Stopped off at Ankeny, IA to have breakfast with friends. Amelia and Zach had to sit on the GS.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Two years ago, a fantastic opportunity dropped in our laps. We had just finished our trip to
America when we got a call from a chap by the name of Doug Laird
who was planning a similar trip and wanted some information. Long story short, later that year Doug did
the long ride down. We met up for the
first time sometime later and had a wonderful dinner with he and his wife Sara
during which he asked if we had ever considered going to Russia. Russia? Yeah, sure we had but didn’t figure it was
doable for the two of us. He explained
that he wanted to put a group together to ride across and would we be
interested. Well as we’ve said before,
we really are suckers for most anything motorcycle and so on August 12, 2014, we will set off on our next
Our group has shrunk from the original 13 who wanted to go to the 6 who are going. Ross and I are the only Canadians. The other four are Americans: Doug and his friend Dave (Sara will fly to Moscow and ride with us from there on) and Steve and RuthAnn Reynen, who have been our companions through India, Nepal, Central and South America are once again up for the ride.
The past two years have been spent researching routes, purchasing books and maps, arranging accommodations, shipping of bikes and people, insurance for bikes and people, evacuation plans, and reading everything we can get our hands on. So we’re 90 days out and its time to get our visas-not the click click kind-the let me into your country kind. The process begins with applying for an invitation for a visa and then once that is obtained from
Moscow, it is
submitted with the formal visa application.
Its during phase one that we learn Canadians can only get a 30 day Tourist visa which is definitely not
enough time to travel the 6,000
miles across the country. Also there is nowhere to renew a visa once
you have left your country of origin.
You must return and reapply.
Meanwhile, our American friends have been granted 3 YEAR visas, no
problem. Wait a minute! The Americans, super power arch rivals of the
Russians, can get visas and the Canadians, with their one ice breaker and four
bows and arrows can’t?! Nope. But all is not lost. Money talks and it asks for a Cultural
visa through an agency in the US
and low and behold it arrives 10 days and many hundreds of dollars later. Who would have thought we’d get approved for
anything with “culture” in the description?
So we’re ready for take off! Here’s the plan: We fly to
on August 12th
where we meet up with our Kawasaki KLRs that are being flown from Seoul,
South Korea Germany
(where they have been in storage) to Seoul. The other four are flying with their bikes
from Vancouver, B.C. to Seoul
arriving shortly after we do. We will do
some sightseeing in South Korea
before boarding a ferry to
where the ride begins. We will ride east
to west ending up in Vladivostok, Russia St. Petersburg
in early October. From there we will be
heading back to the barn in
to store the bikes away and then home by the end of October. Heidelberg, Germany