Trujillo – Peru
We´ve done a bit of a U turn (not literally) regarding our route across Asia. We originally planned on cycling from Shanghai (one of our antipodal points), across the Gobi desert to Ulan Bator in Mongolia, then west across the Trans-Siberian Highway in Russia. But with the rutted muddy roads in Bolivia, and an unexpected amount of visits from the stomach monsters, we got a bit behind schedule. The delay would put us in Siberia in winter so, not wishing to get our nuts frozen off, we thought about taking the hotter Southerly route from Shanghai to Thailand, boat it across to India (to avoid Burma which has closed its land borders), then crossing Pakistan and Iran to Turkey.
Yes, this did indeed sound lovely, good food, well populated and a darn sight warmer than the Siberian winter. Unfortunately though, events in Pakistan have meant that it´s pretty much out of bounds which would make the Southerly route more of a hop than a continuous cycle across Asia.
So now it´s back to the Northerly route through Siberia. We´re in two minds on the best way to cross Russia without turning into human lollypops. The first is to jettison as much kit as possible, step on the gas and try to get across before winter sets in properly. The second is to get lots of extra warm clothing (including of course one of those big, furry, floppy-eared Russian hats) making our bikes heavier and slower, and resign ourselves for a freezing winter. We´re still pondering on which is the better option, each having their merits. Either way though, it´ll be a great adventure.