March 2016 27,000km So Far!
Back in February two very adventurous French girls left their homes in Sydney Australia to embark on an epic journey from Sydney back to their original home city of Paris. This challenging journey will take them over 70 000km and across many different countries and terrains from mountains to desserts and along some of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world.
Motorbikes India has been following their progress and we recently carried out a question and answer session with them in Timor. Please see those questions and the girl’s answers below.
1. Where exactly are you now? And how would you describe it?
We are now in Dili, capital-city of Timor-Leste. It is a small coastal city with about 250,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by mountains. It is very beautiful. At the moment the landscapes are all green because of the rain season and it is pretty humid and warm every day. The people are very friendly and are very curious towards foreigners. There are not that many tourists here; the only foreigners are expatriates working in the country. Timor Leste is famous for its coffee.
2. How many kilometers have you travelled to date? And what was the farthest journey you did in one day?
From Albany to Darwin, we did about 6,500 km in 3 weeks. The farthest distance we did in a day was 700km; we were exhausted!
3. What is the estimated total km you will travel to reach Paris?
The whole trip from Sydney to Paris should be about 70 000 km long as we already did 27 000 km between Sydney and Dili.
4. What sights have amazed each of you the most and why?
LAURA: what amazed me the most during the journey from Albany to Darwin was the big emptiness of the bush and the endless roads. We were on our own and there was absolutely nobody around … it was pure freedom.
AUDREY: When we were in Broome the red sand of the desert meets the turquoise waters of the ocean. I was really amazed by the beauty of this unique landscape!
5. What has been the most exciting moment for each of you during the ride so far?
LAURA: For me the most exciting moment was when we arrived in Exmouth. It was the second time we went there and it really is my little paradise on Earth: blue water, coconut trees, great snorkel spots with turtles and reef sharks and plenty of colourful fish and corals but also a lot of wildlife in the National Park such as Emus, Kangaroos and Parrots!
AUDREY: The desert was pretty fascinating and scary. Some days we had to ride by 44 degrees and it was very hard physically and mentally. It was one of the few moments in my life when I felt very small, insignificant and vulnerable surrounded by the vastness and the power of Nature.
6. What would you say has been the most challenging part of the journey so far?
LAURA: To me, the biggest challenge was the weather. Every day we had to fight against the heat (each of us had to drink up to 7 litres of water a day, our food didn’t last long and it was very tiring) and after Broome we had to avoid the endless thunderstorms, which were threatening us.
AUDREY: We also had to make sure we had enough food to the next big city. Of course there was food available at the road houses but it was bad quality and expensive.
7. What bikes are you each riding? Are they the same bikes you had all the time in Australia?
We have 2 Honda VTR250 and yes we kept the same bikes we got in Sydney where we learned how to ride. They are small, easy to handle and very reliable for the trip … we love them!
8. Have you had any problems with the bikes? Are you carrying any particular spares?
Touching wood we didn’t get any problem so far, just usual maintenance and replacements. We carry the minimum with us: tools, some repair kits, spare brake pads, one clutch cable, brake and clutch levers. We also need to get some plugs just in case.
9. How are you finding Timor? What are the people like?
As we said earlier, the people are very friendly and curious. They often ask us “Hi, how are you?” in return and really like it when we reply correctly in their language. Once at the beach a group of kids came to us and asked us to teach them how to swim. They were very cute.
10. What is the next country you will visit?
The next country will be Indonesia. We will travel through the islands with ferries from West Timor to Sumatra before reaching Singapore.
11. Have you researched Myanmar and is it an option for you?
Yes, we did some research about crossing Myanmar with our motorbikes and contacted a few people who crossed it already and it’s pretty expensive as the only way to cross it is to pay a travel agency. Our plan was to cross Myanmar and then go to India and Nepal and then going all the way back to Thailand which implied to pay for the crossing of Myanmar twice. We really can’t afford it and prefer spending more time in the other countries we will go through.
12. What characters have you met on the journey so far and which have been the most memorable and why?
We met some travellers on the road but not much as it was the low season. The most memorable one would be Terry from Broome who traveled on a little Honda postie bike from Perth to Broome and was planning to go with it all the way to Darwin! He showed us some very nice spots in Broome and we rode his bike on the hard sand of Cable Beach it was really fun.
13. Have you had any disagreements yet?
Of course! We met some very negative people. Some told us that our bikes were too small, others told us that the adventure was too big for us or even impossible; one guy even told us that we may get kidnapped in Timor-Leste. But these comments just make us more motivated to do the trip and to prove that nothing is impossible!
Audrey and Laura Video
To follow the progress of Laura and Audrey keep watching out for new updates from the girls. And if you have any questions for the them, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and question and we will include them in our next Q&A session with the girls.
Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.
The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.