July 11, 2009 GMT
A concerted effort at the gym saw me back on the bike in 3 months albeit a tad weaker down the left side and other side effects.
A tour of the balkens followed in 2007 on the vfr 800 a super touring bike 70k, which never missed a beat.
I decided in aug 2007 to buy a 98 600 honda transalp and fettle to my spec and set off for india via iran/pakistan in sept 2008.
Aha may 2008 saw my left knee start to disintegrate due to ostio arthitis. By june I was on crutches, at which time I told the consultant I planned to do a long distance trip, he just smiled
After a pretty miserable winter, suffering great pain, misery, and struggling to use the bike (although the crutches fitted snuggly on the top box) November saw me with a replacement knee. In this period i blessed Tim and Paul at Morpheus motorcyles in Bristol with regular visits to have alterations on the bike. Each time I was provided with awful coffee and a comfy chair, from which place i still managed to be a nuisance. Feb 09 saw me back on the bike and restarting my plan. For some reason it seems as if fate does not want me to go, as on easter saturday I fell of bike in a campsite at 5 mph. The result being a broken foot and very twisted tendons, oh well they say things come in threes.
May saw problems in pakistan and feared trouble in iran so I changed my plan to go to west africa and ghana instead. I'm sure I've made the right decision.
Posted by Archie Taylor at 06:10 PM
By now friends are thinking I'm insane. Everything is now ready for the 1st sept when I will be leaving Portsmouth for Spain and Africa. Oh by the way my right knee is giving some pain as the consultant warned me it would but when i'm on the bike it does not hurt - answer stay riding the bike. A Moral to this entry - never give up on your dreams, it's always achievable if you try!
I prefer to travel on my own, meeting the odd person along the way. I always think it makes you master of your own destiny and you're not stuck with some pillock who is a pain in the butt.
Posted by Archie Taylor at 06:17 PM
July 12, 2009 GMT
the plan i think
Planning has been kept to a minimum as being retired with no ties i can take as little or long as i want.
Basically I leave Portsmouth for Santander in Spain on sept 1st. Having toured all over Europe, except Spain, I intend to tour spain until 18th sept then at last a ferry from algerciras to cueta on the moroccan mainland. From there touring moroc to rabat to get to mauri and mali visas. The next step will involve daily planning until mali-bukini faso and then on to ghana /togo. Flexibility is the key word.
Don't get me wrong, I always do a great deal of planning and research before leaving home - it pays dividends when on the road. Travelling is for enjoyment not spending hours in an internet cafe trying to find details about the next country.
By the way i know a little bit about africa as i lived and worked in Southern africa in my early 20s but i feel west africa in 2009 is going to be different, to say the least
I am travelling without a carnet and getting visas along the way. Will it prove troublesome? Time will tell. Especially as i dont speak french ..... watch this space
Hopefully it will be interesting and entertaining.
Posted by Archie Taylor at 06:34 PM
July 19, 2009 GMT
The bike and gear
I could fill pages about the bike but i will be brief 98 transalp all except engine and gearbox rebuilt including new bearings throughout, new alloy wheels, new clutch ,new hagon shock, K&N air filter, Iridium plugs, rebuilt lower seat with gell insert. Scott oiler. Folding gear lever,Headlight guard Side pannier racks.Arrow exhaust, secoundary fuel filter,side stand larger foot.
Miles at start of trip 43K.
Spares nearly all electrical plus plugs and K&N oil filters, brake pads inner tubes.
Spare cables.Spare spokes
Built in voltage analizer to be able to keep an eye on how the rectifiyer and generator are coping.Cigar lighter charger output
Stronger headllight bulb plus spots,louder horn, potterton alloy top box ,mozertubes and Tachai semi soft panniers.Pilion seat removed and tool box in its place with full set of tools. Engine bars ,centre stand,heated grips,bark busters capacity to carry an extra 2 galls of fuel safely.garmin gekko gps, braided hoses all work done by tim and paul at morpheus
Tyres Avon Distanzias would prefer TKC80after mauri but have to compromise . if anybody needs greater details or info pm me at hu ( englisharchie)
camping gear as light as possible but allowing some degree of comfort
Posted by Archie Taylor at 07:35 PM