Today the three of us came together again 😁

We had one of those rare days where everything just worked…we found a cheap place to stay near the airport (where it didn’t feel we may get mugged), we received Betsy with minimal fuss and a sixteenth of the cost we were expecting and got her together within two hours and she started first time 😁

We spent the evening in our room re organising luggage and getting our gear together whilst streaming triple J. We did our first load of handwashing in the bath and cooked dinner in the room on our camping stove (because apparently it is possible to get mugged at night in this area)

I’ve realised I’ve packed too much, dean has realised how many hair products I’ve tried to hide in the pannier and I need to work out how to manage this issue…I think I’ll just blame stress and jet lag and go to bed and deal with it tomorrow! Hopefully he’ll forget about all of my ‘cremas’ after a good nights sleep 😉 Love xx

A Shaky Start

Laying in bed writing this on my phone with Sal passed out next me, so don’t expect much…

The flight was 32hrs of long, uncomfortable, bored. Most of which was spent next to an overweight old lady who seemed to like leaning against me while she slept. She also really liked bad perfume. Yuck.

We spent an hour in the Joburg airport trying to find missing luggage and a fee free ATM, then had a mild panic attack at the hostel due to getting the exchange rate mixed up, (which was also the reason to spend an hour looking for a fee free atm).

It’s ten rand to one dollar, not three to one.  Stupid!!!

We’re still a bit bleary eyed today, which I’m blaming our little atm episode on…

We visited the Apartheid museum this afternoon (you think you have problems!???), but upon leaving realised it’s in a dodgy part of town and we didn’t have phone connection to order an uber… the taxis all looked like a one way ticket to stabbing-ville, so we went looking for wifi.

Long story short, three guys in cahoots somehow convinced us that we could buy a wifi pass at an atm (wtf?), one by one they wandered past and offered to help us, which ended up with Sal snatching the ATM card from me and running off, while one of them insisted that I’d broken the machine and needed to return with the card to fix it…  “um… I dont think it’s broken, um… I’m really tired… um… sorry if it is broken…”

Then we did something a little smarter and asked some security guards for help, eventually getting a cab back, and looking up “Jo’burg atm scam” …

Hey that’s exactly what happened to us!  WITHDRAW ALL THE MONEY AND CANCEL THE CARD RIGHT NOW!!!!!  Done.   I’m blaming it on the jetlag.

It’s the old rule, If you’re somewhere dodgy and someone offers to help you for no reason at all, don’t trust them.

I cant see anymore.  Need to go to sleep.  A LOT of noise coming from outside as the UEFA cup final is on tonight, I think someone just scored…

Goodnight world, we miss you xxoo


The End

(just found this draft after 18 months at home… oops.)  Written while in London at the end of our trip in October 2016.

The last few days this has been running through my head

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end.

So here we are in London, at the end of an amazing journey, getting ready to begin another one at home. The last 14 months have been quite extraordinary, and I feel truly blessed to have had the time, motivation and especially the most amazing travelling partner to have made this trip with, Betsy has been brilliant… and Sal isn’t bad either 😉

As we rode out of Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of a wow moment with the realisation that this was the last time we’d be aboard Betsy in a foreign country. It was a cold Dutch morning and we were zooming along the icy freeway, but the sun broke through in spots, Betsy was purring and my heated grips were pouring energy into my cold hands.

For a little while it was complete bike Zen and I was king of the world, it was a moment of realisation that left me with a lump in my throat. We were going to arrive in London, in good health, good spirits, and even the bike was still running great. We’d done it.

Life doesnt get much better.

Then we (I!) missed 4 turns in a row on the 6 lane highway and had to make a 20km detour… (I find punching the tank to be quite therapeutic at these times).

Long distance motorcycle travel certainly isn’t for everyone, but I’ve learned that travel is never really rewarding unless it’s hard. If you can put up with the heat (or cold!), the long days battling insane traffic, the filthy rooms (or the tent!), the constant rhythm of arriving and leaving, and a complete lack of any creature comforts, then you can find a world of beautiful chaos filled with colourful foods, friendly people, absurd situations and amazing views.

This past year we’ve been fortunate enough to dive with the majestic manta rays in Indonesia, we’ve visited ancient temples in Cambodia, made fast friends and experienced extraordinary hospitality in all corners of the world. We battled the insane traffic of India and were rewarded with the seldom seen sights and sounds of the subcontinent, not always very nice, but absolutely unforgettable.

We’ve experienced the incredible bravery of the Pakistani military who guarded us from the Taliban as we travelled to China, we ate sheeps ass in Xing Xang, we were frozen solid in the highland grassy mountain passes of Kyrgyzstan but survived to see the most incredible scenery in the world. We spent a week following the Afghan border waving to small curious children and smiling shepherds, we followed the Silk road through the former glory of the blue city of Samarkhand, fought tooth and nail against corrupt police in Turkmenistan, and were befriended by countless people in Iran who showed us kindness that is sadly missing in our world.

We drank Prosecco in Prosecco, Valpolicella in Valpoolicella, Soave in Soave, Barolo in Barolo, Rioja in Rioja, and Bordeaux in Bordeaux!!

We slept in bamboo huts on the beach with million dollar views, $10 price tags and free bed bugs, we ate in roadside stalls where filthy shoeless children wash the plates in polluted river water, but they serve the best dahl and samosas you will ever find, we saw horses run wild in fairy tale landscapes and drank fermented mares milk from a pig’s carcass. Our hands and feet were frozen more times than I remember, and our eyes stung from the salt in the sweat pouring down our brows as we took in views of places and landscapes that will remain etched in our memories forever.

It’s been beautiful, it’s been horrible, it’s been brilliant, hard, fun, extraordinary, boring, frustrating, filthy, dusty, freezing, hot, non-stop adventure! It’s been EPIC.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning…