Traveling is one of the things in life that can never be either programmed or planned 100%. While on the road the facts change our course without any prior notice. We have been planning for this trip for almost two years. Our sources, our route and our timetables were indeed carefully planned in order to have the expected results.
After 165 days on this trip and while in Dubai, waiting for our visas to India and Voukefalas cargo, we are facing the possibility of a huge change in our plans. On one hand the Australian laws on bringing foreign vehicles into the country and on the other hand the usual suspect, our low budget, make us reconsider our route.
To be able to successfully get the car to Australia, we basically need to tear it apart and decontaminate every single part individually before we put it back together.After that we need to get it through a detailed, strict examination by the Australian Customs. If the car is not according to their standards, it will have to be in quarantine for six months before we are able to drive it free in the streets of Oz. All of the above, without the cost of shipping it all the way to Australia, would be about 3000 Euros since we basically tear apart and rebuild the whole car. Even after all that money and effort the results cannot be guaranteed 100%. The car might not be put back together properly or some kind of hidden dust might cause the inspection to fail.
You are probably wondering at this point if we did not know about all this before we headed out. Well, our answer is hidden in that small percentage of failure that stands out more as we are getting closer. We have been optimistic about it until now. But now we have to face the possibility that the worst might occur. We keep reading bad experiences from fellow travelers about their cars never working properly again or about people getting stuck for six months in Oz. All that has made us seriously reconsider. If the worst case scenario comes true, the damage to our very limited funds and fragile budget will make it almost financially impossible to get back to Greece. Apart from that, Southeast Asia is already familiar to both of us because we have lived and worked there and suddenly everything has become less exciting. So we have to seriously consider our next moves.
Hey, wait a minute. Things are not that bad. Our epic journey is still on. We are now considering our plan B. It’s an option that has already existed in the back of our minds and would have either been added to our primary itinerary or worked as a back-up. Plan B goes like this. We are now looking at spending a bit more time in India as the sights in the subcontinent are endless and our visas are valid for four months. Although we could easily stay longer than that, we will then take an alternative route into Nepal and head to China through Tibet and the Himalayas. After a month in this vast country we will cross on the North into Kyrgyzstan and spend some time in this visa-free country. From there, we will enter Kazakhstan and travel around in that fairly new country before we get a boat to Baku, Azerbaijan. (We were there on a five-day transit visa when we first crossed). From there the route back is a one way street. We will drive to Batumi, Georgia, a route already familiar, and take another boat to Varna, Bulgaria before we cross the Greek borders. Keep in mind that we still plan to explore a part of Northern Greece and then head to our final destination, Mykonos.
We believe everything happens for a reason. Although we are basically forced to change our plans and forget our dream to travel overland to Australia and back, we consider ourselves lucky because we will be some of the few people that have crossed China and visited Tibet. Furthermore we will cross some of the Silk Road original paths on our way back home. We think we have got a new epic journey ahead of us. So wish us luck on making our new plan come true and hopefully in the future we will reach Australia in a new epic overlanddiaries journey. Keep tracking us…
P.S. The photos above are a collection from all the places we visited in our Epic Journey till this day.
For more details on the route click on the Tripline logo on the right side.
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OH what a journey. I love following your experience & reading your dairy. SOOOOOOOOOO much planning. You can always get a cheap ticket from Asia to OZ & back…Keep safe. xxxx Meryl