Long Way Home 1

Post trip report


It seems so long ago now, that we left England at the start of our ‘trip of a lifetime’. We have been
home three weeks, and the initial flurry of activity that comes with being away for 5 months has subsided, as has the accumulated pile of junk mail.

I remember the initial feelings, almost like trepidation; there was certainly no elation, after all the planning of routes and chasing visas we were off. Within perhaps a week of leaving England, I had settled into the routine of the trip, and ‘routine’ is an apt expression.  We all have routines. Getting up, wash, breakfast, the same drive to work, seeing the same people, etc., etc. Why should getting up, getting washed, having breakfast and getting on your bike be any different?


The excitement of waking up to a new day, in a new situation, a new country never once paled. Not once did I wish I was back home, I hung on to every day, savouring it, hoarding the memories so that I can bore the pants off people for years to come! I can liken the experience of riding a motorcycle through Mongolia to childbirth. The pain at the time is excruciating, you wonder what the heck you are doing there but, several months later, the pain is forgotten, the experience doesn’t seem half as bad, and you want to have another go! The whole journey has been a kaleidoscope of impressions; I only have to close my eyes to conjure up smiling faces, and friendly inquisitive people, because the one thing that over rides everything else is just how wonderful people are. The less they have the more they want to share.

It is the motorcycle that has given the journey through Asia added magic It made such a difference to our trip, acting as a magnet, drawing the people to us, opening conversations and the cause of much hilarity: workmen clapping and cheering when I negotiated muddy road-works successfully, women rushing to help me pick the bike up when I dropped it in deep sand in Mongolia, teenagers in Russia accepting us as ‘cool dudes’ for being bikers! The young horse in the Gobi desert, cantering alongside me, tossing his mane and tail, making eye-contact, inviting me to play with him in his domain, is a picture I will never forget. It was special, it was magic.

The Long Way Home as we so rightly called our trip - 6,000miles out and 13,000 miles back - was intended to prove that us oldies can have our own adventures, we don’t have to sit in our armchairs, dreaming, wishing, leaving the escapades to the young. We had the time of our lives, we laughed, cried and swore like troopers, we learnt more about ourselves than we could have believed possible. We hope you enjoyed reading our story.


I thought I would find the travelling hard, moving on every day, not knowing where I would be that night… it’s
never been my style, never done anything like this before.

Within a few days I had settled in, was enjoying the trip for everything it was, no angst, no fears, no wishing to be home, and taking each day as it was… G R E A T!   “What if this… what if that…” would intrude into my thoughts in those early days, questions to myself about possible problems, but hey, there isn’t a problem that can’t be surmounted.  Within days I was totally relaxed and enjoying, and this surprised me.  Riding the endless roads of Russia, through Siberia, became a way of life… I could, quite simply, have kept going       forever!

Wherever we went we were offered hospitality and friendship like I’ve never known before, and on such a mass scale.  People greeted us, rode/drove alongside us offering bread or water, even the statutory drink of vodka. Everywhere we stopped we were surrounded by smiling faces, handshakes and offered genuine hospitality.

Sue has stolen my use of the word kaleidoscope, but a kaleidoscope of memories, meetings, thoughts, people, happenings, situations, roads and scenery it is.  I have a thought and my mind goes into overdrive…  I could say so much but no words are sufficient to explain just how it was, and if you’ve been on such a motorcycle trip then no words are required! 

It was without a doubt the toughest thing I have ever done in my life and yet the most enjoyable. I have never laughed as much, I have never cried as much, and I have never sworn as much!

We hope you laughed, cried and swore with us…


“Procrastination is the thief of time”