UK 2003: Third Annual HU Travellers Meeting

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia, or even around the world! Admit it, all your 'normal' friends and most of your family fears for your sanity! So, this is your opportunity to meet the people who will encourage you in that craziness, share their experiences and advice on how to do it, and maybe you'll meet them again in Mongolia or Timbuktu!

Derbyshire, England, June 27-29, 2003

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Breaking news! Report just in from our intrepid correspondents, Sam Manicom and Birgit Schunemann (photos by Chris Bright and Andy Miller):

"What happens when you take a beaten up old, small town pub in a remote Derbyshire village and add to that a large field with African length bush grass, a blazing bonfire, cheap beer, a Tardis sized hall, 7 slide shows, around 200 overlanders "done it and about to's", and a clockwork set of organisation?

You get that uniquely typical travellers atmosphere that's an odd ball combination of mellow, and tail wagging enthusiasm.

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The word had spread, and this years Horizons Unlimited UK Travellers Meeting had just that atmosphere. The eight full round the worlders, those who had experienced trans continental adventures, travellers from Luxembourg, Germany, France, Switzerland, South Africa, Holland and Canada were no more than a percentage of those who had travelled from all over the UK to make it to a weekend of mega sized full English breakfast rolls, a tad of rain, gentle sunshine, and ride outs which had even the experienced stretched.

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Ron Varey

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Dafne de Jong

The slide shows covered a great range of topics and included some world class photography. On night one Sam Manicom, who managed to get so lost on his trip around the world that it took him eight years to make it, started the shows as warm up act. Then Jasper Ditton, novice overlander, and Austin Vince of Terra Circa and Mondo Enduro fame had the rally in fits.

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Sam Manicom and Birgit Schunemann

On the Saturday afternoon Grant Johnson gave some really valuable advice about how to make the most of the Horizons Unlimited web site and piled in with a ton of practical travel advice. His question and answer session wasn't short of questions, or answers.

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The boring but important stuff

On the Saturday night, author and Sahara addict, Chris Scott set everyone's imaginations going by making the desert look easy, even though they were on two wheeled 'dogs'. Then he counter balanced that with some shots of what can happen if you are unlucky - but I don't think he managed to put anyone off! Chris is one of those blokes who make's adventures happen.

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Lambeth, Scott and Glynn

Harvey Gordon-Sawyers, Chris Symes and Karim Hussain managed to make even those itching for a refill sit tight with their tales of the road from Asia, the Middle East, India, South East Asia, South America and Tunisia. They showed that you don't have to know it all to be a successful overlander. You just have to have a bike, a stash, enthusiasm, an open mind and a pocket full of common sense. Having done your homework and having a dollop of luck are the final ingredients to an adventure of a lifetime.

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Harvey Gordon-Sawyers and the tent

Authors Paul Pratt, Manou Emringer, Ellen Spencer, and Dutch adventurers Rob and Dafne de Jong all made it to this the third Horizons Unlimited UK Travellers Meeting.

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Rob and Dafne DeJong, Gerd, Birgit and Sam

and this was only a small part of the campsite...

A small part of the busy campsite...

Keeping them company were Bernd and Patti Tesch who have just this spring celebrated their 25th Overlanders (Tesch Treffen) Rally in Belgium.

Last but not least, round the worlding icon Ted Simon, who is just back from a magical revisit of his 1970s Jupiters Travels tour, made it to the rally in the final hours. At 72 not only did he make it around the world again, but he survived a crash on his way to the rally. Shaken, but typically Ted!

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Grant and Ted Simon with world famous t-shirt

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Ted, Ellen, Bernd, Patricia and Manou

And finally, we shouldn't forget those organisers of the 'clockwork'. Glynn, Chris, Charlie and Phil, and anyone else whose name I forgot. Thanks guys!"

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Glynn Roberts, the morning after, having a tough time remembering which way the t-shirt goes on!

More pics to come - Chris Bright took heaps, but they're coming via snail mail to Canada, so stay tuned!

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Other Comments

"Great to meet up with those we feel we know already through their grand stories on HU! Also the tour with Ian was great to ride, felt like being back in Africa for awhile. Greetings and a smile. Rob and Dafne de Jong, Ride-on World Tour 1996-2001"

"Brilliant! Thanks Grant for all your work in making it easier for the rest of us. Grant March"

"First bike rally! Far exceeded my expectations. Thanks and hope to see you all on the road. Paul J."

"First time here, definitely not the last time. Hopefully next year with my own story and/or presentations."

"A great weekend - unmissable."

"Got here Sat. afternoon. Should have been yesterday! Still time to drink, talk and learn. See you all on the road."

"Long live Horizons Unlimited!"

"Special people. Special dreams. Special weekend. Nice one."

"Liked the talks and slideshows etc. Meeting felt like 'all' were involved instead of just being talked at. Thanks for organizing the weekend!"

"Great job Grant and Susan. I'm living my dream, thanks for all your hard work. Mark"

"Top event. Top geezers (and ladies). Worth its weight in gold. Thanks. Brian"

"Life changing website, great weekend. Thanks so much. Kiwi Pete"

"Inspirational, informative and a bloody good time. The rally that launched a thousand trips. Cheers. Barry"

For more comments, see the PDF file from the Guestbook. Sorry I couldn't read all the signatures!

Thanks to Chris, Glynn and all involved in organising this event and to all of you who came and made it such a success. The numbers exceeded our expectations and the capacity of the site, so we apologise for the crowded facilities, and next year will be a different venue - stay tuned ... Susan

Story on the first UK meeting.
Story on the second UK meeting.


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