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Setback and bounce back

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

There we were, sat in a hotel room on the 11th floor with a view of the Black sea. 'Let's do it mate! We'll go home for a week and a bit to celebrate Christmas and New Year's and be back when Azerbaijan opens the borders...' Now nearly two months later we're still at home completely changing our plans for this project.

Strolls through Batumi Georgia, one of them towers was our hotel where the plan to go home for a weekend began.

So let's recap, on the 23rd of December we flew from Tbilisi to Düsseldorf to surprise our friends and family, from then it seems our journey is cursed. On the 29th on December we got the news that Azerbaijan had prolonged their lockdown until the 1st of March. No biggie, we'll just fly to Aqtau, Kazakhstan, and only miss about 500km then continue cycling from there... So we booked a flight for the 11th of January to Aqtau. Then the riots/ coup started all through Kazakhstan and the airport closed down in the window of our flight soo suddenly this was off the table too. Simultaneously our visa applications for Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan and most importantly China got rejected. The trip was in shambles as this now meant that we officially weren't able to go to Hongkong.

Christmas decorations for Dagblad de Limburger and happy selfies in Tbilisi.

Therefore onto something that now could be considered Plan C or D. Cycle 6000 km through India and Bangladesh. Max's visa got accepted in no time, it was just that Sam had some trouble the first time round but there was good hope for the second application. After a ton of emails, calls and contact with our Indian partners the visa got rejected again, which meant that we now either had to turn back from Tbilisi or take the risk fly to Kazakhstan and cycle to the Chinese border from there. All these issues meant that we had now postponed our tickets to Georgia until the 29th of January but it seemed like we would definitely go to Georgia and make the decision there. Bags were packed, PCR tests performed and rides arranged. A few hours before departure we got the news that Sam had tested positive for Covid even though he had fled the house where his mum and brother had created their Covid hub. So another delay of at least two weeks...

Our album cover pic on our snow adventure in the Georgian mountains.

The decision on where to go was eventually made for us by the Uzbek government. As Uzbekistan closed the borders with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan so we couldn't go to these countries either. It has now officially been decided that we will cycle back to the Vrijthof from Tbilisi and turn our journey to Hongkong into a journey of 10.000km.

Rough draft of our journey back to Maastricht.

If nothing disturbs our plans we will be leaving on the 12th of February to Tbilisi where we will start our journey back to Maastricht. Until then we'll sit tight and hope that there won't be even more setbacks that we will have to bounce back from.

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