Over the past week, I have been spending frivolously most of my time planning the rough route itinerary for the World Rickshaw Taxi to support some grant applications to support funding. However, it was good opportunity to work the finer details of this great logistical challenge of covering such a huge distance, over the time under the strict visa requirement and application process in some countries. It also helped narrow down some countries and areas that I would like to visit, but simply would conflict with Visa requirements. What this boils down to…
16 000 Miles. 1 1/2 Years
The overall journey I anticipate taking over a year and half, mainly based on covering an average 30 miles days of the base route. In fact I will be doing more by taking passengers to their required destinations. It is merely to keep a schedule so I don’t get in trouble – namely fines or perhaps imprisonment in a filthy jail.
The troublesome area:
The problematic area are the ‘stani’ countries where visas are both difficult and expensive to acquire and tend a short passage through the country – usually no more than a month without extensions. Iran posed a problem trying to cover the whole length within a month so heading intoTurkmenistan seems one of the only viable obtions to reduce chances of over staying.
Interestingly enough I feel comfortable heading to Afghanistan. I already hear you say I will be coming back in a coffin. Despite its war torn image, I am not afraid of meeting it’s people and seeing the real picture instead of through the interpretation and often scare-mongering view of news reporters. Luckily, I won’t be there for nearly two years and as reports suggest – the majority of British Troops will be leaving by the end of 2013 and full withdrawal in 2014.
Planning so far in advance is difficult. The world is especially turbulent and it is difficult to know where and when conflicts may spark. Tensions between the west and Iran is worrying (the EU and the US have trade sanctions currently with them). To avoid Iran would be difficult: options include taking a ferry from Baiku, Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea into Turkmenistan or alternatively travelling down to UAE through Iraq and taking a ferry to India.
The rest of the route remains relatively straightforward except the vast distance needed to be covered in China. Shipping over the rickshaw to the United States will prove another logistal challenge, but is the least of my worries.