• 26th Edition, December 1, 2001

    "... During the night I woke to hear something crackle, first I thought it was someone at the bike, I sat up listening. I couldn't place where it was coming from. I unzipped the tent and the first thing I noticed was a thick fog had covered the place, funny thing was it smelt like smoke. I jumped out in my boxer shorts and got into my new walking boots. I could hardly even see the bike, or the cow shed for that matter. I ducked down and ran in, half the floor was alight. I could see what had already been burnt by the black area and the rest was glowing red. The only water I had was in a 2-liter bottle, which I used to stop the fire spreading any closer to the bike. I then grabbed my waterproof bottoms and tied knots in the bottom of each leg and ran to the river..."

    Liam McCabe , Northern Ireland, around the world, in New Zealand

  • 25th Edition, November 1, 2001

    "... A couple of minivans were stuck at the foot of this rutted ascent, whilst a third attacked it at maximum revs, wheels spinning as it was shoved by its dozen or so passengers. The attempt was unsuccessful, and it slithered back into the quagmire with smoke pouring interestingly from the engine compartment.

    The audience turned expectantly towards me, and I didn't feel I could let them down. Up on the pegs, I launched myself at the thing gamely, with predictable results. Something solid in the glutinous muck grabbed pulled and twisted, and over I went. Fortunately, the mud was nice and soft, and I relaxed happily into its gluey embrace as I thumbed the kill switch. He's back, I thought, the legendary horizontal Irish biker adds one more landmass to the growing list of 'Places I've stacked the bike'...."

    Connor Carson, UK, round the world, in Indonesia

  • 24th Edition, October 1, 2001

    "... I was redirected back to the old jetty and told to take my bike across the water in the traditional way - by longboat. Upon my arrival at this jetty my first reaction was to gag. My bike fully loaded weighs 300 kg, I began insisting that this was not possible and when the police then told me to wait until tomorrow and see if the strike is over this only fuelled my resolve. Monsoon downpour over, I removed all luggage including boxes from the bike and drove it onto the longboat via a rickety plank resting on beach sand. Once aboard we (the crew of one and myself) managed to turn the bike around, contorting ourselves into positions that would have made the authors of the Kama Sutra proud! As we set off across the water I couldn't stop myself from trying to gauge the depth in the event of a salvage operation. Who says I am paranoid?"

    Steve Raucher, South Africa, in Thailand

  • 23rd Edition, September 1, 2001

    "... here, in this narrow valley, the primitive senses can appreciate all the little details bestowed on this magical place; the intricate shades of green that fill the air, from the wild grasses to the maturing rice to the pine trees on the borders, the twists, turns, dips and pools of the bubbling river, the gorgeous silver sheen on the rocks at your feet, only the sounds of wind, river and birds to distract you from the visual beauty that surrounds. Kamal (safari leader) estimated the slope of our road to be an incredible seventy degrees, and it soon proved to be too much ..."

    James Richmond, Canada, in the Himalayas

  • 22nd Edition, August 1, 2001

    "... We park our bikes and Harald goes with the leader to a little house to negotiate. Udo stays with the bikes to guard them. The men are real close around the bikes and they all have a mean look in their eyes. They wear the shalwar kameez, wide trousers with a long shirt and tulbands on their heads. They just look like Ali Baba and his 40 robbers... Udo feels threatened and is afraid that the situation is going out of control. Then there is a lot of shouting and men are running to a bus. The bus wanted to drive away but the men are hammering with their fists on the bus till the driver stops. Udo realizes that we can go nowhere. We are taken hostage."

    Harald and Udo Lamers, Netherlands, in Pakistan

  • 21st Edition, July 10, 2001

    "After a few hundred meters my bike looked like a big grey birthday cake on which you could not even recognize the knobbly tires any more. The mud went partly up to my kneecaps, during any of my very frequent stops mosquitoes were circling around my head like Native Americans when attacking the white man's wagons. And let's not forget about the heat, humidity, absence of any life forms but the ones mentioned and of course some crocs."

    Dirk Bachmann, Germany, in Bolivia

  • 20th Edition, June 1, 2001

    "... 'So how exactly did you get here?' It was a common question among the locals. The Darien Jungle is virtually a no-mans land, with the guerrilla controlling the territory to the South and happy Carabineers controlling the paradise to the North... if you are lucky enough to visit the skinny piece of land that lies next to the Darien Jungle at the southern tip of the country, along the Caribbean sea, you just may think that this is paradise... Here you can fish in the morning and eat your catch in the afternoon, and listen to the monkeys hooting in the trees, eating the bananas, next to the mango tree. "

    Kelly (USA) and Enric (Spain), from Santiago to USA, in Panama

  • 19th Edition, May 1, 2001

    "... 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

  • 18th Edition, April 1, 2001

    "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

  • 17th Edition, March 1, 2001

    "...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


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