Route a or route b??

Hi All, its been a while since we have had an opportunity to post here – we have been busy enjoying ourselves in Nepal. From the far west of the country we cycled through the flat Terai region which is situated along the mountains to the north, yesterday we followed a road and are now within the foothills of the Himalaya. Nepal is a stunning country and we have met many friendly people, we have seen many animals and camped in beautiful forests.

Although everything is going well here we have had the constant overhanging problem of which direction we are going to head to next…. With our tagline being ‘from here to Vietnam’ the purpose was to try and cycle from Europe to Vietnam, after Iran changed its visa rules we were left with little time to find a fix and flew to the Asian subcontinent. With the exception of Nepal this has been difficult and has left us a little boxed in, we are unsure what direction to go now – essentially we have narrowed it down to two options.

Vietnam was just a place chosen to cycle to, there was never any reason or desire to go there specifically (Sam has been there a few times before and it is a great place). Our primary desire now is to visit Central Asia and then onto SE Asia.

Option a:

Back into India to cross the border at Imphal to Myanmar, Thailand, to Vietnam China and then work our way back.

Pros:

  • The border crossing into Myanmar has only recently opened and very few people have crossed in this direction (there is a reason for this…). Adventure!
  • No flight hassle
  • Cheaper option.
  • North east India may be different to the rest of the country…
  • Road less travelled.
  • Most logical – a continuation.
  • Myanmar is an amazing country that is rapidly changing.
  • Reaching Thailand will allow us good food and hopefully some level of recovery.

Cons:

  • India again… we don’t really want to go back although we should be able to pass through in just over two weeks.
  • Sam needs a new Indian visa – both expensive and uncertain if he will be able to get a second one so soon after the last one is finished. Also it is hard to verify if Manipur region requires an additional permit – lots of conflicting information. Costly red tape that may fail leaving us turned back and stuck in India.
  • Permit to cross the border is expensive and fairly hard to arrange.
  • It is getting seriously hot now – mid thirties and will only increase throughout April to very very hot.
  • Time pressures, large distances mean that we may have left this a bit late and will need to fly a large section of China.
  • It will involve considerable discomfort (which is not altogether bad, but India really took it out of us).
  • Manipur region is not entirely safe.
  • Increased malaria risk.

Option B:

Fly back to Europe (this was originally our intention, to carry on where we left off), cycle through central asia and back into the far east.

Pros:

  • We can recover after cycling in India – almost constant illness and pollution has left us feeling quite unwell.
  • We can meet with people! It has been nine months now and it will be nice to have the chance to see friends and family.
  • Some familiarity will be welcome before dipping back into the unknown!
  • We can cycle through the various regions in peak climate conditions – Europe early summer, central Asia during the summer then east Asia towards the end of the summer.
  • Completely new areas for both of us.
  • We can replace gear and have things repaired which we desperately need to do.

Cons:

  • Expense – it will cost us more to fly back. Currently the cheapest flights are not exactly where we want to go. Also daily cost will be higher for a while until we are back into the east.
  • Defies logic slightly… will it be boring after being here?? This won’t last long and this route enables us to camp lots and see more wild areas instead of populated countries.
  • Will probably be wet and cold for the first month.
  • May blow our budget… far too many temptations in European supermarkets initially…
  • Maybe it’s the ‘easy option’… will we feel bad after, or certainly initially.

We flit between the two on a daily basis and are having a tough time deciding. We are both certain we want to continue cycling while we have this opportunity but have not decided yet what we are going to do… one of us slightly prefers option a, the other option b. Both could be persuaded to do either…

This decision needs to be made already – if we do return to Europe then it would be in the next few weeks and flights need to be booked soon. Our inability to make this decision is causing us problems!

 

 

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2 responses to “Route a or route b??

  1. Glad I don’t have to make this decision!
    Sorry to hear India was quite such a trial.
    It’s lovely to get your posts. I have been missing you.
    If you choose the stopover in Europe option you might just come to Brum.. Who knows? I could organise a nice night for you to share your adventures with the lovely people of Moseley/Balsall Heath and my flat would be big luxury after some of your digs 😘

  2. We’re thinking to be back for Christmas, but would then love to pick up the bikes in Sofia and cycle North to Gdansk. Where do we meet?

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