Planned route 2014 - 2015
The first time we hardly gave it a thought. We wanted to go to Africa and that was what we did. This time however, it cost us a good deal of trouble to determine our destination. Circumnavigating Australia or driving the legendary Alaska to Tierra del Fuego were some of our great plans, but despite our enthousiasm we kept postponing the final dicision. Expensive shipping, awkward quarantine rules and the outlook of many cold evenings in Alaska and Patagonia made us hesitate and then there is also the "western" karakter of many countries on these routes. Comfort is convenient, but also less adventurous. Being honest to ourselves we had to admit that Africa and Asia were more appealing to us; but we had already been there......or didn't we? What if we would try to drive all the way to South East Asia without shipping the car? That would mean crossing Myanmar or China. Both countries are difficult to visit with a foreign vehicle but, as we soon discover, not impossible. After only a few emails we receive a positive conformation about joining an organised tourgroup through Myanmar in the beginning of 2015 and also a trip through China seems very well possible. Through www.chinaoverland.eu we succeed in forming a group of 5 vehicles which makes traversing China an affordable alternative. We choose to travel through China and again the map of the world is unfolded. New worlds are discovered and the decision to travel to China through Central Asia and Mongolia is soon made. Our journey will partly follow the old Silk Route from Istanbul to Xian. From Turkey, where we will visit the Kurdisch part this time, we will travel through Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia to the Chinese border where we will meet our fellow travellers at the 24th of September. In 30 days we will then travel from Mongolia, across China to Laos. From there onwards we will visit Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. If this will be the end our journey, we do not know yet. Maybe, when the circumstances allow us, we will continue travelling for another 6 months. If so we would love to return to Africa. Maybe shipping the car to Cape Town and drive back home along the West coast. Who knows what the future will bring.
Travelling is something we do day by day.
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. - Albert Einstein -
Driven route 2007 - 2008
Typical for our travelling: it always goes different than planned. This aspect definitely applies to our adventure. The trip from the Netherlands through the Middle East along the Eastern Route to South Africa was according our plans. It took a exactly 10 months to travel this route. However on arrival in South Africa there was a change of plans. After 10 months of Africa, we had seen enough wild animals, nature and beautiful landscapes and decided not to go to Australia anymore. We will save a visit to this continent for later. After Africa we would no this country just and anjoy it as much as we would love to. It would be more of the same. We both wanted something different. No beautiful landscapes and western facilities anymore, but new adventures in a busy crazy world. We decided to ship the car to India and from there we drove back to Holland, crossing India, Nepal, Pakistan and Iran. A choice we do not regret. I took us three months to drive this route and it led us through some unique countries. This part of the trip was one big adventure. Due to the lack of privacy and facilities it was much more intensive and tiring than Africa. In total we have been travelling for 14 months driven two classic overland routes. The famous Cape to Cairo and the old hippie route from Istanbul to Kathmandu. And Australia, ........ after this great trip this country is now at the top of our list.
Actual driven route 2014 - 2015
Central Asia was an amazing adventure and untill Bangkok we travelled as planned. Well that is, we skipped Malaysia. Due to unrests on the border between Thailand and Malaysia not Kuala Lumpur but Bangkok became our final destination for part one of this trip. But where to next? With the ebola crisis in western Africa and Boko Haram making troubles in Nigeria it was unwise and almost impossible to follow our initial plan of driving the African Westcoast back to the Netherlands. We needed to make new plans and Australia and South America crossed our minds but the memories of the beauties of Africa kept haunting us. In December our decision was final. We followed our hearts and shipped the car to Cape Town. For the duration of the shipping we rented an appartment on Phuket where we celebrated a tropical Christmas and New Year. After 10 months on the road it was great to be at one spot for a while and to have decent roof over our heads again, but 1 months was long enough. End of January, after 7 years, we finally set foot on African soil again for another 4 adventerous months through Southern Africa. We visited both known and unknown places but most of all we enjoyed Africa's wonderfull nature and countless beautiful and unsurpassed campsites. Going back to Africa was the right dicision and returning to Cape Town made the circle complete. Not only for us but also for Laura and Vegter, our travel friends with whom we enjoyed great African adventures on our first trip in 2007. Once more we met on the continent that had become so special to us all and together we shipped our cars back to Rotterdam.
Planned route 2007 - 2008
For us choosing a route was pretty easy. On top of our list was Africa. We have visited the continent a few times and we really fell in love with it. Besides that, for us Africa is by far the most adventures continent to cross with a 4x4. What can beat a bush camp and waking up in the morning with from your roof tent a stunning view over plains and bush land with wild animals. Second on our list is Australia. We would love to go there once, but until now our holidays have not been long enough to visit this continent. So, our basic plan was born; we will travel through Africa and Australia. As we want to visit two continents and we don't want to hurry, we had to skip the idea of crossing the whole of Africa, it will therefore either be the Western route through Morocco or the Eastern route. Also this choice was pretty easy. We immediately choose the Eastern route. Driving this way we will have to travel through the Middle East and especially Jordan is one of the countries we would love to visit. So our plan is as follows: somewhere during the second part of March 2007 we will set off. We will travel through South/East Europe, Turkey and the Middle East to Africa. We will enter Africa through Egypt. After Sudan we will visit the countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. Somewhere in the South of Africa we will ship the car by container to Australia. We expect that by that time we will be travelling for about one year. As shipping to Australia will take some weeks we will then return to the Netherlands to visit family and friends. In Australia our plan is to drive a big "S", driving up one coast, driving south again through the centre and then driving op the other coast, in which order we do not know yet. In Australia we expect to be for at least half a year and if at the end we still have money or more important spirit left we perhaps, will drive back to Europe through Asia.
What do we like, where is it safe, how do the weather seasons fit in and what are the costs? It is mainly these four questions that determine our answer to the most crucial question of all: "where do we go?" Defining the route you want to travel is not only necessary to determine what preparations must be done, but it is also very important for the anticipatory pleasure.
Below you will find the routemap of our current journey to South East Asia as well as the routemap of our planned and driven route for our previous journey to Africa en Asia.
2007 - 2008 Planned route
Netherlands - Cape Town (through East Africa) and Australia
2007 - 2008 Actual driven
Netherlands - Cape Town (through East Africa) and India - Netherlands
2014 - 2015 Planned route
Netherlands - Bangkok (through Central Asia) and Cape Town - Netherlands
2014 - 2014 Werkelijk gereden route
Netherlands - Bangkok (through Central Asia) and Southern Africa