So i’ve spent the past weeks since announcing my ‘U-turn‘ and leaving Istanbul thinking about my next move.
I back tracked through Turkey and Bulgaria and into Serbia. I ‘m currently back in Belgrade staying with friends while i work out my next move. I’ve been researching Russian visas and have been looking for a yacht crossing the Atlantic from Portugal – both of which have issues.
Firstly, to cross the whole of Russia i would need a 6 or 12 month visa, both of which can only be applied for in your home country (the UK). I could either fly home and apply in person or send my passport and documents back to the UK. I don’t really want to fly back to the UK again and nor do i want to send my passport to the UK while i’m waiting in Serbia as the police here can ask to see your documentation at any time without a real reason and if you don’t have any on you it can land you in a bit of trouble. Plus if i apply now, by the time i receive my visa, get into Russia and cross the country to Siberia i’ll find myself in some rather cold conditions.
Then there’s the option to sail across the Atlantic. The majority of crossings of the North Atlantic are between November and April to the make the most of the Trade winds and to avoid the Hurricane Season which is usually from May/June to September/November. This means that there isn’t a much of a chance to find a crewing position on a yacht heading West until winter.
So this had pretty much left me one option. To postpone the expedition until winter. This is of course is not the option i favour but it’s the only real option i personally feel i have.
So the plan right now is to pedal back home through Europe and restart the expedition in December/January and either head East or West. The time at home will give me the time to apply for the necessary visas for Russia and Mongolia or to find a yacht heading to the Caribbean or the US.
This hasn’t been an easy decision to make but every cloud has it’s silver lining and i already have a couple of small adventures and a rather large project planned to keep me busy while i’m home…
N.B. I know i mentioned heading south through West Africa might have been an option but it was ruled out very early on.