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Leg one - Europe
My route across Europe is vaguely planned. I will take the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, then cycle south east through Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and finally to Istanbul, Turkey.
Leg two - western and central Asia
In Turkey I will generally stick to the south coast of the Black Sea. I will be crossing Turkey in high summer, so staying hydrated will be important.
I will cross the beautiful Caucasus mountain range in Georgia and Azerbaijan, en route to Baku.
Baku is the doorway to the central Asian "Stans". From Baku, access to Iran for Canadians, British and Americans is restricted. British passport holders must now have a guide for the entirety of their stay.
Instead, I will cross the Caspian via ferry to Aktau, Kazakhstan. From Aktau I will cycle north east to the Uzbekistan international border crossing at Tajen, then south-east towards Samarkand. Between Aktau and Samarkand I will pass between the relatively unpopulated Kyzlkum and Karakum deserts.
Dushanbe marks the beginning of the legendary Pamir highway, a 2038km partially paved road which traverses Tajikistan. I will follow the Pamir to its conclusion in Sary-Tash, Kyrgyzstan.
Ideally from Sary-Tash I would turn east into China and make my way to India via Pakistan and the Karakoram highway. Unfortunately the rules for Chinese visa applications state that you must apply for a visa in their country of residence (the U.K for me) but cannot apply more than three months before your intended date of travel. It will take longer than three months for me to reach China from the U.K, meaning that the only way for me to get a visa would be to fly home upon reaching China, procure a visa and fly back out again. This same rule applies to procuring Indian visa's. Flying home would be expensive and time consuming, and I would rather spend the extra time and money exploring some of the many other fascinating places en route. Therefore, I will cycle north from Sary-Tash around the Issyk Kul lake and fly to Northern India from Bishkek.
Leg three - India and south-east Asia
My India and south-east Asia routes are roughly planned. In India I will stay as far north as possible, where the roads are less busy and the temperature is cooler.
South-east Asia beckons. Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore.
Leg Four - Australia and New Zealand
I will likely fly from Singapore to Darwin. Flying to Darwin rather than Perth will provide a wild ride through the rugged outback and allow me to see the beautiful east coast of Australia.
Another flight will take me from Sydney to Invercargill, New Zealand. Cycling in South Island is one of the motivations for this expedition, so reaching it will be a special moment.
A hop, skip and a ferry will take me to North Island, and finally Auckland.