|06-05-2012, 01:34 PM||#32|
Joined: Jan 2012
Thanks for the support people And thank you for the new likes on our facebook page! Super chuffed with that!
Looking to source some Sidi boots this week, picking up Sams new bike and then dropping a bike over to Zen Overland to have a look at making up some custom bits and bobs for them both!
Will up date when we have more
|06-26-2012, 03:28 PM||#33|
Joined: Jan 2012
Quick update here!
Bikey Mc Bikes:
Sam’s new bike (Stimpy) has arrived and is being a good little bike unlike his last one who’s throttle body kept popping off the engine! After happening 4 times, Fowlers swapped the bikes out which was mega by us! Still no news from KTM as to what was actually wrong with his bike… seems to be a bit of an enigma… when we find out we’ll let you know!
Diary Update Link and Video: Sams Kaputt Bike
Day of Champions 2012 (MotoGP) Riders for Health:
Sam and I were invited up to the Day of Champions which was just incredibly superb fun! We met so many people from all over, did a little interview on their MASSIVE stage, saw lots of famous people (see video below… if anyone knows who the devil they are do let us know! We caught the Ride in too so hello to all those on the video!) and generally had a great day!
Diary Update Link - Day of Champions 2012
Off Road Training:
Well… after 16 times on a motorbike (including my tests) I was thrown in at the deep end and went on a stupendous off road training day with Wheeldon Training in Devon! Never have I had so much fun! Despite a number of offs (mainly when stopped funnily enough) I loved it and learned so much! The team down there are amazing too… managed to cater for both Sam (8 years of riding – off roading and rallies) and me all in one! Videos to come… watch this space!
Thanks for all your ongoing support guys and girls! We super appreciate it :)
|06-26-2012, 10:45 PM||#34|
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Really enjoying your expressive writing The passion and excitement is spilling out of your words. Best wishes and safe journey
Map? What map?
|06-29-2012, 01:21 PM||#35|
Joined: Jan 2012
Thank you muchly! I do get a bit excited over some things...
just like these...
Meet Fluffy, the most STUPENDOUS awesome mega of boots in the whole entire universe.
WARNING: Do NOT look at picture below should you be epileptic.
Oh and meet my cookie monster pants (well their my mans but I nicked them as I love them too). God Damn It. I am one mega fashion guru!
We've just had new akrapovic exhausts fitted which sound like BOOOM! Feel free to follow our trip here: Chasing Horizons Bookface or read here: http://www.chasinghorizons.co.uk
Today's getting a bit too much for me. I'm overloading on joy it's like Christmas. Exhausts, Fluffy, Scala Headset, new sprockets, screen and new episode of The Walking Dead on Steam to download... I may just explode.
|07-18-2012, 05:53 AM||#36|
Joined: Jan 2012
Some more updates for you!
Lady love bits causing delays!
Sam and I have had a bit of a set back but nothing we cannot get past! From a recent smear test... (why do they call it this?! They should make it sound more fluffy! Foof test. That'd be better!)... I had some results back flagging up some cellular changes. Due to the level of change it is looking like I will have to have a minor op which despite being a day in-and-out experience will mean we cannot travel for 4-6 weeks after (it invalidates our travel health insurance)! This then easily drifts past our leaving date of the 20th August 2012!
Despite this being a bit of a pain in the nether regions (excuse the pun), we're glad it's something that has been spotted now and can be easily resolved! It just means a little bit of fudging with routes and leaving dates!
For all ladies out there may I big up foof checks once in a while in case things like this do crop up! Please please make sure you or your partners make these appointments... as manky as they are it's always an excuse for a glass/bottle of wine and some pampering afterwards and saves on any problems at a later date!
Right. So due to the above our route is needing a little bit of a rework. If we were to leave in September / October time to Canada and then Alaska we’re looking at minus 20’s if not colder (it’s already snowing apparently in Alaska! Haha!). Naturally this means it will be at the most barely passable on bikes!
