It’s been just over 3 months since we started our blog and there are less than two weeks left until we set off on our 5600+ mile tandem ride to Kenya… eeek!
In planning a trip like this there are always plenty of ups and downs and this month has had it’s fair share of both. Our main focus has been on plotting a safe and - where possible – flat route. This is a piece of cake for the first 2000 miles or so down to Turkey, Europe is pretty chilled out and a quick glance at a topographic map enables you to pick a path that avoids the major peaks and hilly regions. But then it gets a bit more difficult. We have written off the idea of going through the Middle East as a result of all the trouble in Syria, so from Turkey we will be heading to Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and then into Kenya. We have had some great advice on visas and security concerns from a good friend who works in that industry and we have found lots of excellent advice on the Lonely Planet travel forum - Thorn Tree. Other than some safety concerns around the Ethiopia-Kenya border crossing (we may not be allowed to cycle this section) we are pretty well set for the African section of our trip.
But, how do we get there? Crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey to Egypt is proving much trickier than we thought. Many of the ferry companies have suspended their services in the area due to the events of the Arab Spring and getting in touch with shipping companies has so far drawn a blank. We’re really hoping to blag a lift on one of Maersk or MSC‘s vessels so that we can get directly from Turkey to Egypt. Plan B would be to first hop across to Cyprus and then stow away on one of the cruise ships (if still running) that goes from Cyprus to Israel.
The happiest times this month have come when we have managed to leave Cycle2Kenya HQ and head out on the bike. We had an interesting weekend of cycling and wild-camping to see if all the Ray Mears documentaries we’ve seen over the years had turned us into wilderness experts… nope, they haven’t! We also took part in the Woking Bikeathon last weekend. Turning up with a bright red tandem and dressed as Masai Warriors certainly helped to turn a few heads! Sue Holderness (Marlene from Only Fools and Horses) was there to see us all off and thought we looked gorgeous, perhaps she should see an optometrist?
So our last few days in the UK will be spent trying to sort out transit to Egypt, procuring various bits of equipment that we still need, servicing our tandem, sorting some boring adminy-type stuff, going on some training rides and of course improving our wild-camping skills. The excitement and panic are building!