the path to discovery…….

So if you’re reading this it means I have captured your attention long enough in my first post to pique your interest in this adventure I’ve decided to embark on. Well done to you and well done to me.

So let’s move on. As you might have guessed from the map, my trip this time will take me across 20 or so borders exploring the largest land mass on the planet, Eurasia. As the name suggests this is the conglomeration of Europe and Asia which stretches from Siberia in the East through to Portugal in the West. Technically it includes all the islands surrounding as well like Japan and the United Kingdom but for all intents and purposes let’s just say it’s all the bits you can ride a bike on.

Eurasia covers around 55,000,000 square kilometres (21,000,000 sq mi), or around 36% of the Earth’s total land area and approximately 70% of the world’s population live there. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean to the south.

Version 1 (I say that because there probably will be many) of the plan is to ship my bike to Busan in South Korea from Brisbane where I live in the May of 2017. While it sails the 26 odd days through Indonesia to Singapore then the South China Sea and East China Sea to South Korea, I’ll fly to Tokyo, Japan to begin my travels with a bit of traditional backpacker sightseeing. I’ll travel south any way that suits down to Fukuoka where I’ll catch the ferry over to Busan to be reunited with my two-wheeled travelling companion. From here, I’ll take the scenic route through South Korea via Seoul to Dong Hae on the west coast for another ferry ride to Vladivostok.  This is where the rubber hits the road for real and apart from the ferry across the Caspian Sea, my wheels will continue to turn all the way to London.

I think listing the specifics of the route before I begin is both lengthy and time consuming (and probably a bit hard to follow for you the reader) and maybe even a little bit fraught with danger by jinxing it. What I will do is talk about some of my must-go places that will make this whole journey truly memorable.

Lake Baikal, Southern Siberia

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, holding approximately 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. It’s also the deepest at over 1.6km down. Clearly visible from space, it stretches over 600km long and 70km wide and is considered to be the world oldest lake at around 25 million years old. Being landlocked also means it is one  the clearest bodies of water in the world with visibility up to 40m on clear days. Frozen in the dead of winter from January to May, I should arrive soon after the thaw.

Lake Baikal Collage.PNG

Pamir Highway

Known today as the M41 highway, it traverses the Pamir Mountains through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan before dipping into Afghanistan. I’ll be jumping off before I get to Afghanistan though for obvious reasons. I don’t think appearing on CNN as the latest Taliban trophy is the sort of publicity I need. It’s one of the highest altitude international highways in the world at over 4500m. As you can see from the pictures though, the term highway means different things in different countries!

Pamir Highway Collage.PNG

Caspian Sea

It’s the world’s largest inland body of water and is often listed as the world’s largest lake, though it is not a freshwater one like Lake Baikal. Due to the large inflows from rivers in the north from Russia, the northern end of the Caspian Sea is fresh and the southern Iranian end is about 1/3 the saltiness (if that’s a word) of seawater. It’s best known however for being one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world, with extraction dating back to as early as the 1870’s.

Caspian Sea Collage.PNG

Moscow, Russia

Not the first destination in mind by many when planning an overseas holiday but a rich and diverse history nonetheless and I have a real interest in learning more. Growing up in the 80’s in the midst of the East vs West Cold War era, all the bad guys in movies were Russian and our perception of Russia and Moscow were one of a cold and bleak existence where your life consisted of vodka, ushankas (you know, those fluffy ear flap caps) and driving poorly made Ladas. I hope to be proven grossly misinformed.

Moscow Collage.PNG

Nordkapp, Norway

If I’m going to cross the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland on my way around the Gulf of Bothnia toward Sweden and Norway, I may as well detour the extra 700km to Nordkapp, the northernmost point of Europe accessible by road. All of Scandinavia really is going to be a highlight I think. I have been compiling a list of what is considered to be the world’s greatest driving/riding roads and many of them are here.

Scandinavian Collage.PNG


Being a certified car and bike nut, I can hardly go anywhere near Germany without visiting the many manufacturers originating from here. I’m also looking forward to digging further into my own Eastern European ancestry while in the area. Chasing the ultimate ride once more through the world’s most famous and picturesque mountain range of the Alps before more automotive nirvana in Italy with some fanboy sightseeing of the supercar marques.

