starting the paper work

Before moving to Brazil, in June 2011, we had been planning to motorcycle from London to Sydney via northern Asia.

Brazil (and work!) got on the way.

As part of my trip preparation, I had been learning Russian for 1 1/2 year. Very tough!
But as we came back to the UK late last year, I had to revive our plan. At least ride to Mongolia.

So I am taking lessons again. Across all of central Asia, and even in Mongolia, speaking a bit of Russian will come very useful. No one speak much English on those parts of the world!

This time, as I have little time, I am having one to one sessions with a great teacher! She is designing the course for my specific needs on the road. So I can ask my way round, find the border, find where and how to ask about buying local insurance for the bikes, food, shelter, we will cover all that.

Of course the hardest part is to understand the answer! 🙂

I have bought all the maps we need from Stanfords, in Covent Garden, I love that bookshop! I could spend hours looking at their maps and guides. These maps will help me with my planning. You see, I deal with all the logistic, while Alistair deals with the mechanic and bikes preparations, as well as the GPS (OSM maps to loads and lots of way-points to add). That will be essential in Mongolia, where there are virtually no roads.

Tomorrow I am sending my bike’s seat to get customised (lowered!). In January the bikes are going to the workshop to get checked, serviced, lots of parts replaced ….

That’s all for now on our preparations! добрый вечер!

our travel bikes (well mine, but the other is similar!)



The road to Mongolia

We bought our travel bikes. A couple of Hondas XR125. Small bikes, ideal for off road, which we have a lot of, once we leave Europe!

Preparations piling up, visas, vaccinations, routing, prepping up the bikes… We bought them on eBay!
My routing is not totally fixed but rough idea is Southern Europe, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan North to Russia, then into Mongolia. Then up to Irkutsz and trans Siberian to Moscow. And ride back home….
Of course the elephant in the room is getting a multiple entry business visa with Russia!
I will apply in the next few weeks! Finger crossed!

Mongolia trip

I have been investigating routing and visas.
The most important visa for us is to get a multi-entry business Russian visa as we will be in and out of Russia 3 times. It won’t be easy and some agency already sent me packing.

However, I know, from various motorcycle adventure contacts that it is possible to obtain… just need to pick the correct agency to help me on that!

Anyway, the route is more or less set by now. We will cross Europe via Ukraine, then into Russia.
Then we plan to ride south into Kazakhstan, and continue south East into Uzbekistan (another visa required!).
Then we will continue East into Tajikistan and we will ride the Pamir highway. That should be one of the highlights of the trip. Then into Kyrgyzstan and we will then turn North into Kazakhstan.
From Almaty, we will cross Kazakhstan from south to North into Russia, before getting finally in Mongolia.
We will cross Mongolia.

From UlaanBaatar, we would plan to get the bikes and ourselves into the Trans-Siberian to Moscow and ride back home.

Departure date is the 22d of April. We have 4 months in total and would like to be back home end of August.
Choice of bikes: 2 hondas XR125L. Small but will be ideal once we get into the Stans and Mongolia.