Horizons Unlimited – 2nd UK Meeting

Flew to England for a the english Horizons Unlimited motorcycle meeting.


Here you will find my experiences at the Second UK HORIZONS UNLIMITED MEETING.

We booked a flight from Amsterdam to East Midlands at 13:20 on Friday. So we would be in time for the first lectures in Somercotes.
All went reasonably well till the airport, where all my bank cards where refused… Nope not out of money, but a mistake from the bank (I know now).
So the was the old reliable credit-card and we got ourself some cash.

Second problem, no one not even the cab and bus drivers ever heard of this little town called Somercotes… It took us 2 hours by bus to finally get there. (20 minutes by bike I must tell you…)
Already 20 people gathered on the “lawn” behind the pub. One thing that really bothered me personally where all the BMW there and only one Teneree… Later I have been told that the Teneree was never imported in the UK. So we also put up our tents in between the long grass and made ourselves comfortable for the evening to come by getting our first pint.

As the organization new overlanders where coming to this weekend party the only thing organized where a couple of speakers on Friday and Saturday evening, figure out the rest yourself was the idea.
So around eight, rather it was nine I think, the first speaker went on stage…

Paul Pratt
He held a lecture about the Pan-American Highway leg of his 13 year RTW trip in the 60s. Which was interesting but not why I came to the UK I wanted info on Africa…

The second on was one of the few females there, Cynthia Milton, she told us all about travelling from the UK to the Taj Mahal and back in 6 weeks time.
She has specialized herself in making the most of it even if you are working all year around. Save a couple of days and set of to remote places. Also very interesting and she had some nice slides… but no Africa in sight yet.

Last but not least was Austin Vince, about his Terra Circa trip to Russia and Siberia.

If ever have the opportunity to go to one of his lectures GO. This guy made me laugh the whole way through. There are only a few on this planet who can get everybody also the not interested to focus on what he has to tell. Truly amazing! But still nothing on Africa… I had to wait till tomorrow.

From there on it was speaking to others about the plans I have and they had or have. Very interesting and met a New Zealander Jeff who is planning to do the same as me in roughly the same period… So we will meet up somewhere in Africa most probably.
After that it was time for some sleep…

Saturday – stayed in my over heated little tent for as long as I could bear. And wished pints where not as big as the where…

Spoke with a couple of guys that morning included Chris Scott, the one that answered loads of my questions with his book AMH and Sahara Overland.

After that we set of buy care to a pub a couple of days ago with a car… the rest was by bike, WHERE’s MINE I was thinking… Jip still in Holland.
The scenery was great and had a few laughs of course. The destination, the pub, had a billboard with all the motorbike accidents that happened on the road leading to the pub…

Saturday evening… Africa was on the program!!!
Chris Bright started the evening with his talk about his Trans Africa.
Not much new info for me, but interesting to hear.

Second on was Karim Hussain about travelling in the Sahara…
More on how not to do it… read Karims Full Story. YOU SHOULD READ IT!

Last on this evening was Chris Scott, who I mentioned before.
He only showed us one slide… telling us all on how to prepare from idea to realization, good to hear my website being mentioned during his speak!

The lectures where part of the reason I came to this event. On the other hand I found far more info from speaking to persons during the day.
There where around 30 people there that did something like I am planning now! So plenty of info to get.
# A few of the Questions and tips I got: Take a maker and a strange coin… you can use it as a stamp when you need one you don’t have;
# Make fake id’s – like student cards (for discount);
# Say your a diplomat, they will think ohh, I must let him through, don’t know for sure if it will work though… on a bike…;
# I travelled through southern Sudan, what!!! Yes he did, either be on the rebel side or on the government side, just don’t drive half way… I will see when I get there…

On Sunday we got a lift to the airport that costed me a Dutch-Teneree-Assosiation-Tshirt (you better wear it when we meet in Africa!) and flew back home… Half of the pictures of this weekend are made by Meindert Baars who goes to Africa as well, thank you for taking your digicam as I still have to buy one, any advice?

Thanks to the organization of this meeting! I will join you again in 2004 when I am back from Africa!