Since it’s been two or three weeks since I decided to go on this adventure, I’ve already started planning. Here’s what I’ve decided so far.
The biggest question is what route I’m going to take to Sydney and then on through the Americas. Well, the general route is through France, across Switzerland and the Alps to Italy, then to Brindisi where I’ll get the ferry to Greece, then through Turkey to Ankara where I’ll fly to either Pakistan or India, then since most of Myanmar is still not accessible to tourists, I’ll fly to Bangkok and cycle down Thailand and Indonesia, island hopping to Darwin, then finally right through the middle of Australia via Uluru and the big south eastern cities to Sydney. In Sydney I’ll work for a year to earn some more money, before flying across the pacific either to South America to cycle up Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia and through central America to the US and New York, or I’ll fly to San Francisco and cycle across just the US.
The next biggest consideration is where to stay each night. I can probably cycle on the relatively flat about 50 to 60 miles per day, six days a week, occasionally pushing it to 70 or 80 miles if I need to. I can either stay in hotels or hostels and not have as much luggage (although a Brompton will still need a trailer), or take camping things. Any trailer I get will have ample space to also take camping equipment, the only difference being the weight, but the difference in cost between staying in hostels and cheap hotels or camping will make a huge difference on how much extra spending money I have for touristy things. So on that basis, I’m going to spend most of the time camping, only staying in hostels or hotels in big cities where campsites are a long way out of the centre. Or when I feel like a bit of relative luxury and a hot shower!
Stanfords map shop in Covent Garden is an excellent resource for world maps, stocking maps from just about every country in the world. In the haste of excitement following my initial decision I went and bought maps for France, and got the cycling specific 1:100,000 maps. These are great, except I ended up needing about twelve of them to plan the full journey across to Switzerland. At £5 each that’s the sort of money I was hoping not to spend. So for Italy I bought the ‘touring’ 1:400,000 scale maps, which also included the parts of Switzerland I need. These are adequate for my needs, showing the minor roads as well as the major ones I’d rather not cycle down.
Using the France and Italy maps I’ve planned my entire route day by day from London to Brindisi in the ‘heal’ of Italy. Details to follow in the next post soon.