Monday, 27 June 2011

Horizons Unlimited

Just got back from a great weekend at the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Ripley, UK. 5-600 overland bikers, great presenters (plus me) and I met up with lots of friends.
Slow bike race – Paddy Tyson falls off.
I met Nadine who I’d first met a year last April on the BMW off road course in Wales. She (as planned) had set off for Eastern Europe in April this year but got hit by a car in Sarejevo. She’s back in the Uk recovering but plans to head off back to Bosnia soon to repair her broken bike and continue her trip. Good luck Nadine.
I bumped into Mike this weekend. We’d met briefly near the Sani Pass in South Africa in April. He gave me lots of good advice when we met up and it was good to see him again.
Brian (the only one I took a photo off) had ridden his BMW 800GS from Canada to Argentina. We’d met very briefly at the HU meeting in Canada last August. Again, great to see him and catch up on what he’d been up too. We both agreed that the whole year just flew by and we couldn’t believe we were back. We had a beer or two and reminisced about bike travel and being in the UK and unemployed. What a miserable couple of bastards!
David and Jill had spent over a year, two up on a 1982 BMW getting from Eastern Canada to Panama. Again, I’d met then at the HU meeting in Canada and also for a day in Yosemite. I’d read their blog all the way so I knew what they’d been up too and they’d read mine so we didn’t have to waste time asking each other what we’d done. It’s a little weird seeing people who you hadn’t seen for nearly a year but knew full well what they’d done and where they’d been.  I hope to go and visit then down in Devon when I finally get my bike here.
Apart from that I also went to quite a few presentations ranging from a talk on visiting Norway, Lois Price’s solo trip down west africa to a group who ride scooters through the sahara to Gambia to donate them to a hospital (They do this in March and are looking for volunteers – if I’m not doing anything else in March I might give it a go)
This was my third HU meeting and was very different to the last two. Previously I’d been PLANNING a trip and was excited and nervous and keen to learn as much as possible. This time I didn’t have a motorbike or a plan and felt a little flat about the whole thing. I did three presentations, all of which went OK I think and was happy to pass on my experiences and ideas to others. But having spent three days with 500 adventure bikers all I want to do now is head off on a trip again. I clearly haven’t got it out of my system yet.
Not a great picture but it does prove that some people stayed awake during my presentation.
Perhaps not your first choice of motorbike for world travel. But this Yamaha R1 has been pretty much everywhere.
Another poor photo but it shows that any bike will do. In the foreground is a fully tooled 1200GS, (limited edition), which looks like it could go anywhere and probably hasn’t.  Behind it is an Australian post office delivery scooter, which has been ridden all the way to the UK from Australia.
News on my bike. As of today it is still in Kenya. I’ve paid the $3,300 (I know, I know) last Wednesday and as soon as that clear they promise to send it. So I’m hopeful that Heidi might be in the country by the end of next week, which would be good as the first step in the process of importing the bike is booked for 12th July. I have to take the bike to a DVLA office and get what is called at MSVA (Motorbike Single Vehicle Approval) which, I think is a sort of pre-MOT MOT. More news on that when it happens.
News on my fellow Africa travellers. Daryll and Angela ( went to Uganda and Rwanda. They decided to end the trip back in Kenya and have flown the bikes back to Canada. They are flying to Europe this week and hope to come to the UK some time in August. I will, of course let them sleep on my couch. Tom, Pat and Chris went north. The road to Ethiopia was really bad and they stuck the bike son a truck for half of it. It appears 9from reading Toms blog) that they split up in Addis and the last a read Tom seemed to be lost in Sudan. he’d fainted in the heat, taken the wrong road somewhere and missed the weekly ferry to Egypt. Not quite sue what’s going on there really and sounds a little worrying. I’m keeping an eye on his blog. (

So, just in case anyone is still reading this blog. I hope to get my bike imported and on the road in July. As of now I have no job for September and it looks increasingly like I won’t get one. I’ll have to come up with a plan B. I’ll let you know what this is when I work it out (and obviously clear it with Tracy).

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