Europe Collage.PNG

The Destination

One of the real reasons for getting this adventure off the ground with the blessing of my ever understanding wife is the end goal of meeting her in the UK when I arrive. Having family there, I know she has been desperate to get back there to reconnect with her brothers and their families. So this brings me to the first of what I expect to be many ‘Top Tips’ in planning and executing the trip of a lifetime.


Top Tip No.1.PNG


So there you have it. Next post in the can. During the next 12 months of planning, I will be regularly posting more route planning, bike prep, gear selection and general all-round ramblings. Once the journey starts, I will post more regularly and whenever wi-fi allows to take you all with me. So tell your friends, bookmark this page and stay tuned.

‘one day’ never comes….

I turned 42 recently. Forty-two. I’ve never been that hung up about getting old. It’s just a number I thought. Nothing really changes. Even when I reached the milestone 40 it wasn’t that big of a deal. Yet something is different this year.

I don’t think it’s a mid-life crisis though. With a full head of hair, I’m a few years off a comb-over or a ill-fitting rug and being happily married with 3 beautiful children, I don’t have the urge to buy a flashy convertible and chase women half my age. There was something of a switch that flicked in my head this year that made me want to take the next exit off the roundabout of life. Work, family, eat, sleep, repeat seemed to be the norm. I felt like I was just waiting for the next occasion, the next birthday, the next 2 weeks off. It may have something to do with the realization that unless you have been a shrewd investor in real estate and the stock market or won the lottery, 42 is about half way through your working life. If you believe in the 7yr cycle of life, 42 is the end of one and the beginning of the next cycle in the twilight era of your ‘spiritual childhood’.

And Elvis died on the toilet when he was 42. I think there’s something in that for all of us.

I came back from a family Xmas trip to NZ this year with a different outlook on travel than I had in the past. The last few trips where more ordeal than holiday with toddlers and babies and sickbags and prams as oversized luggage. This time I returned with an awakened thirst for travel and a strange yearning to see more of the world. Now a trip across the ditch hardly parallels the exploits of Columbus or Magellan in discovering new lands but there was enough of the escape from normal life that made me want more. Seeing some of the natural beauty of our nearest neighbour like Franz Joseph Glacier (above) really got the adventurous juices flowing. The funny thing was, until recently, (and my good friends will testify to this) spending thousands of dollars on travelling overseas and coming back with only memories and the odd trinket in your suitcase was not for me. If I had slaved and saved for months or years for money, I wanted something tangible, something material to show for it.

This is not to say I am totally averse to travel. Far from it. Apart from enjoying riding motorcycles because well, its riding motorcycles (what’s left to say), I have a particular passion for Adventure Motorcycling. A mixture of road and off road travelling on a bike that lends itself to both. It’s about riding to new places, seeing new things, meeting new people, and having new experiences. Up until now, my adventures on two wheels, two in total, lasted about 10 to 12 days. Nothing ground breaking or worthy of an entry in Guiness Book of Records. Simple expeditions, one south and one north, seeking out as many of the exciting and scenic driving/riding roads around this big beautiful land of ours. Something to look forward to for a holiday without breaking the bank. All the while not straying too far from civilisation, a comfy bed and shower and ample supply of fuel.


Black Mountain Rd, Cairns, Far North Queensland


These trips had always left me wanting more and the idea of going on that one epic bike adventure, the type of adventure made famous by the likes of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their ‘Long Way Round’ journey and Lyndon Poskitt on his ‘Races to Places’ series, began to develop in the Fairytales section of my brain. That portion of ones brain reserved for dreaming of how you would spend your lotto winnings, what you would say when a cute girl came onto you in a bar or envisioning the trail of destruction you leave behind after telling your boss where to jam his job. You know, Daydreamland. It was a ‘one day’ thing.

The planets seemed to start aligning the more I thought about it. I became eligible to take a portion of my long service leave from work this year. The kids are old enough to be semi self-sufficient so leaving my wife with sole parenting duties to maybe go off and discover myself wasn’t going to render me divorced with an exorbitant solicitors bill and my belongings strewn all over the front lawn when I return. It took me 6 weeks or so to find the right time and courage to bring up my plan with my wife to gauge her reaction. I’m happy to report she was responsive to it all with an answer of ‘show me how we can do it’.

So with middle age upon me, a desire to see parts of this world still considered to be frontier country, a bike sort-of up to the task and a wife that somehow understands and endorses such tomfoolery, I have decided ‘one day’ never comes and have begun to plan my biggest trip to date (by far).

Stay tuned…………….