Ultimate Train Challenge

The Ultimate Train Challenge was a feat of sheer lunacy and adventure. Partnered with two other travel bloggers, we co-created the train-journey-to-end-all-train-journeys: 30 days, by train, from Lisbon to Saigon.

Starting in Lisbon, we each had 17 days to make our way as and how we wished through Europe to Moscow, where we reunited and boarded the Trans Siberian (the longest train ride in the world) to Beijing. Hot on the heels of the longest train ride, we followed up with the fastest train ride (at the time) from Beijing to Shanghai. From there on, it was a series of (at times, painstakingly) slow trains through China and Vietnam to our final debarkation point: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city).

To keep things interesting (if that weren’t interesting enough), we spiced up the challenge with a scavenger hunt (for experiences, rather than things, given that we three were full-time travelers lugging everything we owned along with us) and some tours and experiences along the way when we weren’t choo-choo-ing along.

My Ultimate Train Challenge adventure is far from the only crazy thing I’ve done on trains; I also rode 16,000kms of trains in Australia, took the train across Canada, and many more long-distance epic journeys. Much of it has made fodder for my book Tales of Trains: Where the Journey is the Destination.

Please enjoy this collection of posts (scrolling down takes you from end to beginning) about my Ultimate Train Challenge adventure.

Flat in Moscow

Moscow, Russia

Despite the roller-coaster of Ukraine leaving me higher than lower, I roll into Moscow (literally “roll”) feeling pretty flat, and with a huge task-list.

Leaving Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

Ah, the food, the people, the ambiance, the life. In Leaving Lisbon on September 1st to commence the Ultimate Train Challenge, I have already vowed to return. (It’s just a matter of when).