I finished my job 3 weeks earlier to enjoy my last days of Sydney life, beach, parties, friends etc. All I needed to do was to finalize small things before the trip: sending my belongings I won’t need for the trip to Poland, last motorcycle checkout, lodging my tax return and GO.
Unfortunately this 3 weeks turned out to be very stressful, why?
China agency cancelled my trip. In China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand the rule is you need to have the guide for the whole time when you enter with foreign registered vehicle. Paying alone for the Chinese guide and all documents would cost me 9,000 USD, that was way too much for my budget. I started looking for alternatives. I tried writing the emails to all Chinese agencies if they have any travellers going similar route, but unfortunately none of them was going my direction, only opposite.
Thats when I found horizonsunlimited.com forum and I have seen post of another biker willing to travel Laos to Mongolia. This would make my trip longer. We could not find any co-travellers, travelling through China with only 2 motorcycles made the price too high. After two weeks of searching I found a group of people going from Thailand to Myanmar. That’s better, closer home, but there was another problem that came up, going through Pakistan. This changed my plan totally, I found out north Pakistan is safe to go to. My Pakistani friend confirmed that. So one problem solved.
I had another problem… visa. I could not apply for Pakistani visa in Australian consulate as a Polish citizen, which meant I would need to send my passport to Poland. However I managed to persuade consul to accept my visa request in Australia. I had no time, it takes Pakistani consulate in Sydney around 4-6 weeks to issue visa after lodging all the documents. I just had my last week in Sydney. I needed to start my trip without the passport. Lucky I am, my friend agreed to pick up visa from Pakistani consulate when visa was ready and he send it to Indian consulate for another visa I was missing.
We agreed he would send me the passport to whatever address I will give him in Australia.
Lesson learned, always have alternative. If I would have Pakistani visa earlier it would have made the change easier and less stressful.
Think of the countries and what can go wrong, be prepared.
Thank you Tayyab for help with taking my passport from Pakistani consulate and Sajjad for sending me letter of invitation necessary to get visa.
Below some useful links:
horizonsunlimited.com loads of useful information for RTW motorcycle trip
China tour agencies: