Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Wollongong to Woolwich by Will Wilkins & Kate Macdonell

Wollongong to Woolwich is the overland motorcycle adventure of Will and Kate.  Departing Australia and heading for the UK via Asia.

The book is an interesting read.  It's not melodramatic, self-confessing travel book, and not technical for the avid motorcyclists. This overland ebook is styled as a personal diary, often highlighting blog entries to enhance the mood of the moment.  The pace is quick, which often leaves you wanting to know more details.

You will enjoy this book if you are considering an overland trip using motorbikes as it highlights aspects of travel that make motorcycle travel interesting and challenging.  One simple example is the daily endeavour of finding accommodation whilst on a motorbike compared to simply pulling over in your overland camper.

Visit the website: Wollongong to Woolwich and follow via Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Austigirl and https://twitter.com/WillWilkins165

A few interesting paragraphs from the book:
Re. the City of Kathmandu:
The whole city was fantastic. I won’t go into a long-winded description to rival a tourist guidebook, but I will use some key words to paint a picture: Noisy, Hectic, Crowded, Vibrant, Friendly, Safe, Polluted, Ancient, Crumbling and yet so ALIVE

Cross the Hunza Lake (book cover photo):
I’d waited years to be somewhere like this, doing something like this. Over the years I’d read so many books and seen so many cool photos of bikes being loaded onto cargo boats in Africa or bamboo rafts in Cambodia. Now it was happening to us. This was our moment to take our own photos of our bikes on our boat and we loved it.
After a long border crossing:
It was 5pm by the time we eventually got through. We’d been there for six hours. We now had to ride two hours up to the 3700m Torurgart Pass. I had once read that the definition of Adventure Motorcycling was to set off in the morning not really knowing where your destination was or when you’d arrive. This was certainly one of those days! 
A notable part of the book is an A-Z section highlighting various thoughts and tips - a few I thought was worth mentioning:

B - Budget
Cash spent on accommodation $3,323 
Cash spent on fuel between us $2,711 
Total on food etc between us $10,500 
Shipping (air and sea) $3,800
Insurance and carnets etc $4,000
Flights (ex Darwin & Thai) $1,100
Visas $3,500 Bike mods/prep $2,000
Repairs, tyres etc $1,000
Total spend (approx.) $33,844 (£1 = $1.6)
C - Carnet
We were advised by the AAA to take photos of our carnet as it got stamped in and out of all countries so we had some sort of proof if the carnet were to get lost or stolen.  

Quote References (Kindle)
- Highlight Loc. 802-4
- Highlight Loc. 1849-51
- Highlight Loc. 2161-63

Additional Reading:
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