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.
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Our friends at Born to Ride Magazine have ran this great story featuring our new 104 day major expedition, The Asian Overland – Darwin to Beijing. The Asian Overland is a great long distance adventure that does not require you to have any off road riding experience as over 95% of the route is on […]
Back into Argentina form Bolivia, to Santiago, Chile, and then the 360 is done. Tupiza, Bolivia into Humahuaca, Argentina. A generally difficult border went very well, much quicker than anticipated. The twisty mountain roads of Bolivia turn to flat and straight again in Argentina, but not for long. We soon hit the beautiful hills and […]
Welcome to Bolivia! In this instalment of the South America 360 blog, we cross the border from Peru into Bolivia and head towards La Paz. La Paz to Uyuni, a long day, with a lot of kilometers. We left very early because of a predicted protest. They locals had just finished 3 days of celebrations […]
May 28, Nazca to Puno, June 9, marks the end of our visit to the wonderful country of Peru. We continue from Nazca to Puerto Inka, a great short day of Riding along the moon scapes of the western shores, with nothing but ocean, desert and huge dunes, with a magically constructed road leading through […]
May 18, Mancora Peru to Nazca, Peru, May 27 Mancora. A beautifully scenic beach town on the coast of Peru. The group meets up again after the long separation, we spend a short day and night at the comfortable beach bungalows. Then are straight back on track to the scheduled itinerary. Heading out again the next […]
“The biggest mistake of our lives”, a book written by Compass Expeditions founder, Mick McDonald, is now in its second print run and we have a couple of 100 for sale. Purchase your copy now In 2005 four novice bike riders rode Honda Transalps from London to Vladivostok, primarily to raise money for a tiny Australian […]
The group separates. I go one way, from the coast of Brazil to the coast of Peru, transporting the bikes and the van. The rest of the group goes on to explore Columbia and Ecuador. Definitely not the ideal situation, but it had to be done this way. The troubles and dangers and the crazy […]
Rainy and twisty. Long kilometers for the first day leaving Rio. Second day, long day again with very slow traffic and even slower towns and villages, and pouring rain, did, I mention the rain… Getting into Oro Preto next. It is a beautiful town with very tight and steep cobblestone streets. A great town to walk […]
Felix and Justin…somewhere A good riding day leaving Pipa, traffic, sun, rain, sun, late afternoon arrival to a great place called crooked canoe, Quanoa Quebrada, to stay at the Hotel California, such a lovely place. This will be my second stay at a hotel California, once before in Mexico, that they say was the original […]
The most amazing hotel we were to stay at in Zimbabwe was the lodge at the ancient ruins. This hotel is a series of lodges built into the mountain side integrating the massive granite boulders into the construction of the rooms and buildings. From here we visited the great Zimbabwe ruins. An city which was […]
Leaving Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Jenairo for 3 days By Justin Wow, a long and challenging day of riding, leaving Foz, arriving in the dark into Campo Largo, over 600 km. Relief and anticipation of the great days ahead of us. Passing an interesting Bathroom shop and aptly named at that. This is the same […]
South America 360 Expeditions Ushuaia, Argentina to Foz do Iguacu, Brasil One quarter (¼) of the 360 journey is complete! Justin reports After some relaxation and recuperation time in Ushuaia, and deeply needed visitations to the local Irish pubs, you know they’re everywhere! We were ready to ride North, from el Fin del Mundo […]
Relaxed and ready to roll, once again we made our way out of the traffic of Arusha and headed south. Unfortunately Mount Kilimanjaro would not show its snowy peak through the high cloud cover this time around. We passed the days on easy roads winding our way beyond Dodoma, stopping at sights like the Ismalia […]
The Compass Expeditions Cairo to Cape Town Expedition continues South towards it’s destination at the very tip of Africa. The riders have had a chance to take a few days off the bikes, take a safari and spend some beach time as they make their way through Tanzania. Farewelling Brendan, we welcomed Bayne on to […]
South America 360 Arrival into Ushuaia, Argentina Justin reports Riding through more of Patagonia today, with luck, not such wild winds today, as they are most of the time. We made it to Cerro Sombrero, Chile. It was bit chilly, rainy and foggy, but the winds left us alone. The bikes and new Sprinter van are all […]