Mini Update

More to come of details of the latests but as a short update:

House: Sale is going well! Woo!
Route planning: We’re keeping a steady eye on the happenings around Libya/Egypt but still feel good about entering this way! Good times!
Visas: All sorted and waiting to pay the embassies our last visits prior to leaving!
Carnet: Once again Sorted and ready to go!
Equipment: We have everything but our extras for the medikit and camera lenses!
Bikes: We’re awaiting news from KTM Basel about when we can go pick them up! Hoping for an update tomorrow – we both terribly miss our Bikey Mcbikes :)
Shots/Jabs: Both had our second set of rabies today, Sam had his Hep B (already had mine from Policey days) and next week we have Yellow Fever! After that, one more rabies and we’re set!

All in all we’re good. Things are very stressful though and we’re both feeling the toll! Somedays it’s just all too much and we both end up monging out! I have been in tears a few times with frustration and Sam has been having sleepless nights, feeling frustrated and pretty poopy too! BUT! It’s all so close now and the end is in sight! We realise how lucky we are to be doing such an adventure and the fact we are also super lucky to have each other to help out in the times of mehness be through cuddles, going out for the day or just generally laughing at the ludicrous situation we are in! So much has been happening and currently we’re waiting on others be it for house progression or bike parts or what which is totally out of our control :) But we have every faith in the people we have helping us out and are looking forward to seeing everything finally coming together!

Thank you again for all your continual support! Not long now boys and girls, not long now! :)

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To Switzerland! Bike Upgrades Mark 1

Clare: “Bonjour, je voudrais numbro oeuf”
Petrol Station Assistant: “Err?”
Clare “Oh erm la voiture.. dans… numbro oeuf? Mais Oui?” *points to car*
Petrol Station Assistant: “Ahh… ahhh ok ok”

Having claimed I am pretty good at French, my first interaction in the land of garlic and onions proved otherwise. “Egg?” I protested “What do you mean I said number egg? Doesn’t Oeuf mean Eight?”.  Feeling slightly daft, I realised this is probably signs of the times ahead, especially seeing as French is supposedly my strongest second language!

The day which followed was one of great length, much excitement and tea drinking to sustain us.  Initially our intentions were to stop off in France midway to our final destination to KTM Basel, Switzerland but we decided it didn’t look so far on the GPS (a couple of centimeters?! That’s nooothing) and took it upon ourselves to blast our way through.

Cooking up Chilli

11 hours in total and we arrived.  Being 11pm we decided it would be a plan to pull up somewhere and kip in the back of the van.  After deciding against a few suspicious looking spots (of which we have since been told are renowned for promiscuous acts of sorts), we finally chose wisely and parked up opposite a church and field.  Trying our best to not disturb anyone we thought it might be wise to cook up our home made chilli in the back of the van.  With no lights other than our phones, not much room and sleepiness setting in, we have no doubt it must have looked super dodgy as the van wibbled, me giggling away and flame like lights flickering.  To top it all off I decided I would try out my shewee for real for the first time.  In the shelter and looming shadow of the van I felt pretty out of sight… only mid stream to have two walkers go by with their dog looking slightly confused.  A girl?!  Standing up and weeing into a field?!  I didn’t quite know what to do or say and so I shook and ran off in a fluster!  Not the first impression we were hoping to impose on the delightfully mellow town of Arisdorf.

Our nest for the night!

Despite a night of slipping and sliding sideways in our wonkily parked van on the hill, we awoke with much excitement.  A croissant later and we arrive at KTM Basel to be greeted by Jeroen and his beautiful family.  We are given a grand tour and upon stumbling into the workshop Sam and I eyes light up as we see David Jenni’s bike fully kitted out.  It is STUNNING.  The pictures of the KTM Basel Defy Quest bike is superb, but in person, it is a sheer work of genius!  With a very svelte look, the tanks and fairing snugly embrace the bike with every piece perfectly placed.  The exhaust reroute is beautifully constructed and yet so sturdy.  There’s so many well crafted extras too and all in all we were just blown away by the sheer quality.

