"... The desert is slowly encroaching on Nouakchott, the streets building up the eddying sand blown in from surrounding dunes... It is eight km of no mans land between the two border posts, an area heavily mined, sensible to remain on one of the tracks between the painted rock cairns and where guides are not allowed in to assist."
Peter and Kay Forwood, Australia, in Mauritania and Morocco
"Woman on terrace tries to make conversation, explaining why she is walking around with a big piece of cloth, 'I am trying to make shade.' I nod politely, after all it is sunny, despite the early hour. Pause. She says then, 'I am travelling with a lama.' What to respond? Inquire into its welfare? Does it miss home? How are its hooves? Does it like the local water? Smiled inanely, I pictured her, in her ethnic clothes with a large quadruped mammal trailing behind her on a red embroidered tasselled lead, neighing in the heat and dust. 'He's not feeling well,' she added...."
Simon Kennedy, Ireland, in India
"...We were held up at one post for over two hours at Ferkessedougou because we had not stopped at the previous blockade and refused to return...After considerable time of stand off I proceeded to start taking photos of the surrounding area, including the road block which brought on an immediate reaction from one sergeant to snatch the camera, and a scuffle broke out resulting in Kay's helmet hitting him on the head and him punching Kay in the face. Even here women don't openly get punched in the face by Army sergeants regularly, and the situation immediately went quiet."
Peter & Kay Forwood, Australia, in Code d'Ivoire
"...Subtly at first, and then with more force, I felt the bike starting to labour and inexorably lose forward momentum. I shifted down a cog and continued, but the drag worsened. ...Then I looked down, and knew with certainty that we were sinking. The surface here was not as solid as the previous day, and we were making heavy weather through what was rapidly becoming soft salt-topped mud. Oh dear, I thought, or words to that effect."
Connor Carson, UK, in Pakistan
"...They were more than a little dispirited, but we consoled them with the newsletter ...'Look, there are other people out there doing the same mad things, driven by the same inexplicable compulsion.' I think we all felt a slightly warm and fuzzy feeling at the confirmation of the existence of this brother (and sister-) hood of RTW motorbikers..."
Siobhan McInerny, Ireland
"...Without a doubt-without a shadow of a doubt the best enlightening, growing, fun, insane, unforgettable, weird, bizarre, educational, crazy, incredible experience of my life of 23 years. However, don't think that our traveling days are over. Oh no!! ... My only advice is that if you are thinking of having a little adventure of your own-- leave now without further procrastination. Don't use money, jobs, and materialism to stop you from experiencing life. Drop everything and GO!!"
Ryan Wagner and Dan Koengeter, USA
"...When the last jeep of the guerrillas is fleeing, they see me and then return. They yell, forcing me to go with them. 'If you try to escape, we fill you with lead', is their final warning...along with other seized hostages and several confiscated trucks, we went into the mountains using dirt roads...The level of my anguish and anxiety is increasing with the passing of the minutes, all kinds of thoughts go through my head: Kidnapped by the guerrilla, what a way to finish an adventure for Peace."
Ricardo Rocco Paz, Ecuador, in Colombia
"...I'm off tonight to a Carnival/Music festival with a group of 17-24 yr old babes (braces an' all) and no one thinks (or says) that I'm an oldster, they are so marvellous and have become great friends they want me to stay here. The Brazilian audience is wild and superb everyone sings along with the performers. 'When I die, I don't want to go to Heaven - I want to come to Brasil`- Wish I had discovered this country before."
Keith King, UK,in Brazil
"...A clean room, hot water, safe parking and a hotel full of women, what more can be requested?"
Ricardo Rocco Paz, Ecuador, in Brazil
"...Nairobi is a dangerous city. Very dangerous. Especially at night when it's dark in the treacherous alleys. My first walk ended in hospital, where the doctor sewed my wounds and where I left a puddle of blood on the green sheets..."
Dirk 'Krid' Bernhart, Germany, in Nairobi, Kenya
"...We opened up the second pannier and knew it was full of stinking clothes. We hadn't done laundry for over two weeks, and Kevs socks were almost leaping out of the bag as we unzipped the hold-all and the knickers were equally as gruesome! The stench hit our nostrils and in a fit of impatience, Kev grabbed a handful and shouted at the Officer, "solo ropas" (only clothes) "necessito limpiar" (need to clean!) and proceeded to shove them right under his nose. The Officer stumbled backwards as if hit with a brick and coughing, finally waved his hand to say he was done."
Julia Powell and Kevin Sanders, UK, in Bolivia
Are you an Overland Adventure Traveller?
Does the smell of spices wafting through the air make you think of Zanzibar, a cacophony of honking horns is Cairo, or a swirl of brilliantly patterned clothing Guatemala? Then this is the site for you!
Hosted by Grant and Susan Johnson, RTW 1987-1998