Archives


March 25, 2006 GMT - Ethiopia - Lalibela and Gonder
Here's one I took a few days ago of St Georges church: They really are extraordinary and are carved out of the solid rock. First dig a big trench straight down like a huge, deep moat. The big chunk left...

February 26, 2006 GMT - Bent & Broken Bits
I've just learnt something new and relearnt something I already knew: - Don't ride on collapsed suspension - Don't let anyone work on my bike - Parts 1 and 2 Collapsed Suspension - A very slow 20km on a dirt...

February 19, 2006 GMT - Gorillas in Virungas NP, Rwanda
Wow. At 220 Kilos, the silverback is not some one to argue with. He is huge. Especially when he starts running towards you thumping his chest and roaring....

February 01, 2006 GMT - Chimps in Gombe NP, Tanzania
There's only 1.4% difference in our DNA. (Reassuringly we also apparently share 40% of our DNA with mushrooms). One young male came and lay down about five feet away and stayed there for ten minutes. In spite of thier small...

January 10, 2006 GMT - The First Lucky Escape
The Blue Ridge Parkway really does get better as you go south. It was a glorious autumnal afternoon in October and I was going faster and faster as the adrenaline started to flow. The leaves were spectacular shades of orange,...

January 06, 2006 GMT - Another Lucky Escape
30% of my mechanical problems have been caused by dealers making mistakes. On the way through Mozambique towards Tete the clutch was dragging and it was getting harder and harder to find neutral. It got a lot worse once the...

December 31, 2005 GMT - A Lucky Escape
'That doesn't look right'. Mark glanced at my rear wheel and spotted one of the bearing seals was fitted badly. I took the wheel off and he removed the seal. It was completely the wrong size and I had never...

December 18, 2005 GMT - Dances With Rhino
Whilst waiting for more bits to arrive I went on a four day walking safari in the Kruger NP with www.transfrontiers.com. This was my best vfm safari yet. If you have never done one you must do so when you...

December 01, 2005 GMT - Swaziland Shake Down
My Swazi shakedown worked very well....

November 18, 2005 GMT - Faffing About
Even I thought it was time to head home having faffed around for the last five months. So where has the time gone? Er, I spent three weeks in Madagascar and er, a day helping Steve entertain his clients: er,...

October 11, 2005 GMT - I Love Madagascar and the Malagasy
It is completely different to anywhere else I have ever been. The warmth of the people, the amazing variety of landscapes, the fun roads, the extraordinary flora and fauna and fantastic food make it totally unique. It is Africa: I'll...

October 08, 2005 GMT - 'We have done this before'
I watched with some trepidation as five blokes lowered Le Heap off the side of the quay into the boat. The water was deep....

October 06, 2005 GMT - 120 km on the wrong road
Both my maps said my route north to Diego was the ‘main’ road with Beleanana a right turn off it. Bollocks. You have to turn left for Diego. The one and only sign was hidden by a lorry when I...

September 24, 2005 GMT - Arrested in Toliara
I’ve just spent five hours under arrest at the Toliara Police Station, Madagascar. What was my crime?...

September 22, 2005 GMT - Giant Grey Carrots
It's true. Look:...

September 20, 2005 GMT - Madagascar
The guide book author Hilary Bradt has been to Madagascar 27 times. Either it is an extraordinary place or she has a bad memory....

May 30, 2005 GMT - The Money Ran Out a Long Time Ago
For the last year or so I've been funding myself by increasing my mortgage. I'm having far too much fun to stop but, even as an accountant, I can appreciate the short term nature of my solution. I tried to...

May 20, 2005 GMT - 'Roo Trouble
I was lucky. Really, really lucky. My steering damper saved me from crashing after I hit a 'roo at about 120 kmh....

April 30, 2005 GMT - The South Island
The natives are friendly....

April 15, 2005 GMT - Waving Goodbye
Oh shit, where did that wave come from? Two locals had both said the tide was going out....

March 26, 2005 GMT - Easter Island
I have wanted to come here for many years....

February 27, 2005 GMT - Dramatic Reconstruction
This happened a few days ago to a ‘friend’ whilst riding through no mans land between Argentina and Chile near Chile Chico. I have reconstructed the actual event as a warning to fellow bikers....

December 12, 2004 GMT - Ushuaia
I love Ushuaia, it has a real buzz....

November 12, 2004 GMT - A 1,000km Day
So what's the big deal? All I did was sit on my bike for nine hours....

November 02, 2004 GMT - Broken Bike Bits 2
I watched as Willy tightened all my spokes. 'Do you know what you are doing?' 'Oh yes', he said....

October 19, 2004 GMT - Broken Bike Bits

It was not a good sign.

The engine had become very noisy, very 'tappety'.

