Wow! Why? Horizons Unlimited UK just happened, that’s why. This gathering wins first place in the 2013 travel event calendar on home soil as hundreds of overlanders assemble to meet like-minded folk sharing a passion for exploring on 2 or more wheels. This year we spent 4 days in the lush grounds of Castle Donnington’s Farmhouse Hotel. It was travel presentation heaven and some…
A plethora of speakers from the pithy and primed, the well-known to the newbies fresh from their adventures were all given ample air time to share and enlighten. Stories are told, ideas are illuminated and so the seed to travel starts to germinate. Advice on any aspect of venturing off is in abundance…doesn’t take long for those juices to start flowing in a sea of authors, film makers and adventure motorcyclists.
Austin Vince put in a memorable performance about his latest Mondo Sahara adventure but I’ve come to expect nothing less from this ‘infectious flavour of funny’ fella. One of my favourite speakers was Ed March reaching a new level of crazy. However, totally deserving of the limelight given from a responsive audience on Friday night retelling his way to the Arctic Circle – in the winter – on a Honda C90. At the opposite end of the thermometer, I also enjoyed bumping into Rachel and Sam, two thirds of ‘Crossing the Empty Quarter’ crew in the planning stages of embarking upon part of the world’s largest sand desert – hope the pieces of the jigsaw start slotting into place for those guys.
Saturday morning I find myself roped into entering the Slow Race – a hoot and a half, despite the slightly nervous reservations… Managed to win an official heat and then whip Nicky Plumb‘s perky backside, twice, in our own unofficial race!
Although brand new to the world of two wheel exploration around the globe, thought I’d volunteer to help run the Skills Course led by Cogs and David. Emphasis being on slow speed, Saturday saw a healthy number of riders (and a pillion) to come and have a go. Lovely to see about as many women giving the men a good run for their money in tackling the obstacle course. Supporting this aspect of the event and having a purpose much bigger than me is what it’s all about, for sure.
Couldn’t just spectate at this event, got me a whizz-tastic ride on one of the e-bikes. These electrically charged bikes are ace. Man alive, when it comes to opening the throttle, they go like a rat up a drainpipe, doing up to 30mph. Brill.
How would I describe my first Horizons Unlimited event? Hugely engaging, interactive and oodles of fun, whether you’re at the start of your overlanding pursuits or well on your way. Namely, not to be missed. Think it struck a bit of a chord because there’s just so many regular folks with normal jobs doing incredible things.
Thank you so much to Susan and Grant Johnson, Iain Harper, Sam Manicom and Birgit to name but a few plus the scores of selfless people mucking in to facilitate such a worthy, exquisitely organised event. Made a pile of new friends. Felt right at home and welcomed to the end, was even waved goodbye on departure. Those I came into contact with at Horizons incentivised the big banana out of me to simply ‘get on with it’ and paved the way to adventure.