We then brought our bikes in and within minutes Jeroen and his awesome mechanic David (aka Rambo) have the bikes stripped right down!

And it was thiiiiis big!

We spend some time discussing the next few days and after some tea and a lovely lunch of rosti and salad we crack on with some design work and sketching whilst the boys continue with the bikes.

Jeroen Dismantling Clares Bike!

Bike talk!

By the evening we settle down for some nibbles and a chat about the progress.  We then have to make our way to the BnB 20minutes away. Exhausted but happy we greet our BnB owners – Sally and Nick who are most lovely and make our way to bed where we zonk out.

And so it’s all started!  We’re so excited, it’s unbelievable.  To also have custom made bike extras too is just superb.  We cannot wait for the next few days to pass… it’s going to be mega!

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Visas, LOCATE, Spot, Vaccinations and Insurance

Today has been one of much square eyes in front of the computer, phone calls, spreadsheets and a dozen cuppas!  Planning a round the world trip on motorbikes is awesome fun but there’s a mega amount of paper work behind it all!  As we finalise the details we will post our Visa, vaccination and insurance details on the document section of Chasing Horizons so you can download and use at your leisure!  We hope it will eventually save some people a fair bit of time when planning their adventure travel on motorcycles!

Visa and Embassy Details – North Africa, East Africa and South Africa

Normally I would curse with great fury at the likes of Excel, however, it’s days like today I forgive them for their infuriating quirks as they manage to organise so many details for our enormous trip with ease and simplicity.  We have spent a long long few days researching visas and embassies for our section through Africa and have managed to compile a list of all the British Embassies, relevant contacts and forms we need to complete to gain entry to various countries.  So far the visa entries are looking like so:

Libya Visa: Required Beforehand.
Libya Visa Costs: TBC (Rumour has it around $400 per person! Yikes!)
How to Obtain Libyan Visa: Can apply to local Embassy although it is recommended to apply through an agent.  We will provide details when we know more!
Entry Requirements for Libya / Other:  Must Register passport with police within the first 3 days of entry.  Carnet and Visa / Border details can normally be sorted by a fixer for a fee of LD 10-15.

Egypt Visa:  None Required for under 90 day Stay

Sudan Visa:  Required Beforehand
Sudan Visa Costs: Around $100.00 per person (Letter may cost from British Embassy, will update when we know!)
How to Obtain Sudanese Visa: Depending on which way you’re entering and your nationality it varies.  For us Brits heading in from the North through Egypt we have been recommended to go to British Embassy in Egypt, Cairo where we can apply for a letter inviting us into Sudan and then popping 200 yards down the road to the Sudanese Embassy in Egypt, Cairo and picking up a 14 day transit visa there.  Apparently it can be a day or two process although it’s been known to take longer for some!
Entry Requirements for Sudan / Other:  You will need 2 photos, $100 per person, valid passports and a letter from the British Embassy as above!  Once you do eventually enter Sudan, you are required to register if you are staying longer than 3 days and can pay a fixer to organise this and your carnet details for a fee of around USD $25

Ethiopia Visa: Required Beforehand.
Ethiopia Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa £14.00 (Valid for 30 days stay)
How to Obtain Ethiopian Visa: Apply direct to the Embassy in UK.  Form can be printed online through the Ethiopia Embassy Website here.  I will be making a call to them tomorrow as have a couple of questions about the form (dates entering/leaving and places staying – all anomalies at the moment!)
Entry Requirements for Ethiopia / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Tanzania Visa: Required
Tanzania Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa USD $50 (approx)
How to Obtain Tanzania Visa: Pick up at Border upon Entry
Entry Requirements for Tanzania / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Malawi Visa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

Kenya Visa: Required
Kenya Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa USD $50 (approx)
How to Obtain Kenya Visa: Pick up at Border upon Entry
Entry Requirements for Kenya / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Zambia Visa: Required
Zambia Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa USD $50 (approx)
How to Obtain Zambia Visa: Pick up at Border upon Entry
Entry Requirements for Zambia / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Botswana Visa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

Namibia Visa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

South Africa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

As above, we will put up our Excel spreadsheet once we’ve finalised the minor details so you travellers alike can use, adjust and print for their trips!

