Hey hey people! Well... kind of new here although my glorious other half is a frequent visitor and I have been mooching about in the background for quite a while!
Not one to stay quiet though... I thought I'd post and introduce what myself and what's about to happen...!
Approximately a year ago Sam and I met through the wonderful world of the internet (what would we do without google nowadays – bosh in what you want and voila!) With Sam stupendously passionate about motorbikes and me being so desperate to learn to ride it seemed inevitable that our combination would be perfect for a motorbiking duo! This, coupled with the desire to travel and do something mega for charity, we figured “What the hey, let’s go all out and do a charity round the world trip on motorbikes” and that’s just what we’re doing! So, in just over 6 months, I have to learn to ride a motorbike (wheeeeeee), Sam needs to acquire a new license (he has a shoddy one from Dubai) and we both have to plan a world tour on motorbikes for the superb charities The World Land Trust, Wales Air Ambulance and Riders for Health!... Happy Days Ahoy!!
Sam and I enjoying the Bristol Air Fiesta!
After talking through various routes and looking closely at time scales, our route has changed for the last time! We’ve decided to chase the weather... always a plan batman!
So leaving around 20th - 24th November (date to be confirmed in next 2 weeks!) here goes:
EUROPE (November 2012)
UK – FRANCE – SWITZERLAND - ITALY
NORTH AFRICA (December 2013)
TUNISIA – LIBIYA – EGYPT
EAST AFRICA (January - March 2013)
SUDAN – ETHIOPIA – KENYA - TANZANIA – MALAWI
SOUTHERN AFRICA (March - May 2013)
ZAMBIA – BOTSWANA – NAMIBIA – SOUTH AFRICA (CAPE L’AGULHAS)
NORTH AMERICA (May - September 2013)
CANADA (TRANSLABRADOR HIGHWAY) – ALASKA (PRUDOE BAY) – U.S.A – MEXICO
CENTRAL AMERICA (September - October 2013)
BELIZE – GUATEMALA – HONDURAS – NICARAGUA – COSTA RICA - PANAMA (DARIEN GAP)
SOUTH AMERICA (October 2013 - January 2014)
COLUMBIA – EQUADOR – PERU – BOLIVIA – CHILE – ARGENTINA (USHUAIA)
Depending on monies and times, we are then considering routing back through Australia, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Home!
As above, we're doing this all to raise awareness of three main charities:
Wales Air Ambulance
: Knowing we are off traipsing around the world, we really wanted to have a charity which was rooted back to our homeland. Being the Welshy that Sam is and with my history in the services, we are stupendously happy to be supporting the Wales Air Ambulance and consider it as a charity close to our hearts.
World Land Trust
: We're both pretty keen on supporting the natural world and the WLT are quite simply awesome in what they do to help preserve endangered habitats and species! Our route passes many of their projects, particularly in South America. We plan on visiting as many as possible on our journey!
Riders for Health
: We first heard about Riders for Health early last year and were instantly overwhelmed by their tremendous work. With numerous projects all over Africa, Riders for Health have devoted teams who dedicate their time and expertise ensuring health workers have access to reliable transportation so they can reach the most isolated communities with regular and predictable health care.
How We're Doing It:
I am incredibly lucky to have Sam as my lovely other half for this trip as he already has completed a half-way RTW trip on his motorbike in the past. A few years back Sam and his mate took themselves from Dubai all the way up through the Middle East, Europe, Canada to Alaska before heading back to the UK. Sam was riding a KTM 990 Adventure S which he still has today, however, unfortunately it still has Dubai licence plates and so is not rideable :( Boo hiss! Despite riding for the past 8 years and having been half way around the world, his Dubai licence cannot be transferred to the UK soooo he has to take all the tests again! Utter bummer!! However, he's keen to see what habits he has picked up and correct them. Right now though, his riding skills and knowledge of travel is proving to be invaluable!
Batman Sam on his Trip:
Sam and his mates bikes:
With Sam to advise, we're plodding our way through all the relevant paper work (carnets, visas etc), finances and planning out a pretty hard core training program (both riding and fitness) for the next 6 months. Being an utter n00b myself I have been liaising with the national campaign Get On for some time now and they are giving us their full support in getting me up and running and Sam back up to scratch! Much of our trip will be followed by Get On through their website as they're hoping to promote lady riders, road safety and adventure planning. I'm chuffed as nuts about their support and excitement in the adventure - it's a bit of a booster for us lady riders and what's achievable if you put your mind to it! We're really fortunate actually as, not only have we got the support from Get On but also from Capitalize (the PR company who did Big Earths Long Way Round/Down and also do the PR/set up for the UK Bike Shows annually) and also have Big Earth giving us the big thumbs up too! We are super lucky to have various sponsors on board as well... the coverage we're getting for our charities is superb and not only that, we're getting lots of fantastic advice for training and preparation!
Financially we're having to change our house to a buy to let and release some equity there. We're also working ridiculously hard and pulling funds in where we can! The house will be rented whilst we are away which will give us a boost of petrol money per month.
As above, we are stupendously lucky to have various sponsors on board. We will release more details on this next week once the site is launched! Exciting
What's Happening Right Now:
As mentioned, I have never been on a motorbike before! I did have a scooter 10 years ago when I was 16 but had an unfortunate incident whereby a lorry didn't take time to look where he was going and ended up making me mount a roundabout to save myself from becoming a pancake! Due to this and my history in the police witnessing many bike incidents, close family and friends never encouraged me to get on a bike and excuses were made leaving me all dreamy eyed and a bit sad my bike love would probably never happen!
So... Yesterday was absolutely mega beyond belief and a dream come true for me!... it was my first day on a motorbike with Ace Motorcycle School, Bristol
!! I popped up to Bristol with Sam by my side all bouncy yet slightly butterflied bellied to my Get On hours free trial you can do!
My instructor, Neil, was stupendous! I couldn't recommend the school enough for anyone who is wanting to learn to ride and are a wee bit nervous! Absolutely lovely people! I bopped about for the hour on a 125cc and then was plonked on a 500cc (really chuffed about that... apparently they only let 1 in 10 people hop on a 500cc within the first hour!) and I was wibbling my way through cones in no time!
I was just stupid happy afterwards... it's all become much more of a reality and well... I cannot wait! There will be more on the training on our website which is due to launch next week so please take a looksy (www.chasinghorizons.co.uk
)! More piccies and videos are about on our Facebook page too if you wanna peek: Chasing Horizons Facebook
We are just finalising when where who what and why but next week we hoping to start our CBT and Module 1 and 2! After that we have to arrange our advanced, off road riding and squeeze in a trip to Morocco on the bikes to get some dune experience! Busy busy busy!
We're both extremely excited yet incredibly focused on a massive task and adventure ahead! Without a doubt there will be loads of photos, video footage and blogging galore! If you guys have any questions or would like to see anything in particular, just let us know, we'll happily do what we can! Great to finally post on here properly! Let the adventure begin!