When we thought of doing this trip, a northern hemisphere summer round the world trip, we knew that we would be time and weather challenged but we both felt it was something we wanted to attempt.
Weather challenged we have certainly been for the past 2 months. We had hoped we would be late enough to ride up to Alaska but that was not to be. Winter across the USA, as it turns out this year, has been fierce and long and spring unseasonnably cold and wild. Instead we ended up going as far south as Arizona in pursuit of calmer and warmer weather but also to fill the time before our booked ferry trip to Vladivostok.
We certainly have had a great trip, enjoyed reconnecting with friends and family, making new friends, stumbled across gems we knew nothing about and simply letting fate or luck or whatever guide us to our next destination. But because of the freezing conditions, we have not camped as much as we had planned and accommodation has been horrendously expensive. While we have ridden in some pretty bad conditions, at the end of the day, if we want, comfort is never far, so long as we are prepared to use that plastic card… Having no fixed plan is something we have found we both enjoy. And yes, despite the weather, we’ve had a great trip so far.
But… yes a big ‘but’ I wanted to share with our faithful readers. There has been a lot of soul searching. The but relates to the next stage of our trip. Due to the constraint we have put on ourselves of completing the trip during a northern summer, and due to visa restrictions (ie being limited to 30 days to cross Siberia, Mongolia and out of Russia before getting to Kazakhstan), we will have to rush this next part, Vladivostok to Ulan-Baatar especially, a mere 4000kms to cover in 10 days. How do we feel about this constraint? At least we’ll have long riding days with late setting summer sun. Do we really want to do this trip? Do we want this pressure? We can always back out at any time anyway. Should we rather just go to Alaska now and spend more time in Canada? And of course there’s the news of our unstable world at the moment – North Korea firing missiles, terrorists anywhere and everywhere. Our thoughts go back and forth… What shall we do?…
Anyway, all this just to let you know that we did question whether we should or whether we wanted to continue with our RTW trip. After much soul searching and checking with each other, we have decided it is something we both would like to complete. We really only finally decided about a week ago. The main aim was to visit friends we had made on the last trip and next on the list now, we really want to return to Uzbekistan and Iran (Turkmenistan willing). And discover Mongolia.
When we handed the keys to Streak and Storm to Justin at BMW-Ducati in Vancouver, I felt my first pang of excitement towards our next stage. This RTW is happening!!! Of course I will have to wait until the plane lands in Seoul before I can get really excited.