October is done and we have been too busy to fit in an Oktoberfest indulgence to celebrate our ongoing love affair with BMW motorcycles. German engineering at its best as far as we Compass expeditions are concerned! So, to celebrate, we purchased a couple of the new GS models, did the math, and realised that, […]
By Jerry Cook Part #1 The Inaugural Spain Portugal and Morocco Tour 2019 The inaugural Compass Expeditions Spain, Portugal and Morocco tour commenced in the beautiful Portuguese capital of Lisbon. With over half of the group being previous Compass Expeditions tour participants, it is surely a testament to their enjoyment and success of their previous tours […]
Words and Images by Tony Collins Both of these words are guaranteed to strike fear into the most seasoned tour operator because all carefully made plans go out the window. Countrywide strikes blocking roads to major tourist destinations, and your guests’ accommodation Having a Government change the rules at the last minute so you cannot […]
Words and Images by Mick McDonald We dragged ourselves away from the stunning Dead Valley Resort, scoffed home-made apple pies at Solitaire, crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, and reached the wild Atlantic coast by mid-afternoon, allowing us time to explore the “big smoke” again after so many nights of utter isolation. Riding further north, we […]
Words and Images by Mick McDonald Finally, after too many hours on a plane we touched down in Cape Town, South Africa; those first steps down the ramp onto African soil are always ones filled with anticipation and excitement, more so as I knew exactly what we were in for, being my 3rdCharley Boorman ride […]
Duncan and Cindy Bennett are regular riders with Compass Expeditions having ridden with us in Australia, South America and on the epic Cairo to Cape Town Expedition. Recently they partook in our inaugural True North: Alaska tour and have very generously allowed us to reproduce their musings from that tour from their fantastic Blog page […]
By Mick McDonald We started our final week off by visiting one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the Terracotta Warriors, it truly is an immense sight to be gazing over 1000s of warriors tasked with standing guard over Emperor Qin for eternity, from 2000 years ago. The site was only discovered in 1974 by […]
The Adventure Maintenance course is held on the Friday before the Simon Pavey, Off Road Skills training weekend – for dates and details visit the event webpage at: http://www.compassexpeditions.com/tours/simon-paveys-off-road-skills-course/ • Learn essential bike repair skills • Prepare your bike • Ideal for anyone planning a big adventure • Relevant to all makes of bike This […]
By Mick McDonald We woke to a virtual blizzard that only seemed to intensify as the day wore on, it was our last day in Tibet and we were descending nearly 2000mt from the, now snow covered, Tibetan Plateau to what is known as the Mongolian Prefecture, and the town of Golmud, however Tibet had […]
By Mick McDonald The drive out of Lhasa was the usual, epic mountain panoramas, glaciers, high altitude turquoise lakes and posing Mastiff dogs the size of Serengeti lions! We had hit the tourist trail and saw at least 5 other tourists on the route. On top of lofty mountain passes our car seemed to attract […]
By Mick McDonald Oh My God! These were the words most uttered as we drove an unbelievable fairy-tale landscape of snow-capped peaks, narrow canyonlands dissected by a raging torrent far far below, pine forests, Impossibly scenic monasteries located on a knife edge ridge and a landscape dotted with Tibetan style farmhouses that would command a […]
By Mick McDonald We have forgotten what week it is as we farewelled the wonderful Laos, the 3 hour ride to the border, with the obligatory flat tyre, was a fitting way to end our time in Laos as it was yet another scenic overload over the final mountain ranges into China The border itself […]
Our first day in Laos and the wonderful leafy capital city that is Vientiane, with its French influenced cafes and coffee shops selling wonderful patisseries and serving refreshing lemon smoothies. We visited the Laos version of the Arc de Triumph, made out of cement donated by the US, for the airport!! We also visited what became an eye opener and yet another example of man’s capacity to inflict suffering upon each other. During the Vietnam war Laos had a B52 planeload of bombs dropped on it every 8 minutes 24/7 for 9 years straight, that’s 580,000 tonnes or ordinance of which 30% remained unexploded, making Laos the most bombed country in human history!
We hit the for what must surely be Thailand’s most legendary motorcycle road, the Mae Hong Son loop, even in a Hilux we were excited to get onto this road famous for its 1864 curves.
Our 4th week on the Asian Overland saw us hit the “Road to Mandalay”, the very name conjures up images of wooden wheeled carts being pulled by Brahmans and steered by a family wearing bamboo hats along a track that winds its way through endless rice fields, and that’s exactly the scene that greeted us we wound our way north. We reached the incredible Bagan, a 25 square mile plain on the mighty Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar. Bagan is a maelstrom of temples with up to 4000 Buddhist temples from the 12th & 13th Century AD, its often referred to as Ankor Wat on steroids but minus the crowds.
