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Old 09-04-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
Jockel OP
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All Around

One day I realized being unable to see all the interesting places in the world just because there is not enough time left.
Then I fell very ill, nearly died and needed about a year for recovery.
This is six years ago now.

Meanwhile I worked on a few dreams and they came true.
One of them was the modification on my '80 XT 500 - Riding The Tiger was the idea, and I dreamed of it for 15 years. In all the time since October 26th 1989, I had just been able to keep her alive with very low budget, there were no enhancements available. That changed, when both of my sons grew up, I changed my profession and my life.

Now she is nearly ready for the bold plan to make her carry me around the world.
Yes, I know that a lot of people have been anywhere with XTs, and most of them where younger than I am now.
Anyway, the world, a few things and me have changed, but still there are places I want to go, and they are strewn around the globe. Too, there are people I would like to meet and they are also cast all over the world.

The idea I am following now is this: I want to go from Hamburg, Germany, around the world without leaving the ground, because I want to KNOW, how big it is. No Flying.
Only water between me and the next goal? Well, there are ships.
And besides the simple technique of the XT (the engine is very similar to the old Horex) I love the sea and ships.

Places I want to go in any case are Japan, Australia, USA, Canada and Iceland.

I have planned the trip for April through October 2016.

The interesting questions in the moment are:
  • How to get from Germany to Japan?
  • How to get from the American continent to Iceland?
Rumor had it that there is a chance to get from Murmansk, Russia, directly to Japan.
Can anybody confirm that?

So far I have found no ferry from America to Greenland or Iceland, though there is no problem to get carried from Iceland to Europe.
Any hints?

Thanks a lot for any support.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:02 PM   #2
Pecha72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jockel View Post
Rumor had it that there is a chance to get from Murmansk, Russia, directly to Japan.


So far I have found no ferry from America to Greenland or Iceland, though there is no problem to get carried from Iceland to Europe.
Any hints?
Sorry, if I´m not following you here.. but what do you mean by getting directly from Murmansk to Japan..? They´re at almost exact opposite ends of Russia, the biggest country in the world. Have you looked at a road map?


America to Iceland, I believe you´ll have to freight the bike by sea or by air, and fly yourself. And also in general, that is the way overlanders cross the oceans these days. Outside of Europe and the seas bordering it, there are very very few international ferry lines operating any more. To get passage on a freight ship, well, not 100% impossible, but also does not happen very often. And if you´ve got six months to do the whole trip, then just forget about that.

In fact I´d consider to either find more time, or to drop Australia from that plan, and keep to the northern hemisphere – this would leave you much more time to enjoy the rest (and save you a lot of money, that you´d have to pay to ship to Oz and back).

I did Europe to Oz on a bike several years ago, this trip was 6 months, it was great, but I remember thinking 8-9 months would have been even better for that route.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:09 AM   #3
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Sorry, if I´m not following you here.. but what do you mean by getting directly from Murmansk to Japan..? They´re at almost exact opposite ends of Russia, the biggest country in the world. Have you looked at a road map?
Yes, sure.
No need to be sorry.
I don't mind spending weeks on a freighter.
Only heard that it might be possible and am inquiring, for it might be an interesting ride either through Scandinavia or Poland and the Baltic states to Murmansk.

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Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
America to Iceland, I believe you´ll have to freight the bike by sea or by air, and fly yourself.
As I said: The plan is No Flying.

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Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
And also in general, that is the way overlanders cross the oceans these days.
This is why: In general, everybody does it.
So why me?

In fact I would prefer to go on a sail ship, if that was possible.
There are still a few big ones capable of high seas around, like the "Fritjof Nansen" (see http://www.fnansen.de/schiff.html).
Well, I know this is illusional, or I must win some lottery in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
Outside of Europe and the seas bordering it, there are very very few international ferry lines operating any more. To get passage on a freight ship, well, not 100% impossible, but also does not happen very often. And if you´ve got six months to do the whole trip, then just forget about that.
If you say what you want, it increases the probability to get it, even though it is no guarantee to.
I have nearly three years left to plan and prepare. Maybe I even learn to know a fisherman from Greenland to take me to Iceland for a reasonable fare or something like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
In fact I´d consider to either find more time, or to drop Australia from that plan, and keep to the northern hemisphere – this would leave you much more time to enjoy the rest (and save you a lot of money, that you´d have to pay to ship to Oz and back).