The inlet gaps had increased from 6 to 40 thou in 1,500km



October 11, 2004 GMT - Love Hotel
They are easy to recognise. They are always on the outskirts of town and always one storey buildings....

September 30, 2004 GMT - Border Blockade
As I approached the Bolivian border post at Villazon I could see loads of people all over the place. My guide book had said that this was a major smuggling route tolerated by both governments and that I should just...

September 29, 2004 GMT - River Deep, Mountain High
Riding down a river is a strange feeling. Funnily enough it's only open during the dry season....

September 15, 2004 GMT - Bike Blessing
This was one of the weirdest things I have ever done. My bike has been blessed by a Catholic priest. I parked in front of the church and found the priest. He had two cars and a lorry to bless...

September 09, 2004 GMT - Condor Moment
Colca Canyon is almost the deepest canyon in the world. The neighbouring Cotahuasi is 163m deeper but is a lot harder to get to and doesn't have the condor fly by. Both are twice as deep as the Grand Canyon....

August 14, 2004 GMT - I Lost My Helmet
In stunned silence and almost in slow motion I watched my helmet bounce off the top of the barrier and spin off into the valley below....

July 15, 2004 GMT - Yangay, Cordillera Blanca
This has been the saddest day of my trip. It’s one thing to read or see film about an earthquake, the loss of life and destruction. It’s quite another to visit a town totally destroyed by one and the subsequent...

July 01, 2004 GMT - Canon del Pato, Peru
Ricardo had advised me not to miss this road. There are about forty tunnels as the road winds it's way up the valley. This was a rare exception - a naturally lit tunnel. There were no electric lights in any...

June 25, 2004 GMT -
Here are a few specially selected new products and shopping experiences available in Peru:...

June 06, 2004 GMT - Being Indiana Jones
It all started with another dreadful breakfast. I had asked Aracelli for eggs, toast and coffee. After about half an hour I was presented with a hard boiled egg....

May 25, 2004 GMT - Miss Universe
There was no traffic and lots of police about. They had close the road. 'No wonder he’s late' I thought 'the traffic must be a nightmare'....

April 24, 2004 GMT - The Galapagos Islands
I have wanted to visit the islands for many years. By being in Quito and being able to go at short notice I got a rather nice 45% discount off the normal rack rate. Here are a few examples of...

March 15, 2004 GMT - What I'm Doing Is Easy
I had just entered Costa Rica from Nicaragua and I was in my usual euphoric state from being in a new country with the added relief of having cleared Immigration and Customs. About ten minutes later I could see a...

March 05, 2004 GMT - Stop That Noise
The sweet sounds of ‘Blowing in the wind’ drifted down the street from the open upstairs window. The guitarist also had a good voice....

February 20, 2004 GMT - Plan C was the final solution.
I'd have to remove the smaller pannier and put the bicycle down the side of the bike....

February 10, 2004 GMT - How Not to Carry a Bike on a Bike

This is what Plan A looked like, but more importantly, what did it ride like?



January 15, 2004 GMT - How to carry a Bike on a Bike?
So much for travelling light. I've now bought a bicycle whilst staying in Valle to keep fit while learning Spanish. The tricky bit is how to take the bike with me as I head south. Taking it is made more...

December 01, 2003 GMT - Learning Spanish in Valle de Bravo
I am now in Valle de Bravo, a beautiful town on the edge of a large lake, only two hours away from Mexico City. It is the 'French Riviera' for the wealthy and a lovely place in which to learn...

November 05, 2003 GMT - Driving the Train

I 'asked' to enter the cab. The driver looked at me and smiled. He was pointing to the rear of the train. I was a bit confused thinking he was asking me to go and join all the other toursists again. I looked at him enquiringly and he then pointed down a bit. I clicked. He was pointing at the ladder!

Yes! I climbed up and into the cab. I offered him the ten dollars I'd been waiving in my hand but he declined it.



October 31, 2003 GMT - I Lost My Wallet in Texas

The day started off so well.

I was finally feeling confident of making the rally. The bike was running perfectly, there were no signs of any trouble when I changed the oil the day before, I had just fitted two new tyres that would last at least ten thousand miles and I had all the cooking equipment I needed. I breathed a sigh of relief and relaxation as I set off for the border.



October 10, 2003 GMT - Room Service!

I was trying to decide whether I would travel with Dom and Leah on their bikes for a few days as we are basically going in the same direction. The only problem is that they get up and go to bed late whilst I get up and go to bed early. This suggests a fairly basic incompatibility.



September 21, 2003 GMT - Strangest Thing Ever Shipped?

What's the strangest thing you've ever sent?



September 10, 2003 GMT - So why haven't I left yet?
Today did not get off to a great start. I planned my day and went to Granny's to adjust the sag. I had loads of things going through my head and, having put some stuff in the top box, started...

 
 

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