With a good excuse for a bottle of wine and some good om nom food Sam and I sat down with our world map and various annual climate charts and had a ponder. We’re now thinking if it is… worse case scenario… November / December time East and West is out… but Australia and Asia isn’t! Our current musings (only rough estimations on worse case scenarios!):
November / December: Australia
December / January / February / March: Australia and Asia island hopping (perhaps Japan)
April / May: New Zealand
June / July / Mid August: Alaska / Canada – Toronto / Back via top end of America
August / September / October: West Coast America / Central America
November / December / January: West Coast South America to tip then to Buenos Aires
February / March: South Africa
April / May / June: East Coast of Africa
July / August: Middle East and Europe
September: Europe - Home
If anyone has any ideas or thinks of a different route (which includes South America and Africa as it’s where our charities have projects) for a start date of November / December then let us know your thoughts! :)
Things are going stupendously with the bikes! With a big thanks to Fowlers Sams KTM has been replaced with a new one which means no more throttle body popping off! We are upgrading the bikes in the next few weeks which is super exciting we're just awaiting some quotes and time scales!
Riding wise, we are certainly getting much practice in! As above we had a day with Wheeldon Off Road school who not only helped tweak Sams riding but managed to get me going sideways and catching air! The basics are slowly sinking in and even though lately a few Green Laning expeditions have meant I have felt the need to hug the Earth a fair few times after sliding through mud, grass and ruts, we are loving every moment of it!
Events and Fun:
As it's now looking like we'll be kicking around for a few extra months it means we can attend more events and do promotional work all round! Let us know if there's anything we can join in and help out with!
|09-01-2012, 08:17 AM||#37|
Joined: Jan 2012
Hey hey people!
Wee update from us here in... kinda sunny UK!
Good news AHOY! After a few more meetings with the Docs we finally had a letter come through confirming that I have the all clear and do not require an op! Despite the fact it was only a minor op I was still not looking forward to the potential of it so am SUPER happy at this news!! I’m still sad we had to delay things because of all the above shenanigans but it’s best to be safe than sorry. Big thank you to my lovely hubby to be for being super supportive :)
Bad news though... we need to have pretty much every jab going for where we’re heading!! BOO HISS! Lists to be posted on the webby soon :)
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!
Training and Riding:
I recently had the absolute pleasure to do some more off road training with Black Desert in Wales (Tamsin and Craig). There’s a video coming soon of this and a write up... (lots of falling off, skidding, laughing and general fun!) I will post back when it’s up!
Tamsin Demonstrating AWESOME riding skills!
Kitting out the bikes:
Having spent months researching kits and tanks and upgrades for the bikes we finally found a kit that ticked all those boxes and made Sam go weak in the knees! In 2 weeks time we’re heading out to Switzerland to have both our kits decked out by KTM Basel with the below:
BEAUTIES! Watch out on our website / facebook and here for updates on how it goes :)
Sorting out Visas and Documents:
Good grief, nothings simple when it comes to the world of paperwork! It’s almost been a full time job juggling it all with forms coming out of my ears for Carnets, Vaccinations, Visas, Duplicate Passports, House Sale etc!
So far, so good! For details on what Visas you need for North and East Africa, prices and how to obtain them then take a look at our recent post here.
The only trouble we’re having is acquiring one for Libya... after calling through to their embassy I managed to be directed to a mobile number for details on how to obtain a Visa but unfortunately it’s always an answer phone message. I have a couple of friends looking things up for me so when I know more I will post!
Carnet wise it’s all a bit of a battle. Originally we were going to go through the insurance route as we were renting out our house and didn’t have a large enough deposit to put down to cover Egypts 800% carnet rates!! Now that we’re selling the house we can save a few bob by obtaining a carnet on a bank guarantee... but my good grief what a pain in the backside is it to get one! The RAC Carnet people are superb... but the banks are a nightmare! Trying to explain Carnets over the phone and also bank guarantees (which I have done before and been put through to the right department) I have had so many varied responses but mostly “We don’t know what you’re talking about, I’ve asked my supervisor and they don’t know, the screen isn’t showing anything so I guess we don’t do that service”!!
ArrGgh! I’ve managed to finally have some success though by going straight to my bank manager although I am still awaiting details on monthly costs! Currently with HSBC and normally they’re fantastic but right now... they’re being ditsy as can be!
Pheebs screwed with this post 09-01-2012 at 08:32 AM
|09-04-2012, 10:08 AM||#38|
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Nice work guys, good luck with the trip!
