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  Why SOS

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Our epic journey was designed to take the most overland route possible between London and Sydney. We originally wanted to drive as far as Indonesia before shipping the vehicle down to Darwin, Australia and then completing our drive through Australia with the final destination being Sydney. Indonesia is now considered too volatile (since the Bali bombs) and therefore we intend to ship the vehicle from Singapore direct to Darwin.

The whole key to the journey is whether we are granted permission to drive through China. Although this section of our journey will be very expensive and inflexible, it is still our preferred route as without crossing China we will have to ship our vehicle round from India to the Far East. This will be time consuming and will cut out thousands of miles of road travel.

Currently our route is as follows:-
(15 days in total).
We hope to speed through Europe as quickly as we can, taking major roads wherever possible. Slovakia, Hungary and Romania will obviously slow us down but Romania has many ties with SOS who have operated there since 1990 and therefore we intend to spend a few days visiting these sites.
UKRAINE & RUSSIA (8 days in total)
After leaving Romania we want to cross through the Ukraine and on to Russia. The Ukraine is one of the few countries where SOS do NOT operate, although they do have a presence in Russia. The highlight in Russia should be our visit to Volgograd (Stalingrad).
Through the beautiful mountains and deserts of ‘The Stans’ visiting such magical places as Astana, Almaty, Osh, Toshkent and Ashgabat. David from www.stantours.com has been very helpful and is currently arranging our itinerary to cross this incredibly interesting region.
IRAN, PAKISTAN (10 days in total)
Iran is an incredibly friendly country and is slowly re-opening to western visitors. Pakistan will bring our first really serious driving test and we have hopefully arranged an escort all the way to our crossing with India.
INDIA & NEPAL (20 days if we can go through China)
(30 days if we cannot go through China)
Whatever happens, India is a magical place and one of our friends is currently planning to fly out and ride with us as we travel through this mystic country.
CHINA (14 days if allowed)
Should permission be granted (and we may not know this before we leave) we will have to stick to an ‘organised itinerary’ through China. I have heard and read reports that describe China as anything from ‘interesting’ to ‘a complete nightmare’ but we really would like to experience China for ourselves. I guess we will find out soon enough!
(14 days)
After exiting China we will travel down to the green terraced hills of South-East Asia. We want to visit the fabulous temples of Angkor Wat and possibly enjoy the pleasures of Bangkok. Who knows, we might even enjoy the beaches of Phuket before taking cocktails in the Raffles hotel in Singapore. A great deal will depend on whether we have driven through China or had to ship the vehicle round from Calcutta.

AUSTRALIA (10 days)
After our vehicle arrives in Darwin we have allowed ourselves 10 days to ‘meander’ down to Sydney across the great continent of Australia.

Total time taken - Somewhere in the region of 120 days, 25 Countries visited - Over 25,000 Miles travelled
All this looks ‘achievable’ on paper - I am sure ‘reality’ will be very different. We are naturally prepared to alter our route at any time should this be necessary. If anyone has any better ideas – please give me a call.

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