Thank You, Merci Beacoup, Gracias, Shukran, Jeri Jef, Tana Te, Abaraka, Nawari, Asante Sana, Ke a leboga, Ngiyabonga, Ndiyabulela
After 10 months on the road I’m now back in the UK.. with a bump! Gone were the brilliantly blue skies when I started compiling this list, warm days (compared to Africa!) and beautiful evening sunsets, replaced when I arrived back with overcast skies, rain and cold mists, I’m amazed at how the contrast in weather from Africa has affected me. Today is supposedly warm.. At least this means no mosquitos!
No sooner had I landed back in Heathrow, had a few drinks with some friends I had not seen for a long time and I was struck down with a cold, not just any cold, the mother of colds (not man flu). I had it two weeks and it didn’t seem to want to go, delaying my training so I can get back out with the cycling clubs without everyone saying “didn’t you used to be fast?”..
But I am thankful, thankful for the trip I have been very fortunate to have taken, for all of the wonderful kind and friendly people I met along the way, who took time to help, offer a place to sleep or just time to talk, for everyone I left behind in the UK and followed me, for the most part wishing me a safe return. Thank you to everyone who showed me kindness, restoring my faith in humanity and clearly demonstrating with actions it’s who you are and how you interact with other people that truly matters, after the trip I have less money but wealth overflows with new friendships, money is not wealth, it just helps a little.
As I sit here in the UK pondering on the future and what it may hold, I realise that how meeting so many nice genuinely kind people, many of whom own virtually nothing has had such a huge impact on me. The friends I have and people I met along the way from all walks of life made this trip truly spectacular, something I will cherish and never forget. Taking time out to talking to people and wonderful feeling of meeting new people every day is something I miss after being back in the UK only 3 weeks. Looking toward the future, I hope it holds many more similar positive encounters with the fantastic diverse inhabitants who call are small planet home.
None of us know what the future may bring, after this experience I am looking forward to finding out.. It’s human nature to worry about tomorrow and I’m the same at times. I too could worry about tomorrow. After this experience I’m now looking forward to finding out what tomorrow may bring… and if tomorrows not great, there is always the day after tomorrow, stay positive and enjoy the ride..
It’s difficult to remember everyone, But I can try, if I haven’t put your name below, it doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for the support or interaction or that you didn’t count or I am not grateful, just maybe my memory is worse than when I originally set out! So a massive THANK YOU to everyone I met who made the trip so special.
John & Sasha Berry, Simon Lewis, Paul & Nicky Mcormack, Billy and Clare Dyer, Jay Hookins, Rich, Jackie and Jasmine Buckley, Terry Alberti.
The entire Chippenham Wheelers and Devizes Town Cycling Club membership and those who rode with me before the ride and after (sorry my club riding will be a little slower for a bit), came to my leaving and welcome back drinks.
Les Charters, Peter Hobbs, Peter Eley, Paddy Little, Tony & Tina Bowell, David Bowell, Richard Ryan, Andy Rogers, Kevin Gummer, Carey Surridge, Rhys Evans, Jonny Brown-Jackson, Chris Onslow, Barry Webber, Sarah Lemoine, David Angell, Barry Alexander, Helen & Steve Lowe, Jay Olsen, David Swettenham, Steve Wallis, Mark Cleverley, David and Corrine Else, Sarah McMullan, Chris Adams, Jimmy Little, Adie Knapp, Andy Summers, Paul Hadrell Forth, Dagmar & Husband, Brian Bowsher
Thank you also to the two best bike shops on the planet and all their staff, Bikes and Boards of Devizes and Cadence of Bath. If you are looking for somewhere to buy a Long Haul Trucker, see Jonny at Cadence!
Thank you to everyone who clicked on a Google Ad on my website, supporting me through the power of Google!
