Route, Re-Route, Re-Re-Route!
We started filling up multiple spread sheets deciding our route. Every new development, research and piece of information started changing our way to Mumbai.
The starting point is fixed (New York) and our final destination is fixed (Mumbai). The rest is to be decided. The plan is to fly from New York to London and then start driving from London across land borders to Mumbai.
The safety, uncertainty of borders, costs, visa requirements, road conditions are the factors which kept changing our routes very frequently.
The original proposed plan was:
UK - France - Germany - Austria - Hungary - Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Azerbaijan - Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - China - Nepal - India
We found out that the Nepal border is currently closed due to the earthquake in 2015. So entering India from Myanmar is our next option.
Chinese travel agencies suggested avoiding Tibet and entering from the Mongolian border into China and then going south to Myanmar. This can reduce paper work and costs involved, but that also means taking a complete deroute to get to India and many more days on the road.
We contemplated the safety situation in Turkey and also the predictability of crossing the Caspian Sea by Cargo Ship. It involved more time at border crossings and shipping the car. So we decided to go through Russia.
Once in Russia, we decided to go from St. Petersburg down south to Sochi. Since Sochi was the host city for 2014 winter Olympics we expect that it will have better roads there. We planned to enter Georgia from Sochi and then continue to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Reading more about Georgia-Russia relations, we think passing by that border will increase the uncertainties. Passing through Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan involves more Visas.
So our final decided route (up to now!) is US- UK - France - Switzerland - Germany - Poland - Lithuania - Latvia - Estonia - Russia - Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - China - Myanmar - India.
I think route is a very dynamic thing and it keeps changing with more research. We simply hope to reach Mumbai.