Liked you on FB but not sure which you'll be updating more, this or that hah.
|09-22-2012, 05:06 PM||#39|
Joined: Jan 2012
Bit of an update! We were supposed to head out to KTM Basel this week to have our bikes kitted but there’s been some minor delays with some parts so we’re hanging fire until next week! Eeee excited! We posted an update on the other thread in advrider (linky here) so do pop along there to see the pics of the bikes but for a sneaky view, here's one:
We both have had a pretty awesome couple of weeks! We popped off roading with some friends in North Wales and my good grief it was a giggle! I managed to hug a tree several times (some hilarious footage to come) and also had a fight with some big rocks! Fortunately this was at the end of the day and I came away laughing but with a rather swollen hand which made me sound like I had tourettes due to the colourful words which would spontaneously spill out of my mouth when changing gear on the way home!
Empty my boots of a river...
The result of a fight with a rock!
Due to an injury as a kid I have no sensation in my thumb so just to double check all was well we did pop to the hospital to have it checked over and they said it was potentially a fractured scaphoid!! BOO HISS! I’ve since been back though for another xray and WOOHOO, they discharged me plasterless! A couple of weeks and I’ll be back on the bike fine!
I’ve been swotting up some more on visas and what... especially since all the commotion in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan. We’re keeping a close eye on it all and playing it by ear... rumour has it though it’s all calming a fair bit! Fingers crossed eh!
Also been learning how to change tyres... ahoy noobiness!
Other than that, all is mega!
Thanks again for all your support and follows, not too long now til we’re off! Wheee!
|02-08-2013, 01:52 PM||#40|
Joined: Jan 2012
Hey hey people!
Well it's been a long time and for that we're super dooper sorry!
Since we have last posted we have sold our house and finally started our trip after muchos fun running around like headless chickens for weeks chasing up paperwork and all sorts! WOOOO HOO!!
Europe for us was pretty manky! We knew it would be being the middle of winter and also the breaking in of the trip (niggly problems, time pressures, 12 hour days riding in rain etc), but what managed to make it even worse was by the time we hit central Italy I came down with a virus which hospitalised me and put me out of action for 3 weeks! It was a maaaajor poopy moment for us, it felt like everything was trying to stop us from starting the trip at that point and to be fair Sam and I even considered just getting preggers as a good excuse to have to come home ;)
We persevered and soon found ourselves entering North Africa. From there on in it has been amazing :) Truly superb! With the unrest which has been bursting out left right and centre in North Africa including the hostage situation in Algeria, terrorist threats and the removal of westerners from Libya, we have found ourselves in the thick of it having had guns pointed at us and at one point Sam "being shot at" (see the Libya blogs for that one!)... but it has all be quite an experience and one we wouldn't change for the world!
Amidst all the madness we have enjoyed some awesome places and people, including:
Amazing streets of Medina in Tripoli with bustling markets and loooovely people:
Star Wars Sets in the middle of no where!:
Stunning Roman Ruins (Leptis Magna, Libya):
Salt Pans and Desert Riding:
See below for our recent blogs and for lots and lots of photos visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/chasinghorizons
Tunisia: Sfax - Insane Riding and Tramps in Trees
Tunisia: Sfax - Family Fun and Chickens the size of Children
Tunisia: Tozeur - Road Tripping
Tunisia: Tozeur - Star Wars and Sand People
Tunisia:*Tozeur - Mos Espa Star Wars Set
Tunisia: Tozeur - Salt Pans, Star Wars, Sand Storms and Sleeplessness
Tunisia / Libya: Border Crossing and Cous Cous Kindness
Libya: Road Blocks, Bullet Riddled Cars and Explosions
Libya: Tripoli - Medina
Libya: Tripoli - Leptis Magna and Villa Selene
Libya: Tripoli to Egypt Crossing - Tanks, Kids with Guns and the Spice Girls
We have some summaries for each country coming up including help with border crossings, camping sites, restaurants and sight seeing ideas so keep an eye out!
Thanks again for all your support and patience!! Keep following us on Facebook
|02-09-2013, 12:54 PM||#43|
Joined: Jan 2012
Thanks guys :) We're thoroughly enjoying ourselves! We are trying to post all the times we are having including the poopy ones so people get a real sensation of our travel! But all in all the good times out weigh the pants
Speaking of which.... Another update!
Our grimy introduction to Egypt, Alexandria!
