The Irish couple who are cycling home from Japan

Laura McMorrow and Ciarán Hussey set out to travel 10,000km from Kanazawa by bike


What better way to make your way back from Japan to Ireland than by bicycle?

Most people may not be too keen on the idea of cycling over 10,000km, yet this is just what Irish couple Laura McMorrow (28), originally from Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, and Ciarán Hussey (32), from Glenamaddy, Co Galway, are doing.

The pair of artists said sayonara to Kanazawa in Japan, where they had been teaching English for two years, in July.

They plan to be back in Ireland on October 1st, according to Laura’s father, Jim McMorrow, but her brother Donovan is less convinced about the timing.

Not-so-quick sand

Like most parents, Jim McMorrow worries about his daughter’s safety on the trip.

“I would prefer that they wouldn’t do it and I do worry about them, but I insisted they have a tracker system with an emergency button they can press if they get into dire straits and we can find out where they are. They let us know at midday every day where they are, so it puts our minds at rest.”

“They are somewhere between Ulaanbaatar and somewhere unpronounceable,” Donovan tells The Irish Times.

His father confirms the couple have just sent their current position to him on the GPS tracker, which shows they are in northwest Mongolia.

He says the pair are “hoping to immerse themselves in different cultures, meet interesting characters, capture some amazing photographs and of course see some of the finest landscapes in the world”.

So far, so good, it seems. Laura sent this email when she landed in Mongolia.

“We are in a small town with no internet cafe but a nice man brought us into his office. There is a power cut in the town now. We are in Tosontsengel. We had vodka for breakfast this morning. Sleeves down, right-handed (as is the custom in Mongolia!).

“We are heading west, the road has disappeared so our progress has slowed. And there is more sand, which is difficult by bike, but we’re really enjoying it.”

Parental concerns aside, Jim and his wife, Gillian, are happy their daughter is tackling this epic odyssey.

“It’s a positive thing and a nice thing and she will have it in the future,” he says.

Hussey, son of former Galway East Fianna Fáil TD Tom Hussey, and McMorrow write a blog, Crank & Cog giving a flavour of their preparations for the journey, which involved 18 months of research and experimenting with what equipment to take.

And they have a long way to go. After cycling across Mongolia, they will continue on to Russia, then via Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland and England, before arriving home.

We just hope they remembered to pack something to soothe sore muscles. Read the blog at