THE PROPOSED ROUTE
THE ACTUAL ROUTE
SO THINGS DIDN’T QUITE GO TO PLAN
After seven months on the road, we thought we better update the Route page, as it’s a little wrong... In all honesty, it was wrong after week three. We had planned to go directly through France into Italy, but after a heavy bout of cold rain, we headed to the sunny south coast of France for a week’s holiday instead. You’ll also notice that we chose to go to Latvia and Estonia rather than Finland. That was literally a last-minute decision, made at the time of booking our ferry, or not as it turned out, to Finland.
Then the big change happened. This one was a tough one to take. The visa mishap in Russia meant we had to leave immediately. Well, after a long, drawn-out court case. Since we didn’t already have our Mongolian visas, and you can’t get one on arrival, we had to come up with another plan – and quick. We were heartbroken. Mongolia was one of the countries we were most excited for.
After frantically googling countries that offer visas on arrival, it was in a taxi ride across Moscow where we decided to fly to Nepal. India was in our original plan, but since we didn’t have visas for there either, Nepal seemed like the gateway back to The Slow Race route. Except it wasn’t just a gateway, we ended up spending three-months there.
In Nepal we debated a lot about where to go after India. The original plan was to go overland for most of the trip. Now we were stuck in India, having to fly somewhere. Again. But where?
China didn’t interest us anymore. It doesn’t feel right going to Myanmar. And we’ve both backpacked around the rest of South East Asia, although we admit it would be totally different by bike. Then, just before we exited Nepal, everything fell into place. We came up with a route that excited us both so much, we couldn’t sleep for two nights after booking the flights: East Africa.
The next nine months will see us cycle around India, pop to Dubai to see Dan’s cousin, then fly to Kenya. From there we’ll pedal through to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. After that we’ll fly from Zanzibar to Sydney for a week, to spend Jen’s 30th with some friends, before finally landing in Auckland. Once here, we’ll ride the Tour Aotearoa, a 3,000km trail from the most northern to the most southern tip of New Zealand. Then it’s probably time to get a job.
The end is a long way off still, so we don’t want to think about jobs just yet. All we will say is that if we’ve learned one thing, it’s that having a sixteen-month plan is all well and good to get you started, but be prepared to change it in week three.