Patrice Gouallier and Family, Elke and Norbert, Patrick & Patrica Gasparotto, Jen Yves Grille, Xiong Jacques & Family, Julien & Marie Rimbert & Family,The Irish guy on a boat Buzet-Sur-Blaise, Duncan & Geraldine
Norman Kraus, Renas Kujo, Manuel Ramon Marques, Giorgio Cherubini, Macia, Salvador Moreno, Ruben Capdevila, Enrique Molinnero, Albergue Juvenil, Francesco Rago
Hamsa Ibn Hajj & friend Hamsa, YoungJu An (Jo), Badr Kouzima, Nuria Herrero Ruiz de la Torre, Jaouad Jabran, Ana & Salah, The melon Farmer, Symal Kahal, Abdel Jalil & Family
Albrecht Birkhold, Moustapha Elanson, Moustapha Thiaw, Oumar Guye & Family, Dioulde Thiam, Wouter Cocquyt, Christine Schroeder, Sven, Alexander Smolenski,
Cherno Joof, Lamin, Saidu Gbla, Kemo Jawara, Sait Sumareh, Ousman Saho
Jamie Bleck, Fily Mohamed Diallo, Ethan Heppner, Mala Koli, Marco Bianchini, Phil Paoletta, Graham Tonkin, John Twilley, Rupali (Roo) Kulshresthta, Indou Seydou Dembele, Dene Cairns, Moro Jawana, Kemo Jawana
Wies Kienhuis and Giel Hendriks, Fabrice, Amadou Zalle, Anne Cocquyt, Neil Ratcliffe
Ben Lampard and Family, Shem, Damaris Mwangi, Symon Kanai Riua, Felix & Margate Muthomi, Dave Alcock, Dan, Liliaka Kaimuri
Tanzania & Malawi
Maro Japhet, Ian Lawson, Sam Meena & Family, Elijah & Jamie, Erik Rowberg, Ainhard Clemence and Family, Simon Wales, Urs Schneider, Joy of Joys Place, Jonjo, Simon, Bill, Camilla & Irene Bergte, Karina Korda & Husband of Simba Farm Lodge
Mike, Jill, Matthew and Ronan Thistelton, Alison & Roy Ashby, Mungala Chinyama, Mercy and Family, Dave Conroy, Gerritz, Craig Sproat, Jess Harris & Alex Woodley, Dan of Mama Rulas, Geoff Lawrence, Maurice Raleigh, Alex Woodley, Gerwin Van Ouden, Rozemarjin Koers, Emiel Sterenborg, Hank DeBey, Sylvia Blok, Uwe driving the VW Camper, Trevor Watson and Family, Sam and her Husband who gave me inner Tubes. Henry the White Water Rafter guide. Joshua the Printer. Anselm Nathaniel, Helen Bennet, Sibenzu Phines
Dean and Friends in Francistown, Seneo, Kutlo, Katso and Katlo Mokgosana, David Lebablelo, Nardo, Issaka Ouedraogol, Jeremiah Kokwane, Game Mompe, Dan Teto Tlale, Ben and Solomon at the Vet Fence, The lorry and Van driver and Wife who helped me to the Vet Fence.
Sarel and wife, The lorry driver who stopped and gave me bread and then drove off, Chris & Brenda Hull and family, Jennifer, Jason, The owners of Lions Rest Lodge, Dominicue, Helen, Jack & Laura Averbuch, Lorraine and Peter Barrett, Shona and Miguel Bell, Romey Buchheit, Prosper, Gideon Chimhondo, Maggy Clarke, Hanlie, Wym and Eland Coetzee, Collin & Fiona Timm, Klem & Ginoca Dunstan, Kim and Bennie Heynike, Clare Hofmeyer, Emmerentia Jacobs, Johan and Family from Cape Agulhas, Moses Kamuyo, Samantha, Theresa, Mark & Mary at Otterbend Lodge, Sven Thiele, Clint the Mechanic, Ice in Riversdale, Dean Sidelsky, Shirley Pruisson, Rene, Veronica Visser, Corrie Visser, Christine Claasen, Lucas, Tim Brink, Jake and Claire Crowther, William Taute, Andrea, Woodstock Cycles, Sophie, Zoleka, Maren and Ralf, Rene from Belgium, Nettie and Vic Keeton, Greg Hill, Huntley & Wife of Pitch Up Backpackers, Judith Wutrich
Last and by no means least, thank you to my Family, Joseph and George my sons for agreeing to let me go when I needed to Greg and Dianne for support and free hosting of my website and to Mum for being there always..