Who knows how many roads are around the world, thousands, millions possibly, but there are few of them which really deserve to be visited, and if you do it on a motorcycle even better. This are 5 of the best lonely, remote and scenic roads for riding motorcycles:
1. LAKE NATRON
Lake Natron is an area of the most amazing wild landscapes in Northern Tanzania, no doubt is one of our favorites scenery all over Africa. We reccomend you to take the little road starting from Longido. No traffic in this region, probably you will be the only person moving in a motorized vehicle. Massai people move by foot, you mostly will find massai warriors who are there defending their cuttle from lions. So when you meet them be relax because the routes are safe. Getting close to the volcano Ol Donyo Lengai will make everything getting more porwerfull, richer land means more life, wildebeest, camels, zebras, giraffes and thousands of flamingos once you get to the lake.
- Off-road: not very dusty roads, easy to ride with a mínimum experience.
- Wildlife: most of the african repertoire, but the most dangerous use to be away from the route.
- Access to fuel service: be sure you fill the tank in Longido, it should be enought to go and back. Once you get to the lake you can ask for to buy some extra fuel, they use to have for generate electricity.
- Free camping: there you can camping free anywhere. For us was the most magic night under the sky just down of the Volcano OlDonyo Lengai and shower from backet under the stars, but massai villages is another option, meet the chief and try to make him to understand you want to sleep there. They are friendly people and funny host.
- Weather condition: The days are very hot. Bring enough water.
2. DALTON HIGHWAY
666 km starting from the town of Livengood up to Prudhoe Bay, to the shore of the Artic Sea in Alaska. We rode during the month of May and we was almost alone along all the way. How remote is this road? Along all the route you can find only three very small base camps for the workers of the petrol platfomrs. Those camps will be your only chance to get fuel, food and a place to rest. Always bring with you some food in cans and extra gasoline, even when in our case because we could ride with full tank almost 500 km. if you love lonely roads this is the perfect choice. We were told that only 2% of the travelers who visit Alaska dare to cross this road, but dont be afrain the tundra and it magical animals deserve a shot
- Off-road: muddy road in low elevations and rocks and gravel when crossing Atigun pass.
- Wild life: be careful if a moose, caribou or musk ox is in your path, but specially carefull with bears, over there you get al kind of them, black, grizzlie and polar.
- Acces to fuel service: the longest distance without fuel stations will be between Coldfoot and Deadhorse, amost 400 km.
- Free camping: there you can camp for free wherever you want only if you are not afraid of wild life, specially bears, otherwise you must arrive to some of the 3 camps, expensive but safety and warm bed.
- Weather condition: The weather conditions change so quickly. We were few days wating for the best weather posible but forecast is not very accurate in this land. During 4 days ride we experience every posible climate. Start with sunny day, true the strong winds, rain, snowing, cloudy and back to sunny.
Do you want to know more about this road? click here and see next post
3. CARRETERA AUSTRAL
The only way to visit the Chilean Patagonia is riding through “carretera austral”. Starting in Puerto Montt and finishing in Villa O’Higgins you have more than 1000 km to travel between fiords, glaciers, volcanoes and ancient forests. Some sections of this route need to be connected by ferry. It´s a very isolated region and before to start any day riding you must be sure to have fuel enough and check everything is ok with the bike because for many km you are going to be alone.
We will remember very well forever the Carretera Austral because of the accident we had and where Ivana broke here leg in 2 parts in a place where ambulance car is just a dream, when life is in danger maybe you can request helicopter in our case just to hold the pain and find the way to reach the closer hospital, for us it was in Coyhaique and it took us 4 days to get a doctor to see us, the diagnosis was quick, it needs surgery and several months of rest.
- Off road: loose gravel that with the rain and humidity can be very slippery
- Wildlife: nothing to worry about, cougar is the biggest predartor but those cats don´t like to be close to people
- Access to fuel service: maximun distance without petrol station can be 300 km
- Free camping: very posible, but also you can try fire stations or asking to local people, very open to offer you a warm and dry place to pass the night.
- Weather condition: very cold and high humidity
4. STUART HIGHWAY
The Stuart Highway or Explorer highway is crossing from north to south through the middle of Australia, 3.200 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide.
Along the highway, you can find small towns like Katherin, Tennant Creek, Alice Spring Cooper Pedy and a lot interesting stories. Desert can look boring at the beginning but in Australia will surprise you how fun can be. Even when looks long an empty road there is many thinks, places and history to discover. Never ride after sunset because kangaroos are jumping into the lights and that can be very dangerous. Be careful with the road train drivers because there is not speed limit and they will go so fast and to stop those trailers it take few hundreds of meters. Don´t forget to visit Uluru and try to socialize with the aboriginal people. In the hearth of this huge desert we had the most beautiful night, unique place to look at the milky way.
- Off-road: The road is completely asphalted, but if you like to take an off road tour around be careful with flat tires.
- Wild life: kangaroos and many different colorful birds. Specially care when camping with snakes and scorpions.
- Access to fuel service: the farther distance without gasoline it is almost 400km, thats why be sure you bring some extra gasoline with you. There are few roadhouse along the Stuart Highway but be ready to pay one of the most expensive fuel in the world
- Free camping: we camping every day by the road. You can find sometimes rest area next to the road where to open your tent.
- Weather condition: we travel during the winter time, so we had day temperature 20-25C and the night temperature drop till 0 and under. Carefull with the wind, mainly when crossing with the famous australian road trains.
5. PAMIR HIGHWAY
One of the second-highest road in the world crossing the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan and specially beautiful its section from Osh to Khorog. This road is surrounded for countries like Afghanistan,Pakistan and China, is a land full of magic and culture where tradiction keep the lifestyly like centuries ago. For me, born in Macedonia, it was very interesting to discover how so far away from home the people in those mountains told me they are descendants from the macedonians who thousands of years ago crossed this land with Alexander the Great during his way to India, and then I could see how many similarities they have with my culture. This road is part of the Silk Road, and that´s means a road made for travelers, years ago they were traders moving with donkeys, camels or walking, and today travelers in bicicle and motorbikes. For us was one of the hardest experiences riding in the middle of November, facing -20º C, white snow storm, ice roads, high altitude in cold weather and high pression. With not proper equipment for those conditions we had really difficult time, but great life lessons.
You need to apply for permisiion to ride in Pamir Highway, it costa round 5 dollars and you can easily take it in Dushanbe, it´s bassically a militar control to know who is going in the border road with Afghanistan and to track you in case you get lost.
- Off-road: mostly all the way from Khorog to the border with Kyrgyzstan, don´t forget a good set of off road tires and be carefull in the highlands when temperature can drop very low and freeze the road.
- Wildlife: be careful with wolves if you decide to camp, finger crossed to meet a Marco Polo in your way.
- Access to fuel: not gas station, fuel we was buying from local houses sellers who keep the gasolina in big cans and serve with buckets, so take a net with you to filter the fuel before entering in your tank.
- Free camping: in spring and summer you can camp anywhere and enjoy the amazing nature of this region, but in our case because we travel this road in November we have pass the night with locals who never said no when we ask them for a place to. Remember this people are use to receive travelers since centuries ago.
- Weather condition: recommended to travel in spring and summer, during winter roads will be closed. Beginning of November will be your last chance then you will have to wait to May.