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 […]
We often forget that adventure begins when you leave your own front door and since at Compass Expeditions, we often refer to Australia as our very large and spectacular back yard we wanted to point out some good reasons to come and ride in “Oz” with us.
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!
Compass Expeditions are pleased to announce our new partnership with South Africa’s premier BMW Motorcycle rental agencies – GS Africa.
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 […]
Week One: And so, it begins, one of the most extensive research trips that we have ever undertaken. Lucky enough to be doing this trip is myself, founder of Compass Expeditions, Mick McDonald and our resident paramedic who has worked on many of our rides, including our Simon Pavey and Charley Boorman events, Sarah Taylor. […]
Compass Expeditions is very proud to be involved in the very first fleet of BMW motorbikes to ever reach Mongolia, anyone can offer rides and rent local heaps of %&# but few, if any, companies would show such a commitment to providing decent BMW motorcycles, no matter where in the world.
Want to be part of Mongolian biking history then join up on one of our Mongolian rides .
Words and Images by Mick McDonald. Mongolia, the very word conjures up images of wild horseman galloping across and ancient empty steppe landscape, with bow & arrow in hand, which today, isn’t that far from reality in what is the most sparsely populated country on earth and where the locals still practice the three “manly” […]
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 […]
How do we follow this year’s amazing Compass Expeditions Reunion weekend and week-long ride-out? We move it further up the coast and do it all again – That’s how! The 2019 Reunion will be held over the weekend of March the 23rd and 24th and based in the lovely coastal town of Port Macquarie, NSW. […]
With thanks for the images from all of the expedition participants and crew.
Merimbula Days an extract from Postcards from the Edge of a Sunburnt Country by Alan Toney The Compass Expeditions Reunion Weekend was a blast. Riders came from far and wide, from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane and from many small towns in between. We numbered seventy-five, all having ridden with Compass sometime, somewhere in the […]
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 […]
We often get told “we are living the dream” and its times like these that we can only wholeheartedly agree that yes “we are living the dream”. Words and images by Mick McDonald Following is the ramblings of Veronica and Mick as we conduct a research trip for our new 20 day Spain / Portugal […]