Last year while in Argentina I met Chris, a young and energetic lad from Scotland. Our 10 day adventure paved way for a lifelong friendship and he’s like a younger brother to me. On the road we packed in a few adventures along the way, searching for dinosaur fossils, sharing frustrations while the country basically came to a halt during Easter and spending my birthday drinking wine in Mendoza.
I wasn’t then surprised when he contacted me a few months ago with his plans to purchase and ride motorcycles on a road trip from Edinburgh, Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa with his two friends, the Archies, yes, that’s right, Archie and Archie, longtime childhood friends.
Please join me in welcoming Wild Tracks back to The Travelling Munschkin. May we be inspired by their journey and courage!
So you’re off on your road trip! What was your first week like? Where did you go? What did you see?
If we were to describe the first week in one word it would be COLD! We were racing through Europe as quickly as we could but the weather was fighting against us. Despite our determination to keep moving we often found ourselves stranded by the weather or distracted by some amazing European cities. We stopped for two nights in London, one in Brussels, one in Frankfurt, camped in the German wilderness, and reached Budapest by the end of the week. A mixture of friends and welcoming locals meant that we only had to pay for one night’s accommodation throughout the week and despite the rush and weather it was a really nice start to the trip.
What has been your favourite part of this road trip so far?
Our night camping in the snow was probably the highlight of the week, even despite the cold. All the stars were out as we set up our first campsite and the most perfect full moon shone over the snow covered surroundings. We huddled up by the fire to share Archie B’s stash of sloe gin and our excitement for things to come – this perfect setting will stick in our minds for a while.
This was closely followed by our Channel Tunnel or “Chunnel” experience. For our passage across the English Channel we opted to travel by train due to the rare opportunity of taking a motorbike on another means of transport and also supported by our enthusiasm for the civil engineering feat that connects the UK to rest of Europe.
Our journey started in Dover and after an endless line of lorries (trucks) and an interesting assortment of holiday makers (British vacationers) we were finally permitted to board. Despite the tedious wait this actually put us in a favourable position for arrival in France because being at the end of the procession meant that after all the other vehicles had left we had the entire length of the train to ourselves. Riding a motorcycle along the inside of a train certainly isn’t an everyday experience and so, never ones to miss an opportunity, we threw ourselves at the 150m stretch with high revs and even higher pitched “whoops”. The levels of excitement felt from driving along the train and onto mainland Europe will be hard to match. This was the real start to our adventure!
Have you run into any obstacles?
We didn’t have any major issues in the first week. There were a few problems as we familiarised ourselves with the bikes but nothing we couldn’t mend and we quickly became acquainted with spark plugs and fuel cap vents. Apart from these simple issues the only other obstacle was the cold.
Our readers always like to know what things cost. Are you able to share any of your budgeting with us?
Our budgeting revolves around a simple backpacker financial plan bike expenses.
Vehicle (Bike) Budgeting:
Bike (Suzuki DR350): £1000
Bike Prep: £500
Off-Road Bike Specific Travel Insurance: £350 for the year
Carnet de Passage: £1350
Total: $5,011 CAD
Country Borders: £25 per crossing x 20 crossings = £500
Petrol Estimate (Trip Duration): £1200
Total: $2,662 CAD
+ Food & Lodging: We’re using our tent and stove so hopefully our cost will be minimal.
Do you have a website, Facebook page or Twitter where readers can follow you?
Absolutely! Check us out at:
Thanks Chris and we look forward to the next installment of your adventure! Be safe.
LIFE IS SHORT SO LIVE IT!