A slight change of plan…

So there we were, Mar 17th 2012. Our plan, the two of us cycle across Europe and basically head east until we get back to the UK.

Two things have now changed that will dramatically affect our entire journey.  One due to red tape, and the other is hard to find a real explanation for.

We’ll start with the red tape bull excrement that is taking over our lives at an exponential rate. After jumping through a million hoops, we eventually got our Iranian visas and started looking at applying for the Stan visas that would allow us to cross the Himalayas and enter India from Pakistan. The latter country is where the issue started. The visa application process has changed and you are now no longer allowed to apply for the Pakistan visa in a country other than that of your origin (England for us). Expensive flights back home, coupled with an unwillingness to fly home, meant that we had to re-evaluate our route. Now, as a result, we are completely changing our plans and heading south from Istanbul, through southern Turkey and into Egypt , then attempting to cycle the length of Africa, all the way to Cape Town. It’s all very exciting for us, but at the same time, we have to fit a hell of a lot of planning into a few days! Once we have finished cycling Africa, we aim to get back on to our original route and head over to India somehow (unless they change the Visa requirements for there as well).

 

Although this is a huge change of plan, we haven’t done it to take the ‘easy option’. Essentially, our choices were limited to three:

1. Cycling to China and flying to India

2. Cycling through thousands of miles of China during mid-winter, including it’s formidable deserts

3. Cycling the length of Africa, and passing through the Sahara desert during summer

After evaluating the above options, we concluded the following:

1. Even if the flights weren’t expensive, flying over land mass goes against the ‘rules’ set out in our journey. This route was not an option.

2. We know this has been done before, so it was definitely a possibility, but we were concerned about the lack of music through such a vast area. To couple that, the main driver behind our orignal route was to cycle through the Himalayas; not being able to pass through Pakistan meant we couldn’t officially go through the largest mountain range in the world, so a huge part of our motivation for that route was lost.

3. The masses of culture throughout Africa will undoubtably present us with a whole ensemble of music that is completely different to anything back home. In addition, it is much more appropriate for our charity, War Child, who have a large focus on Africa. Finally, the route will still be a physically challenging and mentally demanding one, which is something we feel is essential for our journey.

The second part is pretty extraordinary. Upon our arrival in Istanbul, we met an American (he claims) called Tobias. He was travelling around using public transport and planes; our meeting was purely by chance. After a few days of getting to know one another, Tobias was so into our journey that he has now decided to purchase a bike, load up some panniers and join us until at least SE Asia, and hopefully beyond (unless his perfectly formed American teeth get too much for us!). So, please welcome Tobias to the Daring Dynamos family with a donation and also please check out his profile to find out more about him.

Peace out xx

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Posted on July 11, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Good luck boys to another section of your journey – and Tobias isn’t actually American, he just has American teeth after having lived there for 18 years – he was born in Switzerland to an English mum (Swiss father, Italian Nonna) on 4th July…so hes a little bit of a mix breed..have a phenomenal journey and BE SAFE!

  2. Sounds even more perilous to us.
    G & GD

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