We have a couple more blogs and photos to upload which shines a much prettier light on Egypt! It was our mere misfortune that led us to the above situation! :)
For more photos and what do look at our facebook, it seems the easiest place to upload photos at the moment as our website is being a big pain in the bottom! http://www.facebook.com/chasinghorizons
|06-25-2013, 06:35 PM||#45|
Joined: Jan 2012
Hey hey people!!
So sorry we haven't posted for a loooong loong time! In short, wifi in Africa has been diabolical with pages taking 30mins to open and normally crashing when we go to post!
We have, however, had the most amazing, yet challenging time ever in the past 7 months and have finally managed to ride down through Africa to the very tip!
Here's a few snippets of our Charity Chasing Horizons trip so far from Europe to Cape Agulhas:
We arrived and had our bikes serviced by KTM Basel before a loooong long trip down to Kenya where we had our next. Superb guys with an awesome new kit for us to try out (Defy Series - Quest - genuinely top kit!)... we were excited and new to it all
A week on we were battling horrendous weather and frustration from breaking in our new routine, the kits and just coping with the organisation of last minute things (visas etc). We were already exhausted. It was just after Christmas and I had become very dizzy but put this down to tiredness. Two days later I ended up being rushed into hospital with suspected encephalitis. The next two weeks was diabolical after nasty hospital visits, being inappropriately touched by a doctor and passing in and out of conscious states. Fortunately, it turned out to be a sort of hepatitis strain and I made a full recovery. This piccie was taken at mid night on New Years Eve... hospital loving!
Tunisia... our first country in North Africa! We were excited and glad to slow up a bit travel wise. We met some lovely people, stayed at some beautiful places and in random peoples homes, brushed up on some Arabic and French skills, met 3 foot high chickens, were offered by the police to camp up on a roundabout in the city centre, went to Star Wars sets and rode salt pans and sand storms... we felt the trip had begun!
This place... is just simply amazing. Yes we had the heebie jeebies put in us as it was during the time of the hostage takings in Algeria and also the week previous when the ambassadors were assassinated... but we loved it. Genuine people, AMAZING Roman Ruins, so much culture and a fascinating history. We simply cannot wait to return to explore the deserts in the South.
Lady praying in the Roman Ruins at Leptis Magna
Having been held at the border at gun point for hope of sexual favours and due to not being able to speak arabic, to riding out in the middle of no where for hundreds of miles in a stunning desert... we had a varied experience of Egypt. Granted, we will never EVER go through again with our own vehicle... the expenses and pain to do so along with the abundance of corruption just far out weighed the enjoyment. But we did experience some seriously stupendous artefacts, history and culture as well as some great desert rides. A hard hard country to travel but having met some amazing people there, we did okay!
Alexandria - probably the top or on parr with the top City I enjoyed in Egypt. Lots of beautiful buildings and bustling streets.
Pyramids! Yay! Although we kept our distance and enjoyed them from a ride around the perimeters in sand instead :)
Tehir Square amidst the protests a burned out riot van. Popped there to say hi and enjoyed watching all playing football!
A trip through the deserts with wild camping.
This one took us by surprise. Loved it. Yes, we were boil in the bags (55 degrees celcius) and yes, being a Muslim country I suffered a fair whack with having to stay covered up but the riding, camping, company and people just blew us away. More pyramids than Egypt there did you know? Plus, a national park with lions and an insane amount of wildlife! Hard for climate, awesome memories.
The Aswan to Wadi Halfa ferry... this was the cargo ferry which rocked up with both our bikes on and two big cars (a landrover and land cruiser). Can you spot them!? ;)
Just one of our few campsites... no one for miles. Simply stunning.
My personal highlight... I think a top one for the whole trip up til now. The Whirling Dervishes in Khartoum, Sudan. An amazing weekly ceremony where guys dress up and spin round and round and round in circles for hours. Lots of singing, beating of the feet and just a superb ambience. Loved it.
A place which was top on my list to visit and well, it was truly gorgeous. We did have a slight concern just before having met some insane South Africans who had just travelled through Ethiopia in their car and claimed that the people there were so scary and threatening to them at one point they had to pull a cattle prod on them (we... were horrified at this!)! But, despite being quite a challenging place to get things done in (service is not high on their list ;)), the views and sites were one of a kind. I had a bit of a harsh time after I managed to get first degree burns on my legs (combo of kayaking, sun burning in 30mins and then taking doxycycline - a malaria tablet that makes sun burning UBER bad!). It meant I had to be driven about for two weeks which broke my heart but we had an amazing friend with us at the time which just made everything a million times better!
