Lisa’s birthday this time! Another weekend in the New Forest. We took our bikes along with our new Marmot 4 season tent and some other toys to try out. We packed the bikes out for the day and stayed offroad as much as possible. We found a new tea shop in Brockenhurst that were giving out complimentary cakes, tea and champagne! We ate and drank lots as we watched the world go by outside.
A good days riding on easy relaxing forest roads and sleeping under the stars at night.
Many seasoned overlanders would agree that the biggest immediate danger presented to them comes not from violent crime, assault, malaria or vehicle theft but from other road users sharing that thin ribbon of (hopefully) unobstructed land.
This clearly defined interactive map shows the number of deaths per 100,000 population for most of the world’s countries. Grim I know but I think it could be useful. Stats can often get skewed with these things so its best to draw comparisons from your own experiences. From my experience Mali was probably the worst for careless driving alongside Kazakhstan which both rank in the low 20’s. However does this translate to the statistics shown? Linked to the map are a number of accounts from developing nations that I can personally attest to from Bamako, Mali and Jakarta in Indonesia. Let us know what you think from the places you have visited and driven in the comments.
Last year, for my birthday Lisa took me away for a long weekend on Jersey. It was a surprise, I didn’t know where we were going until we got to Gatwick Airport. Before we left I was advised to take all my photography gear with me. What would I need? I didn’t know.
After arriving at our hotel we made a plan of things to do. This included a visit to Corbiere Lighthouse on the west of the island for sunset. I spent hours taking different compositions in fading light before returning to the hotel.
It was another great weekend away that produced another favorite photo of mine.
It occured to me the other day that the time piece on my wrist has been with me for over 10 years now. Bought when I was at University, I put a small bit of my 2nd years student loan on the table. Granted it’s been well used and no longer looks that great but I still love it.
Before our departure from the UK we tried to pack in as many micro-adventures as possible. This included a number of Thursday evening paddles down the Avon Canal with my good friend Simon.
This photo is coming into Bristol city itself after a 12km paddle. The reason it stands out for me is that after we got to dry land a friend called who had gotten his Land Rover stuck down a greenlane. It was all ready getting dark but we rushed out to help, freeing the vehicle after 7 hours in a hedge. It was a long day but well remembered.
Not strictly overlanders gear, you probably think this is more suited to general travel and you would probably be right. But having said that, many people come to the overlanding world from a vehicular perspective and may have little or no travel experience before they embark on ‘the BIG one’.
This week’s photo is from a very remote village in Mali. We were here to help The MAPA project map and record information on all National Parks and reserve areas in Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Maps show little to no roads in these parks and those on paper maps have been lifted from old IGN maps dating back to the 50’s.
This village in particular is north of Mora Mora in the de Boule NP. Villages here do not have motorised transport so when our Land Cruiser pushed through the bush the whole village came out to meet us. With mud huts so close together, the villagers moved their firewood aside and congregated on the edge of the village to see us off. I took this photo from the roof of the Cruiser. The curious look from the children is due to them never seeing a camera before.
For me this is the most poinient photo of our expedition through West Africa.
Our GPS tracks for the area can be found on Tracks4Africa
This weeks photo is taken on Tryfan in the Snowdonia Mountain Range , North Wales. It was a Friday night and we had rushed up there to pack in as much as we could that weekend.
We thought we could make the summit via the north ridge and camp beyond but it quickly became dark. Not a foot of grass around for a tent we were forced to bivi with just roll mats and sleeping bags on a pointy rock ledge.
Luckily the weather held and we were on the summit by seven the following morning. We then chased this up with an ascent of Crib Goch and Snowdon itself before returning home.