changed as we went along:
ORIGINAL LIST OF THE PLAN:
- Istanbul & north coast Turkey: 2 to 3 weeks, depending when we can leave. to ca. 26 June
- Georgia: 26 June to 10 July
- Aserbaijan: max a week to 17th July.
- Turkmenistan: Max 5 days as the tourist visa is too expensive. Just drive through unfortunately. 19 – 24 July
- Kazakhstan: transit to Uzbekistan
- Uzbekistan: 14 days to ca. 6 August (mainly Muslim architecture, not too much nature, maybe desert…)
- Kyrgyzstan: about 2 weeks to ca. 20. August (mainly nature and walking)
- Kazakhstan: about a week to ca. 27. August (just drive through) Might need a week in Almaty to get a visa.
- Russia: max 1 week, just drive through really.
- Mongolia: min. 3 weeks, more likely 4 to mid or end September
- China, incl Tibet, hopefully the borders stay open!: 3 to 4 weeks to the end of October
- Nepal: 4 weeks to the end of November
- India: Almost 3 months to the 20 February, 2014
Our original plan finished here in India with a shipment back home.
“Providing we have the necessary visas sorted, we’ll be departing Germany on 30th May 2013.”
This was the opening sentence for our planned route as we began our adventure with Mighty Bruce. For Helen the trip would end in India, while Jens always hoped to continue to SE Asia and perhaps even Australia.
We actually started a day later on 1 June 2013, then as time and kilometres past quickly by, changes began to be made. Here we try to present our chronology and reasoning for the changes:
STOP PRESS!! Our latest news items as we made (or were forced to make) the decisions:
then the opportunity of a then rare land crossing of Myanmar appeared:
- Myanmar: 14 days to 5 March
- Thailand, north: ca. 1 week 12 March
- Laos: A month, to ca. 9 April
- Vietnam: 2 to 4 weeks, depending on where we can leave Bruce
- Cambodia: 2 to 4 weeks to latest mid June
- Thailand, part 2: 6 weeks until the beginning of July
- Malaysia: a month? To August or September
After this, it was still too early to leave and on the advice of many travellers we met, we decided we’d like to see Mount Kailash in Tibet, Tajikistan & Iran:
STOP PRESS!! 14 June 2014: The routing has changed! We’re driving home, not shipping!
- China: 4 weeks to mid August
- Kyrgyzstan: just long enough to get some onward visas sorted
- Tajikistan: the Pamir Highway! Around 3 weeks until beginning of September
- Uzbekistan: a couple of days just to transit
- Turkmenistan: only 5 days: a transit visa is all we can afford (another guide country)
- Iran: up to a month if we can manage to be without a guide, mid September
- Turkey: 2 weeks?
- Greece and back to Bonn: up until the end of October / beginning of November.
So, with the Tibetan borders closed and our Tajikistan and Iran entries cancelled, then Tajikistan reinstated, we continued with:
- Tajikistan: the Pamir Highway! Around 2 weeks until end of September
- Kyrgyzstan: a couple of days’ transit
- Kazakhstan: 7 to 10 days, mainly transiting to Uralsk
- Russia: Maybe 2 weeks including a few days in Moscow
- Latvia, Lithuania, Poland: and back to Bonn: up until the end of October / beginning of November.
How did it all end up? Check out our Route Progress page