Route inc rugby clubs

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Practice Run - Landsdowne Road to Twickenham Stadium

We left from Lansdowne Road and cycled south to Rosslare ferry port. Taking the ferry to Pembroke port, we cycled across to the Millennium Stadium, then through West England to Finchley RFC to collect our 'Gilbert' then continued on to Twickenham stadium for our official sendoff from RFU President, John Owens on 1 May 2010.

To be honest, we had no idea what we were doing... Europe would have to be our training ground. And we would have to learn fast!


Twickenham Stadium to Istanbul – Phase 1 (approx 12 weeks)

Choosing a route was largely determined by cost rather than necessarily time. We would have loved to cycle through much of France, but we also wanted to complete the European leg of our trip in as shorter time as possible. This helped scale down the overall cost of the trip.

From Twickenham Stadium, SW London, we cycled across town to Foots Cray RUFC, in SE London. From here we headed down the old A2, through the small towns of Kent, towards Dover. Then it was onto the ferry across the channel to Calais.

From here, we nipped across the top of France, into Belgium, then Germany, before traversing our way through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey.


Istanbul to Islamabad – Phase 2 (approx 12 weeks)

As expected, this part of the journey changed quite substantially from the original plan.  We ended up cycling from Istanbul, up to the Black Sea and into Georgia. Across to Tbillisi and down to Baku, Azerbaijan. From here we continued South to Iran, before catching a flight across the Persian Gulf to Dubai, UAE. Due to the severe flooding in Pakistan during 2010, we decided to fly straight to Lahore, Pakistan, allowing us to spend 2 weeks in Lahore and assist with flood relief efforts with some of the rugby guys there.


Islamabad through to the Khunjerab Pass (Himalayas) into China – Phase 3 – (approx 6 weeks)

Our original thought was to cycle through India and Nepal and then through one of the many passes into Tibet. However, after a holiday to Everest Base Camp (and some very good local advice,) we learnt that those passes will not be accessable by bicycle at that time of year. With the problems in Afghanistan, our chosen path was to cycle up through Pakistan taking the Karakoram Highway, to the Khunjerab Pass, the highest pass in the world at 4,693m into China.


China and South East Asia – Phase 4 (approx 22 weeks)

Entering China from the far West meant our Mandarin was pretty fluent by the time we exited East from Quingdao, China. We caught the ferry to Incheon, South Korea and cycled down to Busan before catching another ferry to Shimonoseki, Japan. Heading east to Tokyo, we were then faced with another flight to get back to SE Asia and Hanoi, Vietnam. Our route through this part of South East Asia will be dependent on time, funds, and our tolerance of rice dishes. Ideally we would like to explore south through Vietnam and Laos, then head North East back through Cambodia and Thailand into Bangkok.

From Bangkok, the route sets itself south into Maylasia. Here, we will take our chances with the notorious ferries across to Indonesia, finishing in Jakarta for the HSBC A5N division 3 tournament.


Darwin to Melbourne – Phase 5 (approx 11 weeks)

From Darwin we will head east, across the croc infested mangroves, and through the remote regions of Northern Queensland to Cairns. From this point we will essentially be following every other Greyhound and OzExperience bus down the coastal route to Sydney, and then down and around to Melbourne (……where we will stop for lunch…..)

Melbourne to Dunedin (transfer) for RWC cycle to Eden Park, Auckland – Phase 6 (approx 7 weeks)

We will fly from Melbourne to Dunedin where we will begin our final 2,000km cycle North stopping in at fixtures enroute to the Rugby World Cup Final at Eden Park, Auckland.

If you or your rugby club could become part of our story enroute, please e-mail us and we will do everything we can to stop by.

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