LOCATE and Spot us!

Incase anything goes a bit pear shaped we’re doing our best to make sure we can be found with relative ease.  To help this we have registered with LOCATE, a system set up by the foreign commonwealth where you can input all the locations you are heading to so if there is an emergency they are able to track, contact and help you as easily as possible.  Being engaged only one of us had to register where we then added a travelling spouse/partner/fiancee under all the countries we are travelling.  With soooo many to enter and dates being sketchy it did take time and will need updating but well worth it for a bit of peace of mind for us and our families.

We will also be subscribing our GPS tracker to SPOT.  Whilst we’re away, every 10minutes our tracker will send a location signal to SPOT which will then update where we are on our website!  Awesome eh!?  In an event of an emergency there’s a button to press too which then sends out a signal to local services requesting help and a little message to a number of emails we register saying “Oh bugger, we’ve had a boo boo, please help!” or something similar!  We can also send generic messages to these emails saying everything is aok which we plan to do regularly :)

Vaccinations… Jabs and Pills

Being a big girls blouse when it comes to injections I decided today I’ve put this off long enough and started to get the ball rolling.  Currently all I’ve managed to establish is that we pretty much need every jab going!  AiieieiEEEEE!  Haha!  Having both filled out the docs forms we’re popping them back in tomorrow and organising a date to pop in.  Pin cushion arms AHOY!

With regards to our Medikit we have a good few friends who are helping out with suggestions for this.  We’ve the makings of a list of what’s required and after I’ve established the over the counter costs and what isn’t available and requires prescription I will update our trusty spreadsheet and upload for you all to see!

Insurance

Well it would seem it is a bit of a limited market for round the world travel insurance!  Over the few we have sifted through the Post Office is looking like one of the best options at a cost of around £900 for 12months.  We’re still shopping about… if we can find any deals we’ll give you all a heads up! :)

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Motorcycle Outreach

Bit of a shout out for this charity as it is one which is a pretty darn mega!  Motorcycle Outreach’s (MoR) goal is to be able to improve and introduce sustainable and effective delivery of healthcare to remote areas in developing countries.

As with many developing countries, communities tend to be spread out over vast areas of varying and often tough terrains.  Despite aid being available the lack of working and well maintained vehicles means aid is either distributed irregularly or even non existent to remote communities leaving hundreds and thousands of people to die each year from even the most simplest and preventable healthcare issues.

By working in coordination with government and non-government organisations, MoRs implements structured vehicle management systems which ensure vehicles aimed at delivering aid go through a series of frequent preventative maintenance and repairs.  By operating this proactive and proven set up, health ministries can then continually provide a zero breakdown healthcare system thus delivering crucial aid to hundreds, if not thousands.

Please take some time to peruse Motorcycle Outreach’s website at www.motorcycleoutreach.org and support them where you can be it through spreading the word of this organisation or donating!

WWW.MOTORCYCLEOUTREACH.ORG  |  MOTORCYCLE OUTREACH FACEBOOK FACEBOOK

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KTM 690 Enduro Fairing… OM nom nom!

As we are travelling through some rather inhospitable lands we have always knew that we would need to adapt our bikes to all the various places inhabited or otherwise.  So the need for that wee bit more range is always a good thing!  Now there are loads of various option on the market, but sam saw this and nearly fainted!  This is definitely in sam’s top 10 “It makes me feel funny in my pants” list, the kit is done by the guys at KTM Basel in Switzerland www.ktmbasel.ch.  Could this be the elusive KTM 690 Adventure we have all been waiting for!!?!

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