Landsdowne Road to Twickenham Stadium – Promo cycle ( 6 days)
We leave from Lansdowne Road and cycle south to Rosslare fery port. Taking the ferry to Pembroke port we cycle across to the Millennium Stadium, then through West England to Twickenham staium.
Twickenham Stadium to Istanbul – Phase 1 (approx 12 weeks)
Chosing a route was largely determined by cost rather than necessarily time. We would have loved to cycle through much of France, but we also wanted to complete the European leg of our trip in as shorter time as possible. This would help scale down the overall cost of the trip. Despite trying to pitch up our tent wherever possible, there will be less opportunities to do this, until we are further away from Western Europe.
We will depart from Twickenham Stadium, SW London and cycle across town to Foots Cray RUFC, in SE London. From here we will head down the old A2, through the small towns of Kent, towards Dover. We will then take the ferry across to Calais.
From here we will nip across the top of France, into Belgium, then Germany, before traversing our way through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey.
Istanbul to Islamabad – Phase 2 (approx 12 weeks)
Due to the ongoing issues around the Middle East, our route is continually work in progress ! However, the most likely path at present is through Turkey – Iran – Pakistan. Due to conflicts and politics, most other paths are blocked. Alternatively we may take the ferry across the Black Sea, and through the numerous Stans before entering China.
Islamabad through to the Khunjerab Pass (Himalayas) into China – Phase 3 – (approx 6 weeks)
Our original thought was to cycle through India and Nepal and then through one of the many passes into Tibet. However, after a recent holiday to Everest Base Camp (and some very good local advice,) we have learned that those passes will not be accessable by bicycle at that time of year. With the problems in Afghanistan, our chosen path is cycling up through Pakistan taking the Karakoram Highway, to the Khunjerab Pass, the highest pass in the world at 4,693m into China.
China and South East Asia – Phase 4 (approx 16 weeks)
Having to enter China from the far West will mean our Mandarin should become pretty fluent by the time we exit south into Vietnam. Again, our route through this part of South East Asia will be dependent on time, funds, and our tolerance of rice dishes. Ideally we would like to explore south through Vietnam and Laos, then head North East back through Cambodia and Thailand into Bangkok.
From Bangkok, the route sets itself south into Maylasia. Here, we will take our chances with the notorious ferries across to Indonesia, and similarly as we island hop across the various islands to Timor.
At Timor – here ends the civilised world of land/sea public transport. Our plan relies partially on a shrimp fisherman who takes tourists as a bit of side business, and more realistically on a small Airnorth aircraft from Dili over to Darwin.
Darwin to Melbourne – Phase 5 (approx 10 weeks)
From Darwin we will head east, across the croc infested mangroves, and through the remote regions of Northern Queensland to Cairns. From this point we will essentially be following every other Greyhound and OzExperience bus down the coastal route to Sydney, and then down and around to Melbourne (……where we will stop for lunch…..)
Melbourne to RWC in Auckland – Phase 6 (approx 3 days)
We will fly from Melbourne to Auckland where we will cycle to the national stadium for a spot of rugby.