the route

On the right you can see how the route planning is progressing on Google Maps. There have been a lot of lines on this the route has changed quite a bit.

The original thinking was to avoid China (as you cannot drive your own car through China alone, if you do manage, you need to pay more than its worth for a guide to escort you where they think you should go, and pay for them too). Instead we thought we'd ship from Thailand to India (as Burma is out of the question for driving) and go through Pakistan and Iran up to Turkey, but earlier this year Pakistan started looking very unattractive for two blondies and we decided not to chance it.

So we looked into a shorter route through China, going from India north through Nepal and up through Tibet & China to Kazakhstan. Unfortunately Tibet added a whole new layer of complication (and cost) to getting through to Kazakhstan, as permits are expensive and difficult to obtain for overlanders.

We inevitably realised if we wanted to do this safely, and reduce the risk of being refused entry when we rocked up on borders in our deranged fire truck, we needed to suck up the Chinese bureaucracy and make the most of it. So we found an overland tour company and negotiated them down to their lowest cost, a mere $6k for 28 days of having a stranger in the car! Lets see how that goes.

The route and timings is now shaping up like this:

We leave early January and travel down the coast to Melbourne. We'll also get across Bass Strait on The Spirit of Tasmania and spend 9 days on the Island. Then back to Victoria, through SA, maybe up to Uluru and then
double back to get to the West Coast, making our way up to Darwin by the end of March. Ship the car to Singapore.

Once the car's on the boat, we'll fly to Indo (maybe Bali or Lombok) and have 2 weeks chilling out. Then we'll fly to Singapore to pick up the car.

It's an Island, there's a causeway. Just a few days here to sort the car out and maybe pick up our Kazakhstan Visas.

Around Mid April we'll have 4 weeks to explore Malaysia. Maybe sort the remainder of our SE Asian Visas and our China Visa. Most SE Asian countries, have Visa services at border checkpoints, but they advise to get them in advance or you risk overpaying, being denied the same entry time etc.

From Mid May to Early June. No plans yet but we've allowed about 4 wks here for anyone who's planning a winter break from Australia (or a summer break from the UK!)

We're exploring the idea of catching a boat down the Mekong into Vietnam. However, you can't take your car into Vietnam, so we'd need a reliable car sitter/lockup in Cambodia for a week to be able to do this.

If the stars align we'd love to have a car free week traveling around the south of Vietnam. But with the advance visa and the need for a reliable car sitter, we might have to wait and see. Back to Cambodia for another week or so will take us up to the end of June/early July.

From Cambodia we'll wind all the through Laos from South to North over about 3 weeks, arriving at the Chinese border towards the end of July.

Our Guide will meet us at the Laos/China border at Mohan. We have an organised 'tour' through China fro 28 days, which ends at Khorgos on the border of Kazakhstan, north near Urumqi in China. The tour incorporates the Silk Road, the Great Wall, and importantly the Chengdu Sports Centre, home of Sheffield United's Chinese brother team, the Chengdu Blades.

The 9th largest country in the world. We're told to expect the worst roads in the world, and then times them by 10. We'll stay relatively south in Kazakhstan visiting Almaty, Astana, the Aral Sea, the Caspian Sea then entering Russia south near Astrakahn around Mid Sept.

View Road Trip of a Lifetime in a larger map

check out what other overlanders get up to




Make a Free Website with Yola.