Around 4700ft up, the view was simply flabberghasting in the Simien Mountains!
My first degree burned leg. Swollen, blistered and having been trapped up a mountain in a thunder storm I made it all worse by tripping and catching my leg on a truck causing my skin to slide off. Very... very... unpleasant!
From this point in we had to pick up our feet a fair bit as we had lost about 5 weeks from my illness in Italy, delays in Egypt and a 10 day delay in Ethiopia. With the pressure to catch a flight from SA to make it to Alaska in time we had to get a move on. But. We did some awesome riding :) Kenya was so varied. We rode in via the Moyale Road as Lake Turkana was experiencing major flash floods and we had no one we could ride with there. The Moyale was an experience and a half... not necessarily technical for a biker but absolutely mentally and physically exhausting. We made it though and satisfied our three month craving of no bacon with a whole plateful from a friend in Nairobi! Nairobi itself was an eye opener... we had realised that security and safety was a major issue but not to the point of electric fences, big dogs, guards, cameras and interior gates to a house. Not only that but as we looked like tourists we had to get taxis everywhere as we were a robbery target (taxis required blacked out windows so people couldn't see us!) Madness! We met some amazing people though and it was very nice to be back in a place with supermarkets and sit down toilets! So much we didn't see which was a shame but what we did whilst riding out was beautiful.
Muddy Moyale Road
Equator Line... wooo
Again, a country we had to fly through but by far it had the most divine and just breath taking roads to ride which is all we could ask for. The main road down to Mbeya... it just stops you in your tracks. Mind blowing. Loved it, best road riding we did without fail (minus the mental buses!). Plus we got to go to the Indian Ocean which was cool as in a couple of weeks we were then at the Atlantic Ocean!
A funny little country and stupendously pretty. With a MAHOOSIVE lake surrounded by winding, perfectly tarmaced roads, a bundle of cyclists and curvaceous mountains it was a complete pleasure to ride through.
Our morning break!
We were so excited about Zambia as we were meeting up with a project which our Charity Riders has set up in Chipata! When we met them we were just in awe of the work they do, so much dedication and passion to help deliver aid, results and help out their fellow community. It blew us away. The generosity of this country is phenomenal too, all muddled in with some truly wonderful sights too. Beautiful country.
Riders for Health HQ in Chipata
I think we found another favourite country here. So so vast, so varied and extremely camping friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed it here from riding with elephants, spotting dinosaur tracks, stroking a wild rhino, visiting ship wrecks, riding to the edge of Fish Canyon, dunes, the atlantic and seals that sound like a million chewbaccas. We are definitely returning here!
Ship wreck on the skeleton coast
Keeping fit - skipping in the morning mists
Dirt track riding
Again, sad we had to cut this one short but a really stunning place to be. We saw some sweeeeeet sunsets, amazing coastal lines, mountains and well so much more.
Actual colours... lush eh?
Agulhas - the tip of Africa - we made it!!
Leaving our mark in the Agulhas Backpackers place... wicked wicked hostel!
A complete culture shock being back in a fully fledged westernised world. Traffic, people, more people, everything at the tip of your fingers and more, food and lots of it and super high costs after being used to paying peanuts for everything! We have met some incredibly kind and sweet people and had a thoroughly great time. It took a few days to get over the manicness and jet lag but we're back into the swing of it all now. Cool city to be in!
Not so much graffiti in NYC which is a shame really, we like street art! See... it looks awesome
The end is nigh... but the beginning of our USA trip has only just begun!
Annnd that's a brief up of what we've been doing! Our website has been a pain in the derriere to upload anything and it's very out of date but this is all changing now we have wifi. Generally speaking though we have posted loads on our Facebook page and we are now updating it frequently (daily now, although some of the off road we will be doing in Canada may reduce it to weekly).
We have a load of reviews coming on things we've done, taken, ridden with, ridden on, visas, how to cross etc but this may take a couple of weeks to get up to date fully!
Please do come join in the fun:http://www.facebook.com/chasinghorizons
Thanks all for your support to date, you've all been mega :)
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