This is what happens when you have the good fortune to be able to take a motorcycle tour of Peru, Northern Chile and Bolivia with a bunch of riders and pillion passengers who all share a passion for travel, fun, good food, libations and of course riding motorcycles. Riders who are not afraid to love life and live it to its full.
Moving into our third week on the road, we look towards exploring our fourth country within south-east Asia. Myanmar is within reach, but not before discovering Thailand’s ancient history in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai Historical Park. Here lie the ruins of the 13th century Sukhothai Kingdom, which is alleged to be the […]
Words and images by Craig Jackson. I am sitting in a stone hut, 6 x 3 foot, it is steaming hot and an old bloke is stoking a fire to heat it from the small room outside. I am at 3200 mt and the small room has four other sweaty people in it. It is […]
With thanks for the images from all of the expedition participants and crew.
Vonderful Volgograd 14 June 2018 Story by Allana Goldsworthy Images – Allana Goldsworthy, Azar Farahmand, Hugo Penasco, Bayne Morison and Dennis Grothues. Well we are now in Russia – and there are a few things we have noticed. 1. Whilst less people smoke here than in Turkey or Georgia – it is still the case […]
Chapter Four – Moscow Awaits Story by Allana Goldsworthy Images – Allana Goldsworthy, Azar Farahmand, Hugo Penasco, Bayne Morison and Dennis Grothues. Well here was a surprise. Tambov. Where? Who? What? This was a 515 km ride – a long day. And the ride was not inspiring – We had a lot of kms to eat […]
Wednesday 27 June Day 11 We have ended the tour safely, but I’ll send updates for the missing days. A rest day so we had a slow start but went for a short ride to explore a local volcanic lava field. The eruptions happened just 8000 years ago, and the lava dammed the rivers to […]
ROAD OF BONES 2018 A Long Day’s Journey into Night Story by Allana Goldsworthy Images – Allana Goldsworthy, Azar Farahmand, Hugo Penasco, Bayne Morison and Dennis Grothues. CHAPTER THREE VLADIVAVKAZ TO ELISTA I am working hard to keep on top of these posts otherwise they will still dribbling though as you are opening your Christmas presents! […]
Road of Bones – 2018 CHAPTER TWO Story by Allana Goldsworthy Images – Allana Goldsworthy, Azar Farahmand, Hugo Penasco, Bayne Morison and Dennis Grothues. Our time in Tblisi, Georgia, passed all too quickly – we enjoyed our couple of nights in our comfortable hotel, in this quirky capital. Massive thunderstorms rolling over Tblisi in the evening […]
Sunday 24 June Day 8 Saturday was a rest day and we needed it. I went for a horse ride and the had a siesta., Sunday, we retraced our path away from the lake on a dry and dusty road (it had been muddy and puddled on Friday). I had another problem when my bash […]
Wednesday 20 June Day 4 It’s now Saturday, but I’m writing about Wednesday. We retraced our path down the main road of Darkham and the turned right (west) onto dirt tracks. Nice easy riding and lovely wide valleys with herds of animals roaming free. There are no fences, so the animals go where they like. […]
Story and photos by Mick McDonald. Part #1 For the first time in nearly 3 weeks in Mongolia it’s raining, and raining hard, of course it’s our first day of our first ever 14-day Mongolian Magic tour. We struggle out of the capital Ulaan Baatar though a maelstrom of water filled potholes with manic bus […]
Day 2 Mongolia It was a full-on day. New bikes had been delivered, old bikes fixed, and the weather was cool but sunny. We left at 8.00am and got back to the hotel at 7.45pm. We started by visiting the Genghis Khan statue. It was enormous – the biggest horse in the world apparently. We […]
Peter Grace and his brother Dave have joined us on our inaugural Magical Mongolia motorcycle tour and Peter has kindly allowed us to follow along with their journey via his daily updates. I reproduce it here for you word for word without amendment. Many thanks Pete. Enjoy! Craig Compass Expeditions. First day in Mongolia […]
CHAPTER ONE ISTANBUL Story by Allana Goldsworthy Images – Allana Goldsworthy, Azar Farahmand, Hugo Penasco, Bayne Morison and Dennis Grothues. This is the first of what will probably be a semi regular posting! Dependent upon WiFi access, computer skills, battery life and inclination! We are embarking on a trip that will take us through 16 […]