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A big update

Last time I wrote an update was when I met Rob and Robyn for the first time. A lot has moved on since then!

I finally met John and Ann for lunch one day in The Gap as they were visiting the Brisbane area. Great to finally meet and very interesting to see their home build Earth Cruiser. Definitely a lot more space in that one than in the standard ones! A lot of work for John who seems to work on it every single day (a few hours after work) and every weekend! But I can see why they are doing it, and it looks awesome.

A few weeks after that, we all met up at Guy and Cheryl’s place in Sandgate. John and Ann joined us via skype, but we all head a lovely Indian dinner at Guy and Cheryl’s place. They are also part of the group and are the only ones that seem to have some experience with overseas travel (apart from some work travel by others) as there are some beautiful photos on the wall.

A lot of things to discuss and plan, the skype call is a great idea and although it is hard for us to make sure we keep our Sunday early evening free for this, it is worth it.

Then, another few weeks later, Rob, Robyn and Guy and Cheryl go on a big trip where disaster seems to strike quite a few times. End result is that Guy and Cheryl are no longer traveling with us through China, as they can’t take their car to high altitudes and they are now going through China with Miles and his partner (forgot her name!).

Right now, we are busy making long lists of things we still need to do before we leave. 69 things are currently still on that list! Some are easy, like setting up our mail forwarding, others a little more complicated, like arranging our Chinese and Russian visa.

The main 2 things we are working on at the moment are making sure we know where we plan to get each visa and how to get them and finalising the interior of Lara.

Oh, and yesterday we decided we want to look into the option of taking foldable bikes instead of full-sized bikes. A brilliant idea, as it will hopefully mean less weight on the back door and also that we won’t have our bikes slam in our backs every time we close the back door… would be nicer we think.

We had a quick look online and you can get some new ones from $200 if you buy them here in Australia, or a good second-hand one can be found here too for around $800 (Bike Friday). But, we are interested in buying them in Malaysia or Thailand if we can. Giving us a mission when we are there, supporting the local economy and (hopefully) save us some dollars too. Jon is also planning to write to the manufacturers and see if they are interested in sponsoring us into this new market for them. Fingers crossed!

list of random things to bring

I just wanted to write down a few things I think we should consider taking on our trip as we might forget them otherwise…

They are in complete random order and some things we might decide not to bring. I’ll make sure we will update some sort of list somewhere that will list everything we are bringing…

  • helmets – on top of clothes cupboard on the inside
  • games – beach tennis, frisbee, water bounce ball, juggling balls, hacky sack, slackline
  • umbrellas
  • hammocks
  • suncream
  • oil lamp
  • mozzie spray
  • first aid kit

The Lonely Planet collection

It looks like our Lonely Planet collection is going to grow even bigger. We have decided we will buy at least the LP’s for the first ‘half’ of the trip and carry them with us. Jon has made a list and come up with the following LP’s to buy:

  • Thailand
  • Mongolia
  • Laos
  • Tibet
  • Central Asia
  • Myanmar – hopefully we can arrange a visit!
  • Cambodia

We have decided not to buy a new China guide as the actual attractions won’t have changed and we won’t be traveling by train or bus nor do we need accommodation whilst we are there. We’ll take Jon’s old guide.

We haven’t decided yet on the LP’s to buy for the Stan section of the trip, so this list will be updated!!

our lonely planets so far for this trip