I did Europe to Oz on a bike several years ago, this trip was 6 months, it was great, but I remember thinking 8-9 months would have been even better for that route.
You are absolutely right, when it is about the route, difficulties of planning, cost and enjoyment.
Anyway I check first for opportunities to complete all of my checkpoints, because that's what it's meant for. Apparently there will be no second ride like that for me, and I just want to make sure that I tried hard to get them all.

E.g., I could drop Murmansk and go to Asia by ship from Hamburg.
In case I would later learn that it had been possible to do it, I'd be sorry to have left St. Petersburg out or Helsinki or the North Cape.

So far I am just trying.
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Jockel screwed with this post 09-05-2013 at 05:12 AM Reason: typo
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:00 AM   #4
Pecha72
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As I said: The plan is No Flying.
If you´ve got 6 months, and no more available, then you may still want to reconsider that. Going by sea, no matter how you do it, does take quite a bit of time. And absolutely wanting you and the bike to go on the same ship – will make it even harder to find a solution.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:04 AM   #5
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But hey, I don't mean to sound too negative here - a transcontinental mc-trip is a GREAT experience, that you will always remember. Transport across the seas is a pain, but still do-able, so don't let that put you off. Almost all of the rest is easier!
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
Witold
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You talk about the brevity of time and seeing all the interesting places in the world, but then you talk about spending months of your 7 month trip sitting in a cabin. And then you mention that this is for 2016... that's 3 years/1000 days from now.

Brevity of time? Or just over-planning?

Realistically, by the time you plan anything out, rules and options will change drastically anyway, making planning for something 3 years from now mostly daydreaming, not planning.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:37 AM   #7
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You talk about the brevity of time and seeing all the interesting places in the world, but then you talk about spending months of your 7 month trip sitting in a cabin. And then you mention that this is for 2016... that's 3 years/1000 days from now.
Yes, seems a little weird at first sight.

It appears to be consequence of the idea not to fly.
In fact there is no waste of time.
"Sitting in a cabin" can be extremely productive. Clerks do it all day and get paid for it.

And for the time being I can easily modify any plan, while I slowly earn the money needed to make it come real without any pressure from sponsors, improve the bike, gather information etc.
It's not a spontaneous one-hit wonder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Brevity of time? Or just over-planning?
Trying to get the best out of the time by early preparation and long term action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Realistically, by the time you plan anything out, rules and options will change drastically anyway, making planning for something 3 years from now mostly daydreaming, not planning.
I doubt that, for most of the landscape will be unchanged and the development of rules and regulations can be addressed in time.
We can encounter things like Fukushima any day, but not every day.

And: Maybe I get run over by a bus tomorrow (would come with a cosmic giggle).
;)

My main goals are in Japan, Australia, America and Iceland. The countries there seem to be politically quite stable and I do not expect any revolution. If it occurred, I would deal with it.

When it's about freight routes or customs regulations, it has proven successful to be up to date for the matters, sure. But I need an idea of the present state to be able to check for changes in the future: Coming back from Iceland to the Europe mainland will not work after October 18th this year, for they generally close the ferries through winter. This might vary a little, but not too much.
Anyway, it sets an end date for the last ocean crossing.

Keeping the climate in mind, it seems best to start the trip in spring, cross Australia in (southern) winter and come back to the northern hemisphere in late summer.

I could already start in March, but there might be still snow here and there, if I started into the continental climate of eastern Europe. This puts a high risk of a sudden end to the trip in a very early state.

