So, one month to go Ė am I ready Ė NO. Is the bike ready Ė NO. Have I kept my promise to keep a regular video diary - NO.
Have I got a visa; booked the flight back; booked the cross-channel ferry out; got the kit I need; got a working bike????? errmmm Ė NO.
Not to worry thereís still a month to go.
My tactic is simple. All those TV documentaries, books or articles where people spend months planning and preparing for their epic voyage is, in my humble (and possibly misguided) opinion, a way of ameliorating their fear for the trip.
Iím going to just get on the bike and go. Well maybe get a visa and arrange the ferry across the Channel (it could be quite a boring few weeks travelling around the UK otherwise).
My many years of travelling have taught me the following:-
- Errmmm Ė well on reflection it might not have taught me all that much, but,
the only two things Iíve ever really needed on my travels in the last 30 odd years have been a passport and a credit card. The rest is mere detail. I happen to be abundantly blessed with two passports and, (despite the imminent collapse of the Euro), more bank cards than you can wave a very small stick at.
So, in my mind Iím almost there. The fact that Iíve got to sit on a motorbike for 8000 miles is a mere detail.
I was a little perturbed the other day when I took the bike in for its MOT. The mechanic couldnít stop laughing when I mentioned that ďI am going to the far eastĒ on it, by which I think he thought I meant Ipswich or Hull. When I explained that Vladivostok isnít in fact in the East Riding he gave me the distinct impression that he in his worldly mechanical opinion the bike would get much further than Felixstowsky.
At least I now have a brand new Ministry of Transport certificate of fitness for the thing. Iím a bit miffed that Iíve had to have an MOT lasting 12 months when itís only going to be used on UK roads for 4 weeks. No doubt when Iím stopped by the Siberian road police I can exhibit the virgin MOT with a flourish. No doubt the law enforcement officers will look with pride at the crappy bit of paper the UK government now issue as an excuse for an official document. I know the details are now kept on the DVLA computer and are available to most of the developed world at the click of a mouse but Siberian Plod is going to look at the lack of a good quality embossed certificate and laugh. Maybe heíll think Iím calling his double bluff as even a 5-year-old can produce a better certificate on Photoshop than the supposed ďoriginalĒ I have in hand. I wouldnít be surprised if the Siberian Rozzer then mentions I should have stayed in Imminghamgrad instead.
As you can see the my Russian is coming on.
Anyway, roll on the Olympics. It will then be time to go.