Well there it is, our first month on the road! Time seems to move differently when travelling, our week used to have clear and set milestones like Monday kicking things off, Wednesday would come and go, sights were then set on Friday! Weekends always seems to fly by ridiculously fast and before I knew it, Monday was back.
Dave and I no longer work Monday to Friday at set times, in a set location. We do however, still have to work long hours to keep travelling. We work as freelance digital marketers and earn a wage for the next month just as we use to at home, only now we work in different places every day. Moving around so much affects the way time moves, for example in the last month we have:
- Travelled to 8 countries
- Ridden about 3,100 miles
- Stayed in 19 hotels
We feel as if we have been on the road for at least 2 months, we’re seeing and doing so much every day that time is flashing by. Although we are covering big distances daily and working in the evenings, things are relaxed. Instead of cramming loads of actives into the weekends like we use to, we can now spread the adventuring out right through the week! If we have a day off exploring we’ll need to put double the work time in the next day, which seems like a fair trade.
Quite a lot of questions have been coming through our Facebook page recently, so Ill cover three points here that come up very often..
Route: Where are you guys now and where are you going?
We are currently in Turkey, tonight we’re in a tiny town called Tercan. We rode from the West today for about 350km which took 5 hours with rest stops. Tomorrow we plan to reach Ardahan which is 312km away, we’ve picked this point as its close to the border of Georgia where we want to be on the 28th April. We have been moving pretty fast after our time in Cappadocia, where we had 2 nights off from travelling. Cappadocia has been our favourite part of Turkey, although Istanbul is a great place we prefer being in the outdoors rather in cities.
Next up is Georgia, this will be the first country neither of us have ever been to before. New horizons for both of us, which makes things a little more exciting. We’ll be in Georgia 3 nights moving North, and plan on crossing into Russia on the 1st May. This is our first entry into Russia and we’ll only be there a few days, then heading to; Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, co and back into Russia where we will be tackling the hardest riding of our trip.
Russia is somewhere we have always found spectacular, its such a huge place and packed full of different landscapes. Although we have done a lot of research about Russia, we still feel like we’re about to enter a whole new world. There is so much of Russia that is still untouched, massive stretches of plains where nature completely rules. This is something neither Dave or I have seen before, its one of the few places on Earth which is still truly wild.
Navigation: How do you navigate, which device?
This is something we get asked a lot on our social media, many of the people that have contacted us are planning to do trips very similar to ours. Either travelling by bike, 4X4 or campervan! Its amazing to be able to chat with these people and hear their expedition plans.
Before setting off on this trip we mostly planned for off road navigation, as that’s where we’ll be 80% of the time. For the off road section we each have a Garmin Etrex 30 in a ram holder. We can also run the GPX files on our phones.
For on road we are just using the first offline map navigation app we found, I use one called Sygic on my Iphone6. I would really recommend it. You can download the maps for a country when you’re on wifi and you are then able to use the app fully offline. Once plotting my route the app gives times, distances, fuel stops, speed limits and so on. I paid £12 for the year and use it every day, bargain!
Problems: Have you encountered any big problems so far?
We have had a few problems so far, nothing massive but all took some sorting out!
The first was in Italy when we were making our way down a motorway at about 65mph when my back tyre blew out. It was pretty scary. I was in the fast lane overtaking when I noticed my handlebars were swaying side to side slightly. I started to slow and the slight movement turned into a big one within a few seconds. Dave called it the tank slapper move! The bike slowed quickly and came to a complete stop. Luckily the cars behind me had seen what was happening and stayed way back. One car pulled across the 3 lanes to stop the traffic. I was able to move my bike to the hard shoulder, what a lifesaver. We were carrying a spare tube and the replacement took about 30 minutes! You can watch the video episode of our Italian adventure here!
Secondly and not to do with the bikes, my laptop blew up! Well not literally, but it died. This was a real panic attack moment as I need to work on my laptop every day to keep travelling. We had to backtrack 4 hours to the nearest big city and buy a new one, which we really could not afford but had little choice. I am now working away on a little £150 laptop, which is doing just fine!
Thirdly my extra fuel tank on the bottom on my sump guard started leaking petrol about two days ago, which was bad news. My tanks work on suction, so all need to be completely sealed to work. After further inspection it turns out it was just a worn Oring, a new one is now in place.
We have had such an amazing time so far. Everyone has been welcoming and we’ve made some friends for life already. Tomorrow is onwards to another new town. Soon we will be entering Georgia, let the next section of the adventure begin!
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