And, yes, this is all just a pipe dream so far.
Maybe it won't work out at all and I have to rethink it.
There are a lot pipes to be smoked over this one...
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #8
Pecha72
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https://www.freightercruises.com/
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #9
Jockel OP
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Intersting link.
So it seems to be working so far, as one gets from Genova to Freemantle, from Brisbane to Tokio and from Shanghai to Seattle within 24+22+18=64 days.
There are no exact dates available, the lines are mostly covered in a six week rhythm.

Let's say, there were an avalability of Tokio to Shanghai (app. 6 days), which I expect, and there were 10 day gaps between the cruises, this would sum up to 100 days.

If these ten days could be used to get from Freemantle to Brisbane - most daring and not recommended, I guess - and the Japan section, Europe - Australia - Japan - USA would be done.

Adding six days for the ride from Hamburg to Genova, there would be 106 days already gone and only 26 days ridden, additional coverage of the ten-day-gaps not counted.

Then I were in Seattle, had 74 days left and still no idea, how to get from America to Iceland.

Frustrating.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:27 PM   #10
Pecha72
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It will NOT be like taking a ferry boat in Europe, that is for sure. Paperwork is much harder. Expect your bike to be stuck for several days in customs, before you get it on (or off) a ship like that. IF they accept it on board in the first place, that is. I very much doubt every freighter would allow that.

Shanghai? Are you aware of Chinese requirements to get into the country on a foreign vehicle?

10 days to ride through Oz would not be nice, even if theoretically possible.

Europe to Russia to South Korea and/or Japan, air- or seafreight across the Pacific to Vancouver, Seattle or LA, then after crossing North America, another freighting across the Atlantic (taking in Iceland, if you'd want it that way). That is certainly possible, it qualifies as RTW, and 6-7 months should be enough. Adding Oz to that would make it much harder in every way. But of course, if you insist on doing it the hard way, sure go ahead.

Pecha72 screwed with this post 09-08-2013 at 03:23 AM
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:31 AM   #11
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It will NOT be like taking a ferry boat in Europe, that is for sure. Paperwork is much harder. Expect your bike to be stuck for several days in customs, before you get it on (or off) a ship like that. IF they accept it on board in the first place, that is. I very much doubt every freighter would allow that.
Well, I check for that in advance anyway: There is enough time for preparation left.
;)

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Shanghai? Are you aware of Chinese requirements to get into the country on a foreign vehicle?
So far absolutely not.
We have a Chinese consulate here and I meant to call there for requirements. Shanghai is the Chinese sister city of Hamburg, which might make things a little easier.

Is there anything relevant to be read on the net?

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10 days to ride through Oz would not be nice, even if theoretically possible.
I agree.
And anyway I want to meet people in Perth and Canberra, and I sure want to see Uluru.

So, here is to finally forgetting the initial plan: Too many obstacles, not enough time.

Flying.
Allright.
Starting over from the beginning.

As far as I understand, one needs a container for the bike in order to load it on a plane.

Keeping in mind that there are a few spare parts needed along the way such as chain sets, tyres, clutch etc., these could probably be stored in the container for later use. Also, special parts could go in there like extra fuel and water tanks.
This would require transportation to the next checkpoint and owning or renting it on a long term base.
Also there are charges to be expected for storage.
Any experience here?
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:33 AM   #12
Pecha72
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Spend some time reading here, plenty of info on China, and overlanding in general:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/





“As far as I understand, one needs a container for the bike in order to load it on a plane “

No, YOU do not need to have a container, the airlines use specially designed aircraft containers to put cargo into. But it might be necessary to pack the motorcycle in a crate, like a freight box, made out of wood or metal, and you want to make it as small as possible, by taking off the front wheel, windshield, etc. The crate is typically not stored after the freighting is finished. Some airlines could also allow you to send bikes uncrated. You have to use a freight agent to get the bike on a plane, because you need a Dangerous Goods certificate, and only certified agents are allowed to make that paper.

Airports are in general better suited for handling small shipments like 1 motorcycle. Seaports handle huge amounts of freight, and it´s highly likely that your bike won´t be the last item to load in, or first item to unload from the cargo ship. Also with airfreight, possible delays are much shorter. Going by sea, your shipment can be delayed for weeks.
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