July 24, 2004 GMT
The Who The What The Where and The When

What - the heck do you think you are doing; Seen that look on a few peoples faces in the last few weeks, it's a kinda lopsided stare with glazed eyes as you explain to them where you are going and how; "on a motorbike?" they ask, Oh yes I say - I am gentle with people though, I sneak it up on them - I mention in conversation, especially around business that I am going to be away on long leave, curiosity is piqued and so they ask, and so I tell them.

For me this trip is not that adventurous, there is a road all the way, its been done before, I am in good company, I feel confident (ask me again half way across the desert!) - yes OK that's a naive confident - in the last decade I have ridden a motorbike approx 2000 kms, and all of that in the last 6 months as we get ready to go

Who - do you think you are, well I am not you and I am not that guy over there I am me. Two Short Bio's

Richard Stone 37 Male, English, works in the luxury travel business (yep it is true, the butler will unpack for you), former motorcycle despatch rider around London, addicted traveller, has a 'significant other', (Goede dag Jan, U het een mooie ziele, en mijn heerlijke tigger) eats curry for breakfast - approaches bike maintenance with the view 'if it aint broke don't fix it' Who is NOT related to Chris.... we are not brothers, cousins or gay partners, just two blokes with the same name - which is a bit strange I agree, if it was Patel or Smith I could understand it.

Chris Stone 40 something Male, English, carpenter, traveller, climbs mountains for fun (!) then goes and kayaks over waterfalls (!!) is this still fun(?) - expert at making bikes work, never eats all day, he is a natural Human GPS (probably got a homing pigeon for a great grandfather) approaches bike maintenance with the the view 'if it aint broke lets take it apart and see how it works and then make it better' - understands the dark mysteries of Auto Electrics

When - in 6 days time we are on the ferry to France, 4 days later the ferry Italy to Turkey - Are we ready? - NO not really, but we are close - sweating on an Iranian Visa, we are using these guys in Shiraz to help get the visa www.key2persia.com - they are very good but it is taking an age, Latest feed back is it will be 10 day before they get approval for us, the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that we leave in 6 days. So Plan B is to collect the visa from Ankara in Turkey and not London!! we are not at the 'headless chicken stage' yet but there is definitely the sound of clucking in the breeze.

Why simply for the pleasure of doing it. Success is a journey not a destination, Happiness is not a place you arrive at, it is a attitude you carry with you - How many people go travelling to 'escape' ' find themselves' 'get away from it all' - The bad news is you will always take you with you, and the good news is, you will always take you with you too... One day in October last, Chris and I where sitting outside the Mucky Duck pub in Effingham, a pint of Tea in hand talking boys talk. I mentioned that I fancy getting a bike again, he mentioned that most of the BMW Club were off to India again - the year before they did a 2 week trip with these guys Blazing trails in Goa, and for Autumn 04 where off around the hilly bits north of Shimla - Well 2 and 2 where put together and came out with 4 squared! Alcohol was consumed, a handshake was made, even a date was set and here we are 6 days from leaving to ride out overland to meet them in Shimla - In the sober light of the following day it appeared that we are both too stubborn to back down, so off we go - and I am indeed rather pleased that we are.

Where From here to there via France Italy Turkey Iran Pakistan India and Nepal, with the hope of blagging it across the border to Tibet

Me I have a R100RT with the RT bit removed, Chris, a much more sensible R100GS PD, totally rebuilt.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty
recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity;
but the dreamers of the day are the dangerous men,
for they may act upon their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia)

.... and after such a build up, please God let me at least make it out of Europe

Indiana Jones's Grandad and Tin Tin go adventuring


Posted by Richard Stone at 11:48 AM GMT

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