Epic adventure from UK to Australia
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 30, 2012 8:47 AM Last Post By: Wasabijim11
Mar 22, 2012 4:02 PM
Epic adventure from UK to AustraliaDear sir/madam
My friend and I wish to cycle from the UK to Australia, starting late June this year. We plan to cycle to Baku , Azerbaijan then fly across the Caspian see to Turkmenistan. Then we will continue on via Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to China via a tiny border crossing in the mountains of Tajikistan. From space(Google maps) the border crossing looks tiny, is it passable( it has coordinates 38.141037, 74.805908) ? From here we plan to cross the Khunjerab pass into Pakistan and India. If we arrive in Tashkurgan in late September/early October will the Khunjerab pass be passable by bike? What temperatures should we expect? Furthermore is this a reasonable estimate for time?(we are decent enough cyclists and in previous tours in Europe we averaged 110km a day.) From Pakistan we wish to cross India and fly across Myanmar to Thailand from Nepal/Bhutan, Then we shall cycle down through Malaysia island hoping until we reach Australia. Is this feasible and achievable reasonably cheaply (we have £12000 between us not including the flights back)? Is it safe enough for two 18 year old male Brits? Are visa's an issue (one of us has British Citizenship the other dual German/American)? or can we get them easily enough at border crossings or the embassies in countries down the road?
Thank you very much for your time and help.
Edited by: fschack
Mar 22, 2012 6:19 PM
1I think that border crossing is locals only. No big deal, you can go into Kyrgyzstan, then from there into China.
Visas need some planning through Central Asia. Generally you pick them up at a prior country - e.g. you might try and get Turkmen and Uzbek visas in Baku.
Some visas are particularly problematic - e.g. Turkmenistan used to severely limit your time there. Pakistan I think requires you to be in your home country when you apply. The problem with that is timing - you can't always ask for one 6 months ahead of time. Often 3 months out is the max.
Mar 23, 2012 9:02 AM
2There are lots of journals out there written by people who've done this. Start by looking at Crazyguyonabike, but there are many others.
You can't cross from taj to China - you have to go via Kirgyzstan.
I'd recommend going via Iran. It's very safe and a great place to cycle, and it means that you can do a much shorter crossing of Turkmenistan - you'll probably only get 5 days on a transit visa - that traverse is the only one doable in that time. It also means that if you think you won't get to the KKH before it closes you could go direct to Pakistan, although you probably wouldn't be allowed to ride all of it.
Visas for Iran however are very difficult - you'll need to research how best to get one. Most of the cental asian visas are difficult too, especially Turkmentistan and Uzbekistan. Kirgyzstan and Tajikistan are easy but expensive.
It's a bit touch and go whether the KKH will be open when you get there, but you can't ride over the pass anyway.
Yes, it's safe enough but you need to do your homework to avoid dangers along the way, especially in Pakistan.
Mar 23, 2012 3:41 PM
Mar 23, 2012 4:32 PM
4Thanks for the replies I think I'll visit a couple of embassies in London and ask about the visas for Pakistan and Turkmenistan. Ill ask in the Tajik or Chinese embassies about the crossing to see if they can confirm it one way or another. Iran is an interesting possibility however ive heard heard that the security in the south near the border with Pakistan is so bad that compulsory convoys are required, which if true is something id like to avoid. Can anyone clarify the feasibility of crossing Iran and Pakistan without having to travel in a bus for a significant distance? Thanks again for the links and replies.
Mar 26, 2012 4:47 AM
Mar 30, 2012 8:47 AM
6your route is similar in some places to the 'new' silk road train journeys that are appearing, some of the operators may be a good staring point for visas.
I only say this because i've been flicking thu matterial on this. otherwise good luck boys! i'd maybe suggest getting more travel experince under your belt - biking and non-biking trips to similar places, but some times the only way to know how do do something is to do it...
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