Long before I had a motorbike, a good friend and I started talking about the Mongol Rally. It looked really appealing, but we thought that the dates were a problem, not because we did not have the time, but because it was too hurried and if we decided to undertake a such a trip, we would like to have the time to explore all the fascinating places that lie between western Europe and Ulaanbaatar.
We then thought about taking a trip to Ukraine and the Stans (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) and document how these countries had been affected by Soviet influence. Unfortunately (or fortunately, it all depends on how you look at it) life circumstances changed for both of us and the plan was put aside.
Now, almost three years later and with a motorbike, I have started looking east again.
This is the route I intend to follow (click on the map to enlarge)
It is quiet definitive on the way east, though I have had (and still have) quite a big dilemma over the route through Mongolia. The northern route is said to be breathtakingly beautiful and provide the most adventure, but it is also the hardest and when I asked riders for advice, I got lots of different opinions. Some said it was doable if I took it easy. Some thought it was too hard to do solo. Some said it was downright dangerous and I should not even consider it. The southern route was agreed by all to be much easier and transited, but the scenery is supposed to be more boring. I personally met a guy who had done the southern one and said it was the most beautiful thing he’d seen. Who knows. I will probably decide when I get there, but I will most likely take the southern one.
Once I get off the Transsiberian in Moscow, however, all my options are open. Depending on the time and money I have left, I would like to visit the Baltic states. On the way down back to Spain, my route is still open and will depend on free time and where I am offered hospitality.