Austria - Italy - Slovenia - Croatia - Serbia - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Azerbaijan - Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan - Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan - Russia - Mongolia - China - Hong Kong
On this site you will find some info on both of us, our bikes, some of our friendly helpers in Hong Kong and London and loads of pictures on our trip.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The new BM R1200GSA feels great. I hate driving on motorways but even there I like the bike.
The BM dealer made a big mistake and I now have to drive back to Munich tomorrow to get it fixed. In the ownership documents, instead of putting Hong Kong, for some unknown weird reason, they've entered USA...I can't really take the risk to check out if the 20 or so border guards who will look at my bike's reg doc won't know that HK is not USA...so am going back there to get it fixed.
Today, I spent the day trying to fix this on the phone + setting my bike up with all the equipment from Hong Kong. I also had to sort out our bike-to-bike intercom (these are the radios between Cyril and I so that we can chat while we drive) that didn't arrive.
Not very exciting for the first leg of the trip I know, but more to come...and pictures of the bike and the nice house at 7am in the morning (I am still a bit jet-lagged) tomorrow.
Cyril had his motocross training and he loved it even though it was really exhausting...just wait till we have motocross real live in Mongolia from 7am to 7pm bro.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The adventure has started. I left my work yesterday amidst a lot of encouragement from my team. The closer we get to the starting date, the more excited and scared we are. Scared of the unknown that is expecting us.
Manon brought me to the airport for the final goodbye, she is really the best and nicest one. After leaving her at the airport, I realised this is the first time I will have such a long break away from Manon since I know her (nearly 10 years now). I was quite sentimental and as you can imagine I wasn't able to talk a lot in the mins after saying goodbye. I promised that time will fly and I will be back in 2 days...aiya, that might be a bit stretched.
During my flight I started my logbook and realised that the plane is taking a mere 12h15 for HK-MUC and it is going to take us the best part of 3 months to do exactly the same journey back!
I landed at 5h and am waiting at the airport for a few hours before the BMW dealer opens to pick-up my bike. I hope it opens at 9h and not 10h.
So I had a bit of time to stroll through the press shop here, what a great place, full of maps etc...that I wasn't able to find in Hong Kong.
If the bike is ready and it doesn't take me too much time to have the discussions with the mechanics and get to know the bike, I will head-off to Austria this afternoon.
I'll hope to write more tomorrow with a picture of my bike.
Un grand merci a Willy et au journal Sud Ouest pour cette article de soutien. En esperant pouvoir reporter en Juin de notre arrivee a Hong Kong sans encombres majeures... On n'y croit pas vraiment !
Friday, February 22, 2008
Bought the Dover-Dunkerque ferry tickets yesterday - leaving the UK on March 1st to join Nicco in Austria on the 3rd. Becoming more and more real by the hour. Total respect to Nicco for dealing with these last minute bike problems with such a positive attitude. I have it easy in comparison.
Je suis arrive a 7h du mat pour lancer un deal a 7h30.
Vers 9h je suis alle decharger la moto et enlever tous les accessoires.
Apres, un mec est venu voir la moto et je pense qu'il est interesse a me l'acheter.
Entre temps, je devais rentrer a la maison avec mes boites et les accessoires.
J'ai du retourner au concessionaire pour leur donner tous les papiers, signer une feuille de transfer etc...
Finalement je suis alle a la poste pour chercher des cartons. J'ai mis les boites dans 1 carton. De retour a la poste pour envoyer le carton (arrive la bas 3mins avant la fermeture), pas de bol, les cartons sont accepte jusque 30kg et j'en avais 32.5kg, donc j'ai du ouvrir le carton, sortir des trucs, leur redonner et me voila finalement au boulot pour me reposer...
Bon weekend, j'ai encore des trucs a acheter/faire ici avant de partir.
Par contre point de vue moto il faut croire que c'est bon. J'ai acheter une moto hier soir a Munich. Elle m'attendra toute prete a mon arrivee mercredi. Je me fais envoyer les boites et autres par poste express en Autriche. Si j'arrive en plus a revendre ma moto avant de partir, ca serait le pied!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Finally got most visas... love to see all those "completed" on the visacompany webpage. A big thank you to Anastasia. Both our passports left for Vienna yesterday night and the Turkmen visa should be ready by next week.
We are experiencing some last minute problem. Nicco is struggling with the shipping and is looking for help from BMW Munich. My landlord decided to kick Maddy and I out in 2 months... This is such a bad timing. Let's hope for the best; it should all come together in the end!
For the bike shipping, my wife is the best! Whilst I was so stressed yesterday of not getting anything sorted, she told me to call BMW in Munich and ask them for help. Not only did they provide with help (i.e. shipping by air is mucho difficile), they also provided me with a great used bike and guaranteed me that I will have the bike with all docs etc... in time for next wednesday. So the deal is, I sell my bike here (I got already a quote from BMW in HK which is higher than expected), buy a used one in Munich (and better bike) for less, get the taxes back and actually make money in the transaction...I love arbitrage!
I am crazy and going for this deal. Let's hope it all works out but the guys being Germans from Munich, I fully trust them.
See ya soon!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
As the departure date approaches, it gets harder to realise that all of this is going to come true in only a few days. Constantly thinking that we forgot something or a bad piece of news will hit us - a good sign that we are well prepared some would say ! Probably this will look as a very foolish statement once we will hit our first off-road difficulties in the "Stans".
Monday, February 18, 2008
Preparations are still ongoing. Yesterday my bike was crated at the BMW dealer in HK. I know need to find that friendly shipper that will let the bike on a plane and get it to Munich. I am pushing hard to get this done today or tomorrow to make sure I have a bit of legroom if anything goes wrong. Once this is done, I will be able to sleep tight again.
Preparations with work are not moving as fast as expected. I don't exactly know when to resign and what will happen from then onwards.
See ya soon good old Europe.
Friday, February 15, 2008
A BIG THANK YOU TO:
- Maddy, the head of our "London HQ", special technical and weather advisor, and because she is simply the best and has been so supportive over the last few months
- My family and friends for their understanding and moral support
- Robert Roe (alias Bob) from Motoselect Franham for preparing the bike with such good care
- Anastasia from thevisacompany for helping me deal with so much red tape
- Claudio von Planta for sharing his valuable experience on Long-way Round and Long-way Down and answering so many of our questions
- Ronnie, Emmanuel and Benjamin for their enthusiast support and precious advise
- The Techtransalp team for their excellent website and advertising our adventure
- clearly Manon as she has always been supportive of this trip even though this means 3 months without me
- My mother for not giving up on me, for receiving all the parcels at home in Austria and for not freaking out!
- Amy and Steve for pushing over several months to keep focus on the organisation
- Xavier, for trusting me to be in France in June and be his best man at his wedding
- Cyril, for posting our tracks on the blog
- Louis, for looking into getting Continental to sponsor us
- Romain, for getting us the Turkmen visas
- My friends for all telling me "DO IT"!
- Claudio von Planta, Sambor and Maciej for sharing their great experiences on their numerous motorbike trips
- Henry, Yau and Tan from BMW HK for their support with the bike, the preparation and the bike sale
- Yasser, Mark, Michael and Christoph from BMW Munich for their help with all the accessories and the last minute bike purchase
- Bertrand and Alice for your help with the tyres in Almaty