[Posting this a year late!]
We have spent the past month retrospectively counting, remembering and plotting our trip in order to provide a sort of summary of everything. My accounting skills are crap so all costs are ball park figures.
But our ability to pretty much remember every day since 8th May 2014 has impressed us and we’re chuffed to only have one or two holes of memory in regards to where we slept.
Trip total – 1 year 6 months 30 days (577 days), of which:
- 130 days living and/or working in Kyrgyzstan
- 447 days getting from London, UK to George Town, Malaysia of which:
- 12 days sick
- 119 days holiday (no, it isn’t all just a holiday)
- 271 cycling days
- 26 visa waiting days
- 19 transit days
Unless stated all costs are for two people. The total will be higher because we started purchasing gear a year before the trip began.
Trip grand total – £27,298, of which:
- £12,991 living costs for 468 days which includes about six weeks of holiday-equivalent indulgences such as horse trekking, boat trips, skiing, and generally an upgraded lifestyle from dirty hotels and eating pasta
- £9,570 setup inc bikes, specialist clothing/equipment, DSLR, iPad etc.
- £586 gear purchased along the way
- £774 flights Kuala Lumpur to Manchester
- £353 Caxton Visa charges + £35 Thai bank charges
- £724 entry visas for Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, Thailand
- approx. £1000 on vaccinations
- £1300 insurance
These are definitely ball park figures.
£964 West Europe [UK to +inc Austria]
£1,947 Balkans [Slovenia to +inc Greece]
£2,559 West Asia [Turkey to +inc Azerbaijan]
£2,564 Central Asia [Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan]
£4,173 South east Asia [Vietnam to +inc Malaysia]
The best way to visualise this is by looking at our map which includes every single sleeping location. We have colour-coded each one to show the kind of lodging. Click here to open the map. Colour keys are shown below.
Total sleeping locations: 334
Total countries cycled through: 27
153 hotels [RED]
92 wild camps [GREEN]
36 paid camping [BLUE]
22 hospitality [YELLOW]
11 WarmShowers.org / Couchsurfing.org [YELLOW]
12 camp spots with permission (people’s gardens, terraces, restaurant gardens) [PINK]
9 transit [BROWN]
It’s worth noting that in south east Asian countries, it’s possible to either camp or be put up by the monks in temples. We have met a few cyclists that regularly do this, which slashed their budget considerably when you take into account the fact that they also get fed in the evening and morning. One English cyclist was spending about £3 a day in Thailand. We found night temperatures to be unbearable when camping in the tropics.
Now, this is a tricky one. My speedometer battery died in Macedonia. “Not a problem, I’ll write the distances down until I can find a new battery”. A few countries later, the transmitter battery’s turn. And so on until a vendor forced the battery case making future battery changes not possible. So I gave up, and we were doing weird loops and I lost track on paper.
So over to Google mapping. The crude lines you see drawn on our route are…well, crude and thus inaccurate. About half way through painstakingly tracing the route accurately (in reverse from Malaysia) Maps prevented me from adding any more route points on that big blue line you see. So from UK to Kazakhstan, the line is less resolute than the remainder of the trip. The other great source of inaccuracy is that whenever there is a twisty windy road, in other words, mountain passes or gorges, it’s impossible to accurately plot every one of these turns. And given that we went through and over many many many dozen mountains and gorges, the distances shown here will probably be a few hundred kilometres less.
But who gives a bike fork. Here are some approximate distances.
- 21,000km travelled. Not to be confused with 21,000km cycled.
- 967km not physically cyclable (ferries and restricted travel in China), of which:
- 847km ferries
- 120km taxi
- 4624km not cycled where cycling would have been possible, of which:
- 935km coaches due to laziness = boredom
- 372km hitching due to 1.sickness (15k) 2.moderate to high danger (282km) and 3. meeting visa deadline (75k)
- 358km taxi (mostly visa deadline combined with sickness)
- 3,079 train due to 1. Chinese desert and not enough visa time (1,905km) 2. visa deadlines = sickness = bad planning (1,054km)
- 15,409km cycled, which is 1,709km more than the annual average distance travelled in a four wheeled vehicle in the UK in 2013.
- 57km average per day [total cycled 15,409km / cycling days 271]
- 4% cycled in equivalent distance to the moon
- 38% cycled in equivalent distance of the circumference of Earth (40,074km)
So we cycled 73% of the way to Malaysia.
Top 3 countries …
- food: China, Thailand, Malaysia
- camping: Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia
- getting punctures: China
- girls: China, Turkey, Germany
- beaches: Thailand, Vietnam, Croatia
- population: [highest] China, Vietnam, Germany. [lowest] Luxembourg, Montenegro, Kosovo (July 2015)
- population density: [highest] Belgium, Vietnam, UK. [lowest] Kazakhstan, Laos, Kyrgyzstan
- democratic: Luxembourg, Germany, Austria (Economist, 2014)
- autocratic: Laos, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (Economist, 2014)
- wild poos: Kyrgyzstan
17.8 tonnes of CO2e trip total (two people) which is equivalent to 11.04 tonnes per year.
Not as good as I had imagined. When confronted with questions such as “how often do you recycle”, “how often do you buy packaged goods” answers are not positive when travelling through developing countries.
Number of other long distance (trans-continental) cycle tourers met en route: 39