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Old 06-29-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
young1 OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Taranaki New Zealand
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Weather problems

My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a trip. We are looking at up to 18 months from home and this is likely (due to budgets, ages etc?) to be a once in a lifetime trip.

Over the last five years we have travelled (without a bike) to a variety of countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey etc).

We are still deciding where this trip will go, the options I see are;
1) From home in New Zealand, up through Asia, Nepal, India, Pakistan and on to Europe (Pakistan is the worry in this plan)
2) All of the America's, ship bike to say Vancouver and head South
3) Ship bike to Europe, then around Europe, across Russia, into Canada and South
4) Ship bike to Europe, then around Europs and South into Africa.

Weather is the one thing that I have having trouble sorting out. As we are looking at 18 months there will be 3 weather seasons in there (I hope that makes sense). We don't want to do extremes of cold and due to budgets we will be camping when possible.

Questions that I hope someone out there can help with are;
  • When is the weather settled enough to start on a trip from England?
  • When is the weather settled enough to start on a trip from Vancouver?
  • If going across Russia, when is the earliest we shoud look at leaving Europe to get to Vladivostock to avoid snow etc
  • What is the latest we should look at arriving in Vancouver to give us time to look around before heading South (without having to do big miles each day)
  • Is it warm enough in the Southern parts of Europe (say Turkey / Greece) to "winter over" there?
Thanks everyone.

Mike and Leanne

young1 screwed with this post 06-29-2013 at 05:29 PM
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by young1 View Post
Is it warm enough in the Southern parts of Europe (say Turkey / Greece) to "winter over" there?
What is "warm enough"? If it has to be like "go to the beach every day and swim", then those countries wonīt fit the bill.

I come from a cold climate, and for me, the Mediterranean coastal regions in Turkey & Greece would be quite okay to spend the winter. But thatīs no tourist season, and it might often be rainy and windy. And you could see a few snow showers a few times in midwinter, but itīs unlikely to stay on the ground for long.

But all places further inland, especially those at higher altitude, are a whole different ballgame, with temperatures way below freezing, even in the daytime. In fact almost the whole eastern part of Turkey is very mountaineous, and winter will be very severe, November to February will be coldest.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
Mark Manley
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There are seasons when people travel most of the routes you mention to avoid extremes of temperature and precipitation, they are very roughly.


Starting in Canada in May/June time, head North for July/August and finishing in the South of Argentina/Chile November/December taking 6 or 18 months.

Europe to Africa

Start in Southern Europe April/May and head north from there. Leaving Europe September/October and taking about 6 months to reach South Africa, there might be some allowances for the East or West routes.

Europe to Asia

Depart August/September arrive in India Novemberish, fly/ship on to SE Asia around March and take it from there.

Once in a lifetime trip are famous last words, it can be addictive and people somehow manage to keep going for years if the fancy takes them
If it's in the Touratech catalogue then you don't need it

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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You should take a look at a 'weather almanac'. Basically, it's historical weather stats that will give you a very accurate idea of what the temps and weather are in each place during each day of the year.

For Europe, the worst case scenario is that it's dreary and ugly. But at least it's easily traveled almost all year if the roads are cleared of snow. It won't get you stranded. But if you want to travel through tundra and high mountains, you will find that everyone goes during the same few months weather window each year because the roads will be inaccessible during other times. Just read a ride report or two to find out what is good timing.

I'm partial to routes that get more adventurous as you go on. So instead of doing Asia to EU, or S. Africa to EU, I think it makes more sense to do it the other way. For most people, the high points will be their adventures in some Asian village/remote mountains, not looking at some old church and pretty building in Europe... so going to East/South builds up to bigger adventure and bigger high points instead of becoming more boring. Maybe I just feel this way because I grew up in Europe...
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:46 AM   #5
young1 OP
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Thanks everyone for the advice :-)

I have downloaded the trip planning budget spread sheet and am using that to work out what we can afford.

I have also found (via Horizons Unlimited) a chart showing when it is okay to travel in African countries.

For now we are looking at possibly starting in England in May 2014 (a group from here ships bikes to the UK and have space in their containers to take other bikes so that makes it easier), then time in Europe before heading down to Africa.

I am sure (all going to plan) between now and then that you will see more of us on this site!

Mike and Leanne (Baldie and Blondie!)
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