Last night, it was about 4am when I finally fell asleep.
Could be down to the very good doppio ristretto I had at Fix at 3pm. Or to my overland Vientiane-to-London trip planning in the evening.
I started by leafing through our oversized atlas. Looking for the best way through Asia and Central Asia. Spotting the amazing things to see along the road.
Then I realised two things: that Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are in the way; and that, since I want to avoid China (I’ve already given it three years of my life, and my upcoming book might not go down well), I may have to go pretty high up in the Himalayas.
I wouldn’t mind avoiding either.
Which is a problem, because there’s no way out of Laos other than through either China, Afghanistan or Pakistan (without mentioning Myanmar) and the highest mountain chain in the world.
The only solution, as far as I can fathom, is to ship the bike on a train to somewhere and fly there. I’ll have to work out where to find info on railway freight. And which place is best to start from.
Oulan-Baator is a possibility. Or one of the Central Asian capitals, like Dushanbe.
To get a better idea of distance, I then googlemaped my prospective itinerary. It goes a bit like this: Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, France and the UK. A lot of border crossings, and a hell of a lot of miles.
Piece of cake, really.
Was it the excitement that kept me awake? Or was it the fear?
Anyway, that is still a way away. What will very soon be a reality though, is trips in South-East Asia. Alex is desperate to go to the Singapore zoo since she heard its director on TV. So that’s one. About 3500 miles in total, a trip encompassing Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
And when you’re in Singapore, let’s face it, you’re just a short ferry ride away from Indonesia.
Then there’s Vietnam: she wants to visit Da Nang.
Then Laos: the north, the centre, the south.
South which leads to Cambodia, and south of Cambodia still the Mekong delta back in Vietnam.
There’s also the Pattaya racetrack, which for some reason I fancy giving a go at. My first track day could be in Thailand. How weird.