background
June 30, 2009 GMT
My first overseas touring experience

My first overseas touring experience was back in 1969. I took a NortonDominator 650 ss 2 up with camping gear on tour of Austria/Switzerland/Germany and france over a 2 week period. It was hard work and slow going but i was bitten by the touring bug.
A tour to Vienna followed the next year on the same bike, and two years later a trip to Rome. It was on this trip that my friend turned up at Dover on a Honda CB 750/4.
The following year saw me on a K1 honda 750 to yugoslavia to Dubrovnik, i was now a Honda fan . I backpacked to Aussie and back the next year,those were the days easy borders little paperwork and Afganistan was open.

Posted by Archie Taylor at 09:02 PM GMT
NOT A SANE IDEA

Fast forward to 2003, trying to come to terms with a divorce from a woman I truly miss. Now I was the owner of a honda vfr 800 vtec touring europe again, after a 30 year gap from bikes starting to think i would like to go further afield.
I decided, although I would be 65, to start in 2009. But fate had other ideas. In june 2006, without any warning, I suffered a stroke down my left side. A serious setback but this was not going to stop me from setting off on my dream voyage. When I mentioned to the hospital consultant what i planned to do he thought I was insane. I'm about to prove him wrong... i hope.

Posted by Archie Taylor at 09:22 PM GMT
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 GMT

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 GMT
December 04, 2009 GMT
Rosso is going to be fun

Leaving Bamako was a pleasant early morning ride 6.30 start the road goes up the hills to the north of Bamako past the presidential palace thru empty roads on the mali savaneh towards the mauri border at diema turn left to Kayes , all this is tarmac in good condition
Singing Mr Blue skies to myself i thought this is why i worked 50 years biking at its best a real pleasure even the cops joke with you here Decided to call it a day at Kayes Mali, having seen perhaps twnty vehicles in 300 miles the campement is nice here clean bunglows and cold beer by the side of another great african river The senegal river met a scots bloke here with landie gave me the name of best campemant in west africa THE ZEBRABAR, THERE YOU ARE URUSLA THE FIRST RECOMMEND
The next day was onto the senegal mali border at Kidira easy peesy to easy 100 k down the road i realised i did not have a senegal laisey faire - custom import doc for bike OH well ill sort that prob out at rosso ( you twat archie should have turned back) thought about calling it a day at TAMBOUCOUNDA (say that when your drunk) but as tarmac was good i thought push on though will be tight for daylight
50k down the road tarmac dissapeared into Piste ( DIRT ROAD FOR THOSE WHO DONT SPEAK FRANCAISE) hope this dont last long it did. for 130 l to be precise , IT turned into horror when darkness fell the last 30k needed those super lights tim had fitted (morpheus motorcycles) at last a small town Kiffen and welcome doss house (beer was cold) no food though hens hadt laid any eggs that day.
ON TO DAKER
iI hit daker mid day traf was horrendous took 3 hours to get to west suberb oF GOF a quiete fishing village its is truly spectacular the great fisking piroques full of sardines , they are under threat by the precence north of the big european factory ships THEY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO RAPE THESE WATERS the senegalese rely on their easy to catch cheap fish By the way the entrance to the courtyard of the auberge was up 8 steep steps ,no prob the africans just lifted it up -complete with panniers on
By the way if you think thres loads of splling mistakes it because i am keying outside and cant see screen properly due to sun well it is dec 3rd oh its about 28 degrees.
Had to buy a cardigan the other day for evenings, only need the slippers and can buy a BM .Oh by the way honda still totally reliable BM owners note oh and soft panniers great nothing stolen
Leaving Bamako was a pleasant early morning ride 6.30 start the road goes up the hills to the north of Bamako past the presidential palace thru empty roads on the mali savaneh towards the mauri border at diema turn left to Kayes , all this is tarmac in good condition
Singing Mr Blue skies to myself i thought this is why i worked 50 years biking at its best a real pleasure even the cops joke with you here Decided to call it a day at Kayes Mali, having seen perhaps twenty vehicles in 300 miles the campement is nice here clean bunglows and cold beer by the side of another great african river The senegal river met a scots bloke here with landie gave me the name of best campemant in west africa THE ZEBRABAR, THERE YOU ARE URUSLA THE FIRST RECOMMEND
The next day was onto the senegal mali border at Kidira easy peesy to easy 100 k down the road i realised i did not have a senegal laisey faire - custom import doc for bike OH well ill sort that prob out at Rosso ( you twat archie should have turned back) thought about calling it a day at TAMBOUCOUNDA (say that when your drunk) but as tarmac was good i thought push on though will be tight for daylight
50k down the road tarmac dissapeared into Piste ( DIRT ROAD FOR THOSE WHO DONT SPEAK FRANCAISE) hope this dont last long it did. for 130 miles to be precise , IT turned into horror when darkness fell the last 30k needed those super lights tim had fitted (morpheus motorcycles) at last a small town Kiffen and welcome doss house (beer was cold) no food though hens hadt laid any eggs that day.
ON TO DAKERi.
I hit daker mid day traf was horrendous took 3 hours to get to west suberb YOF YOF a quiete fishing village its is truly spectacular the great fishing piroques full of sardines , they are under threat by the precence north of the big european factory ships THEY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO RAPE THESE WATERS the senegalese rely on their easy to catch cheap fish By the way the entrance to the courtyard of the auberge was up 8 steep steps ,no prob the africans just lifted it up -complete with panniers on
By the way if you think theres loads of spelling mistakes it is because i am keying outside and cant see the screen properly due to sun well it is dec 3rd oh its about 28 degrees had to buy a cardi the other day for evenings, only need the slippers and can buy a BM .Oh by the way honda still totally reliable BM owners note oh and soft panniers great nothing stolen
Now on my 5th pair of cheap specs

