Its a romantic notion – we could just get off the ferry and pedal east until we reach the Pacific Ocean. But in doing this we might miss some places we want to visit along the way, hit a few blocked borders and run out of time and money. Much staring at maps later, we’ve come up with a rough sketch of countries that we’d like to head through over the next year or two. It gets hazier as we go on, but should give you a good idea of what lies ahead.
March – April 2010: UK / North West Spain / Pyrenees
Depending on weather vs levels of excitement we may cycle from London down to Portsmouth for our ferry on the 24th. In Spain we’ve allowed five weeks to get across the length of the Pyrenees. As that’s ample time we’ll first head west to Picos de Europa and might amble west a bit further / head inland towards Madrid / stride out for Portugal.
We’ll stick to the South but won’t stick too closely to the coast. With some days up our sleeves we may head into Switzerland or get into Italy before the end of the month. Or we’ll find a good spot to go swimming for a couple of weeks.
June: Italy or Italy / Croatia
July / August: Med
Option A: Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Serbia – Bulgaria – Istanbul
The many countries option – we’d get away from the sea and head into some of the countries we know little about.
Option B: Greece through to Istanbul
The coastal route – a quick hop by ferry at Bari or Brindisi in Southern Italy to Greece before continuing East along the landmass of Greece.
September / October: Turkey
We’ll hang out in Istanbul for a while, decide where to spend winter and finalise plans for the next leg. Should be able to fit in some exploring of Turkey by bicycle. We could high-tail it from here across Russia by train at this point but chances are we’ll stick around for the winter.
November – March / April: Wintering
We’re keen to spend a ski season working in Bulgaria (or any other big snow filled mountains in Europe). Know anyone who would have us? Get in touch!
Spring 2011: Onwards to Asia
Our options are either Central Asia towards Tibet and the west side of China or Eastern Europe / Russia / Mongolia / China, some of that by train. Cycling the length of Mongolia sounds pretty amazing so we’re leaning that way at the moment. After China (which we haven’t even thought about yet) we’ll head for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, hopping off the bikes by March 2012 at the latest.