I now have the final group with whom I will be riding through China. Total cost per person came in at under £1000 each; not too much more than the freighting option from Kathmandu; so very happy! I have met half of the people I will be riding with and they are a great bunch of people; I am sure it will be a great trip. I can now focus on the other parts of the ride; mainly getting from London to the Chinese border. I know where I want to go once I get to the 'Stans, but how to get there? Don't want to overplan the whole thing so the choice of route to Uzbekistan will probably be determined by the political situation over the next few months.
I have put my Aprilia Pegaso Trail on ebay to help raise funds for the trip. Sad to see it go, but having two bikes is an expensive indulgence for me. The XT is the bike for the job, so the Peg has to go.
Thinking about luggage options. This is the bike as set up for a trip around Europe last year. Worked pretty well, but the topbox is too big and heavy; so I am on the lookout for something smaller and lighter. Have invested in a Scottoiler and am looking at a new shock (if the Peg. makes decent money!).
All in all, things are coming together nicely. Just have to wait another 4 months until I can set off.