CONCLUSIONS UP TO DATE

HAVE I ENJOYED TRIP UPTO NOW YES WITH A FEW RESERVATIONS

Got a bit lonely at times you continually worry about accidents breakdowns or punctures on your own in the middle of nowhere travelling 2 oe3 bikes would solve the prob but you would have to pick your companions carefully
Scenery great experience great.
you meet amazing people one guy i met had JUST CYCLED OVER SAHARA ON WAY TO SOUTH AFRICA people to numerous to mention all great companions all of us have a lot in common ,Im the oldest ive met a its got me a few free beers on the way and some 10 minutes of fame ,the amsterdam -banjul rally came thru Dakhla marocco when camped there and many asked to take photos of me(perfs no doubt) Some people said i was very brave( like that one) the ones that really impress me are the pedal cyclists going from europe to daker and beyond im typing this on a computer belonging to a couple, marlene is french and her hubby polish both lovely unasumming youngsters the couple next to me on the campsite are retired(early) germans their vehicle/lorry has absolutly everything including kitchen sink
this type of travelling is not just about scenery but also the people you meet and the experiece.

at one time i cursed going down to mauritania and beyond early oct as i later realised most people travel down africa later late nov/dec but you may not know Al kayIDA havE been busy kidnapping overlanders on the very roads i have travelled and many borders are now closed trapping some overlanders

I must say at this point coments by the club bores, know it alls and those who have never been outside europe make the HUBB on HU site nonsense please those of you that talk thru the back of your head desist.
Serious overlanders rely on upto date info on the HUBB not feckin nonsense about tunnels or the road between NOUABIDOU-NOCKCHOTT being a couple of hours drive "what are you rockett propelled" its 300 feckin miles of a road thru a desert with only 3 buildings (filling stations of coarse) and no military untill last week oh the odd sleepy checkpoint who if you turned up in a tank would hardly notice.
Enough of my rant, its back to the plot having stayed in DAKER for 6 days i headed for what is the best campement in west africa THE ZEBRABAR 16 k before st louis or to pronounce it right san wee (bloody french language) its is fabulous

Built over13 years by URSUALA and martin shes smashing he did not like me and i thought he was misserable sod but you must stay there its fab when i had my wallet pocket picked in san wee ursh was very helpful when she realised i did not have a laissey faire and i had to get thru san wee and rosso she was horror struck martin well* just shruged his shoulders THANKS urshuala and always speak well of ZEBRABAR
THE NEXT BLOG WILL BE ABOUT ROSSO till then keep wraping up against cold.Me im looking at prop to rent here in sidi ifni marroc for the future winters sun and all the off road riding i desire any females want to join me for 3 months each winter bike provided and suprb fresh fish cheap only 2 hours drive from AGADIR airport cheap airfares as well

Posted by Archie Taylor at 11:07 AM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!