It’s now a week today, that we head back to the UK, before driving down through France and Spain, to Africa a couple of weeks later
Lying in bed last night, sleep evading me, I got thinking about the amazing number of people that have come across our blog site. From diverse countries, Vietnam, Poland, China, Brazil etc. Places we have not visited on our journeys, So, how do they find our site? It was set up primarily to keep friends and family updated on progress and the site has never been advertised. We seek neither fame nor fortune but clearly, like-minded people are interested in the mystique of overland travel.
There are many visitors who check our site regularly and what bought me to this, is that we have somewhat let you down recently with little updating information. Some visitors read the latest entry and probably never return. Others read many entries and return almost daily. While we have no detail of who the regulars are, other than their country and IP address, we want to say Hi! and appreciate you taking time to read the blog entries. If you chose, you could write to us, via Comments at the bottom of every blog entry, and if you wish, communications can remain private. As English is not the default language for many, perhaps we could investigate including a translation option?
Back to the journey. With our companion, Adam’s tragic loss of his twin brother Mark, his life dynamic has changed dramatically. No longer does he have the need to return to Africa, though his desire remains as strong as ever. I think it’s fair to say that we will be travelling alone. I can’t tell you how disappointed we are. We have become the greatest friends since meeting and were so looking forward to him travelling with us. Maybe he will have re-established his life and hunger, to join us in our travels through South America?
We continue to check Facebook sites to monitor other travellers making their way down or up through West Africa. What seems clear to me is that life is becoming more difficult on the road. Bribery attempts more frequent, customs becoming more needy and any documentation issues that are not perfectly corresponding, or complete, allows the opportunity to extract bribes to enable you to continue.
The RHD curse for vehicles, that has emerged in some countries in Central and South America, are being copied in Africa. Sierra Leone, a former British colony, is the first to now ban RHD vehicles.
Finding a way around these countries can be a challenge. Islamic fundamentalist factions are spreading their influence in countries like Mali and Burkina Faso, where ‘Do Not Travel’ notices have been issued by western governments. Parts of Nigeria are dangerous too. We will be seeking local advice to avoid any trouble spots.
How easy it would be to put our feet up and enjoy a more sedentary and stable life. However, at the still young age of 78, the thrill of being on the road, remains as strong as ever. Jen is still a youngster at 73 and is of the same disposition. How lucky we are to share the love of travel and adventure. It will be interesting to see how much longer that will last, with Poki stuck in deep mud, in Cameroon, Congo or Gabon!
It’s been a month or so since we arrived back here in Rotorua, NZ, but it’s been hugely enjoyable. Seeing and visiting family and friends. However, I have grave concerns for the stability and cohesion of our beautiful country. Racism, separatism and the greed of a few, are challenging our stability. I fear we are about to descend into an inter-tribal abyss.
Following Max’s comment. Totally unrelated to Overland Travel but…. wonderful memories. That’s him, third from right, rear. Where did the years and the hair go!
Good luck you two. If sheer determination (pig headedness) is all that is required, you are there already. You know my thoughts on your thirst for adventure young fella, but of course my option would be too easy. Wouldn’t it?
I agree with your observations and can only reiterate the benefits of the big brown (now green) land.
Travel safe and keep alert.
Great soccer photo Dennis. Who are all those thin people i would love to be like that again.
All the best ,Max.
Keep on truckin’!
I’m jealous ….