UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
nsew
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Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby nsew » 26 Sep 2020, 11:08am

I envy you that trip. I tried in 2009/10 to pass into Tibet from Sichuan Provence and was turned back. Might be worth appealing to the US Embassy as your name might clash with another’s.

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 26 Sep 2020, 11:14am

I never appreciated quite how lucky I was to do that trip and it all went incredibly easily. The Chinese visa was a doddle, we got it in Azerbaijan in 10 minutes. I just wish I'd continued on to at least Hong Kong as it would have been possible to continue that trip. Now that cycling in Africa really seems to be impractical I'm really gloomy because I cannot think of anywhere to go. I guess this is a first world problem.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 26 Sep 2020, 3:12pm

How about the Southernmost point of Greece to Nordcap?
Or vice versa.

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 26 Sep 2020, 3:44pm

I do like Greece but it's not quite the culture shock of Africa. I may look into a south east Asia trip, I'm just not big on flying with bicycles. Perhaps the sensible option would be to fly into east Africa with the bike.

Sid Aluminium
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Location: Beyond the edge of the wild

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby Sid Aluminium » 26 Sep 2020, 5:00pm

There are windows in time when one can travel certain regions.

Ian Hibbel passed thru Central America in the early 1970s. That became impossible in the 1980s.
Dervla Murphy (1960s) and Collin Martin (1970s) rode through Afghanistan. Beginning in the 1980s, well, let's just say don't do it today.

Maybe Heinz Stücke had the right idea: just go tour somewhere else in the world for 10 or 20 or 30 years until the regional turmoil wears itself out.
______________________

Africa is special, isn't it? There are other locales which provide culture discontinuity (Japan!) but sub-Saharan Africa is the world's last large region of really grinding poverty and puff adders. Still and all, 'Tom' (in The Boy Who Biked the World by Alastair Humphreys) had a lovely time.

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 26 Sep 2020, 5:20pm

All very true Sid, I've often wondered if independent travel will one day resume in Tibet. I can see that sub Saharan Africa may take decades before we can return, but Tibet is just a pure government political decision.

simonhill
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Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby simonhill » 27 Sep 2020, 12:08pm

Hi Sanfair, I remember you from the LP forum.

I think the first thing I would do after working out a (very) rough route is look at the Visa situation. How, where, how much, how long, etc. Nowadays I often find entry restrictions are something that puts me off travelling in or through countries. Not sure how leaving the EU will affect visas, etc but the UK certainly doesn't have the diplomatic clout it used to have.

Secondly, I would check the weather. Much of the continent is subject to wet and dry seasons. One or both could make cycling difficult to impossible. Wind is also another factor. When you go could be as critical as where.

You mentioned going to Asia instead. Recently China visas have changed with multiple entry and longer stays possible for UK citizens. You could fly into China and cycle out. To further extend you could leave bike safely on your route, then do a short trip to Hong Kong, maybe fly or on train, then return to continue your cycling with new entry period.

Another thing to be wary of with all visas is that they are reciprocal. The UK have said they will be 'getting tough' with China re human rights and belt and road. This is unlikely to help the Visa situation.

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 27 Sep 2020, 12:18pm

Thanks Simonhill,

I admit I had thought about returning to China. I cannot go back to Lhasa, so I contemplated going to Kashgar and making my way across to Vietnam. This would interest me. I shall have to look into it. You're right of course to suggest the visa situation my change in China. One of the biggest attractions for me is exploring new cultures, unfortunately red tape, war zones, weather etc are the obvious downside. I sure wish we could still take the hippy trail across Afghanistan or the west coast of Africa.

richardfm
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Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby richardfm » 27 Sep 2020, 1:11pm

Search for Nomad's Trails on YouTube. Their channel is a video blog of their 10 year cycle trip around the world. They are going down the west side of Africa but are stuck in Gambia at the moment because of Covid-19

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 27 Sep 2020, 2:07pm

Ok thanks Richardfm I'll do that.

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Mick F
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Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby Mick F » 27 Sep 2020, 2:37pm

richardfm wrote: ............................... but are stuck in Gambia at the moment because of Covid-19
The Gambians are stuck in Gambia as well as everybody else. The borders of Senegal are closed. Gambia is surrounded by Senegal and there's no way out and no way in.

The Gambians rely on tourism for money. All gone.
The Gambians also rely on charity, and that's finished with respect to people and goods. People like Keen4Gambia whom Mrs Mick F is heavily involved with, raise money and send it out for a person out there who can buy rice and distribute it. That's all they can do now.

K4G have sent out numerous 40ft containers of donated goods numerous times, and there is more than a containers-worth ready to go ................ but it can't.

https://keen4gambia.uk
https://en-gb.facebook.com/pg/Keen4Gambia/posts/
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby pwa » 27 Sep 2020, 10:19pm

Due to local lockdowns, I cannot legally cycle outside the boundaries of my county except for essential reasons such as work. So the idea of cycling to Cape Town seems rather funny at the moment.

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 28 Sep 2020, 7:22am

I completely understand that I cannot do a cycle tour this year, possibly not even next year. Currently I am social isolating having just returned from a hiking trip in France. I am stuck inside taking my social isolation very seriously, so researching future plans is about all I can do.

francovendee
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Joined: 5 May 2009, 6:32am

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby francovendee » 28 Sep 2020, 8:40am

Mick F wrote:
richardfm wrote: ............................... but are stuck in Gambia at the moment because of Covid-19
The Gambians are stuck in Gambia as well as everybody else. The borders of Senegal are closed. Gambia is surrounded by Senegal and there's no way out and no way in.

The Gambians rely on tourism for money. All gone.
The Gambians also rely on charity, and that's finished with respect to people and goods. People like Keen4Gambia whom Mrs Mick F is heavily involved with, raise money and send it out for a person out there who can buy rice and distribute it. That's all they can do now.

K4G have sent out numerous 40ft containers of donated goods numerous times, and there is more than a containers-worth ready to go ................ but it can't.

https://keen4gambia.uk
https://en-gb.facebook.com/pg/Keen4Gambia/posts/

Nothing much changes in Gambia. I was there over 30 years ago and it was desperately poor but the people were lovely. I've watched Nomad's Trails on you tube and it looks just the same now. :(

sanfairyanne
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Joined: 25 Sep 2020, 9:32pm

Re: UK to Cape Town is it viable?

Postby sanfairyanne » 28 Sep 2020, 9:40am

I also noted that the Nomad Trails people don't plan on continuing beyond the Gambia. It appears from their trail map they intend to go back north back to Morocco and eventually on to S.E.A via Central Asia. I guess it's impossible or too dangerous (taking aside Covid) to get across to east Africa from Gambia. I also can't help noting that a country such as Gambia is taking Covid so seriously that they have locked their country down to the point where nobody is allowed in or out. Funny that here in Europe most countries, if not all, still allow travel.