There are a few questions that keep cropping up so I’ll do my my best to answer them here. Any that are missing just email and let me know.
Q. How long did it take?
A. Nine months.
Q. Did you think it would take you that long?
No, originally I thought maybe fourt months, or five. What made it so much longer was the bureaucracy; waiting in places for visas, waiting for boats to sail etc. I’m sure though had I organised any of this before setting off then it could easily have been done in that originally estimated time. After all, you can pay to do that route on a bus that claims to do it in three months!
Q. How much did it cost?
A. I budgeted AU$8000 but it cost a bit more. Dorothy was $1700, the Carnet (the document to take her abroad) $1,000, shipping to East TImor $500, insurance $500, getting around Burma $1,000, getting around Iran $2000, average of $10 a day to live on; $2700. That totals AU$9,400, which I think is still a little less than what it actually cost. But in a way that’s not too bad. Had I done it on a big bike it could easily have cost twice as much.
Q. Where did you sleep?
I carried a tent but was a little hesitant to use it early on, preferring cheap guesthouses which are easy to find in more parts of the world. It was only a month or so in to the trip that I began using the tent more, sleeping ‘wild’, which simply means out of sight of anyone, often in fields or behind hedges by the side of the road. I also slept in bus shelters, on beaches, in national parks,… anywhere I could find at the end of a day’s ride.
Q. Where did you charge your electrics?
A. If I was sleeping wild for a good few nights in a row of course this was difficult, but to be honest such times were few and far between. Across most of Indonesia for example I slept in cheap guesthouses where on an evening I’d make sure everything was re-charged. In Thailand and India I almost always stayed in guesthouses so there was no problem there either.
Q. What was your favourite country?
A. Probably Thailand as it’s the best compromise for interst, ease and cost. It’s just such a perfect place to ride. I also enjoyed the riskier countries such as East Timor and Pakistan, simply because I didn’t know what to expect and actually found them on the whole to be really friendly, especially Pakistan. Worst country, or countries, was Europe, simply because of the roads.
Q. What did you eat?
A. I ate whatever I could really. Sometimes that was just biscuits, other times cheap noodle dishes from a stall. For the most part I didn’t carry any cooking equipment so it was just a case of finding something when I got hungry. I’d also carry bottled water, and as I said biscuits, and I don’t think if I did it again I’d take cooking equipment simply because stopping for food at the places local people use is all part of the experience. These were the times I did most of my interaction.
Q. What about fuel?
A. No problem at all really. The biggest stretches without were across the Outback which could be as much as 250 kilometres. Though even that wasn’t a worry because with the two fuel tanks on Dot I could travel 330 kilometres between fill ups. Places like Pakistan, India and Thailand have petrol stations every miles, or so it sometimes seems. The only place I did struggle was in the far eastern reaches of Indonesia where petrol was dispensed from glass bottles by the roadside. Dot never ran very well on this stuff. I think it was watered down.
Q. What did I enjoy the most?
A. The freedom but also the simpleness of my life, for the most part, during that time. Waking up every morning and knowing what I had to do was the best feeling. Just getting up and riding everyday. Also meeting people, both the locals and the other travellers. This perhaps is the best part of the experience, because if I’m honest I wasn’t that inteerested in the tourist attractions and other sites. I more enjoyed meeting the people.
to be continued….