It’s the morning after the night before our farewell bash – how should I convey my first thought? Touched beyond belief. We’ve enjoyed what was a dizzying blur for a superb send off. Hosted at The Four Bells in Woodborough, this rustic pub was sectioned off for our private party and what a party it was. Around fifty people were able to celebrate with us, sink a few wines and wish us well on our travels ahead. It was wonderful to be in a sea of close friends and family, who had made the effort to convene from all corners of the UK, from as far north as Liverpool down to the Isle of Wight off the south coast, under one roof for us. Thank you to all that were able to make it, your lovely gifts, cards and warm wishes – you contributed to a very memorable evening.
Firstly, Happy New Year! Hope it came in with a bang. We’re ready for 2014 and to embrace all that’s ahead, almost. Hope you are too.
[Jason] Well, for me this was the week I’d really been looking forward to; proper in the dirt stuff. This would require a smaller bike and because it would be my first experience of riding in the desert, I thought it would be a good idea to get some guidance and may be a support vehicle! I decided to use Motoaventures, a tour company I came across on YouTube. Having watched their video of riders gliding over the dunes, I was hooked. It looked like fantastic fun. Plus, it would give me another string to my bow; we’re bound to encounter sand next year on our trip and what a taster to this type of riding.
[Jason] Just a quick taster of my second week in Morocco, before my write up in part 2. I filmed our host (John) from Motoaventures doing an expert job of riding in the dunes, which is trickier than it looks. I filmed John using a remote controlled quadcopter that was carrying a GoPro Hero 3 camera. It was shot at 7am to record the best light and took 15 minutes to shoot. Would love to have had more time to capture something very special; like I need a good excuse to go back!
[Jason] Just returned from an action packed fortnight, and what a fantastic fourteen days I’ve had. Flew into Marrakesh and spent the first night in the old market square. I’m not a big fan of big cities but a visit to the square in the evening proved to be an entertaining experience with an Aladdin’s cave of market stalls selling everything from Moroccan lamps, leather goods to silver jewellery, food stalls offering up all manner of exotic foods and the ubiquitous street entertainers. This place is full of atmosphere but as good as this place was, I wasn’t here for the markets, I was here for the biking!
Probably the best show at the NEC I’ve been to and certainly the most interesting year for me at Motorcycle Live. My day was packed to the gunwales. A little bleary eyed from a Christmas do the night before, I was up at the crack of sparrows and on the road before 8.30am. Bumped into some good biking friends – Chris, Ian and Jay, which were wonderful company and meant I barely noticed Jason’s absence (currently biking in Morocco). Speaking of the devil, soon after arriving, Jason dropped a quick text to say he was having a ball in the desert and being blown away by the scenic Atlas Mountains. Think he used the term ‘challenge’ too…! More of that to follow in an imminent post.
We are now well and truly on the countdown..! Just three short months before Jase and I embrace our bon voyage – shortly after celebrating Christmas and New Years. It occurred to me a while back that at some point I’d have to start getting serious about the preparations required to execute a trip of this magnitude. Packing two lives neatly into a few boxes for around 18 months is no mean feat. Namely from an administrative, financial, physical, marketing, logistical, geographical, transportation, bike and kit preparation and foremost psychological perspectives, things need thinking about. Man alive, where do we even start?