Guys, we all are drawn to adventure – doing it, reading about it or watching it. For the last ten years, maybe more, the growth of world travel and adventure holidays has been incredible. This part of the travel industry is still the most dynamic and continues to expand. It appears, we’re more interested in the idea of travel and culture these days than just sitting on the beach with a beer – this is a fantastic change and it fills me with positive energy.
But the adventure should be defined by you. You don’t need a big (or small) motorcycle, you don’t need to travel around the world or be the fastest from here to here, you don’t need to be rich or a celebrity or create a documentary – you just need to do your thing! A day out in the countryside, a ride to the coast or a one way cheap ticket to ‘anywhere’ – they’ll all give you that buzz, that spirit. I’m not having a go at myself here – and of course for me, the motorcycle is intrinsic to my life and my soul, I’m just trying to underline the point that it’s you who has the control to design your personal adventure.
Our dreams can often be played out through others and that’s fantastic as it shows us that barriers can be overcome, challenges can be met and people can do amazing things. Enter Dylan Wickrama! About a year ago, Billy Ward, who manages many of my projects told me about this guy. Dylan came from a poor background with limited opportunities and low horizons, but his story shows that struggle, determination and positive thinking can make dreams into reality. By chapter three I was already planning my next trip. This book is indeed inspirational, it offers hope and support to all of us, particularly when things aren’t going right or we come up against some of life’s problems. Nice work Dylan – and a great read.
So, read the book – get some planning into operation and have an adventure, join an adventure or if you can – ride an adventure!
Big luv and rubber side down
ps. The book is on Amazon and it’s also here on my shop – hope you enjoy it – I’m sure you will:
This year has seen us kick off with an amazing ride in Australia, an announcement of an incredible riding adventure in Africa for 2017 – but more to the point a spectacular expedition into South America – which is happening right now. The South American expedition would not have been as cool and professional, if it wasn’t for the help and support of Triumph Motorcycles Chile – an incredible bunch of Triumph enthusiasts whose support and attention to detail has helped us get an awesome set of adventure rides off the ground.
With Billy (Biketruck) doing a pre trip recce to make sure things are as they should be – we were presented with two ultra cool Triumph 800 XCX’s – kitted out with Continental TKC 80′s (The best knobbly tires in the world – me thinks), a Garmin Zumo 660 (Which we use in Africa and Australia – the best of the bunch) and of course some superb Touratech waterproof roll bags – which have served us well now for nearly eight years – those bags last for sure.
The route of the expedition is pretty extensive – Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru – criss crossing the Andes, riding alongside volcanoes, the Pacific Ocean, Lake Titicaca – not to mention the historic Machu Picchu – this is serious travelling. And for those doubters who think organised tours are not the real thing – let me tell you, I’ve done enough of them now to know that you just cannot predict what will happen – they’re organised, but they’re still adventures – we’ve even had an earthquake on one – but that’s another story.
Please follow Billy Biketruck, myself and Triumph Motorcycles Chile on Facebook and Twitter – and keep an eye open for Instagram, to get a feel for the expedition, the adventure and the highs and the lows – because there will be both, for sure. Thanks again to Triumph and to Triumph Chile for all your hard work and support to make this adventure a reality – and finally, a great big thanks to all those who are joining the trip – you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime, and a few laughs and super culture thrown in.
All the best – Charley xx
Have your own Long Way Down with me August / Sept / Oct 2017 and have the ride of a lifetime from Cape Town to Victoria Falls and onward through Zimbabwe, Botswana and back into South Africa and Lesotho. Ride from Johannesburg over into Lesotho and down the infamous Sani Pass, and the Garden Route back to Cape Town – or do the whole lot – Cape Town to Cape Town. This is our regular double trip and its getting better and better! Mica, from the USA was one of about 25 who joined our Cape Town to Victoria Falls trip a while back and with nice helmet cam and digital camera, he’s crafted some pretty cool pieces and also ran a trip blog.You can check out the video here http://youtu.be/p4GTmh91tRE and the blog account here http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725446.
Another couple of riders created youtube bits – here are a few:
John and Val – Photo Montage http://youtu.be/ITJvz8dKh1w
Hope you like them guys. Thanks for doing them – I think we’ll all remember those trips for a long long time! The last trip was an incredible feast of riding, socialising and discovering – a great bunch of people and a fantastic adventure yet again.
We enjoyed the life on the road and stayed in some awesome lodges – sometimes way out in the desert or on the banks of the Zambezi river and some right in the swamps – surrounded by crocodile, hippo and lion. We stay in some really lovely lodges and some quite simple ones too – a taste of real Africa.
The upward trip starts in August and will cover around 5,000 kilometres and 4 countries, in about 18 days through Africa’s most amazing countryside. Across open plains, through dense bush-land, forest and barren desert – this is a truly awesome journey, the first leg ending in Victoria Falls – on the Zimbabwe side.
The second leg starts just a few days after and heads South through Zimbabwe, sneaking into Botswana through a tiny little bush border and then back into South Africa’s thriving city, Joburg. Leaving Johannesburg we cross an easy border into Lesotho – Known as the ‘Kingdom in the Mountains‘ before enjoying the famous Garden Route of South Africa back into Cape Town. The trip uses Triumph & BMW bikes – a combination of 1200′s, 800′s. Knobbly tyres and Garmin Zumo GPS’s and we’re off. We will also have room for partners or family who would rather be in one of the support vehicles – or you can just rent one of our 4×4′s and not even ride a bike at all. This means that sometimes family can get ahead of the riders and laze at the pool or explore till the riders get in.
If you want to come – but worry that it’s too hard – it’s certainly not an enduro – it’s sometimes challenging and borders can be frustrating, but well within the reach of most competent riders. Remember, it’s an Adventure Ride – it’s about culture, travel, sights, fun and riding, all wrapped into one – it’s about feeling the sense of Africa – the good bits and the challenging bits!
To find out more – about Africa in 2017, get your name on the list with Compass Expeditions – Contact Jerry firstname.lastname@example.org and view the Compass site here www.compassexpeditions.com – more info will be coming soon…. so watch keep your eyes peeled..
We’ve been travelling through Africa for many years, leading groups of riders and 4×4 drivers into some fascinating territories. Across Morocco’s High Atlas and down to the Cape of Good Hope. There is truly magic in Africa. All of our trips include time to encounter some of Africa’s most amazing wildlife. From the tiny little Dik-dik antelope, only weighing in at about 3 kilos, to the mighty elephant – the largest walking animal on earth, we’ve had so many moments of pure joy being close to these creatures – it’s been such a privilege. This year we’re going a step further. We’ve decided to make our adventure trips much more clued up and more in tune with nature, you could say more ‘eco centred‘. Yes, I’ve learnt a fair bit about the African flora and fauna over the years – but I think we need more, more knowledge, more detail and increased understanding.
We’ve recently discovered an amazing educational centre in southern Africa called EcoTraining. Their whole ethos is driven by the desire to educate people about nature and the ecosystems that co-exist around the earth that give us the delicately balanced joy’s of wildlife, plants, people and the natural world.
We were so taken by this organisation, we decided to send our hero – Billy Biketruck – to Africa for a few months, to get trained up as an accredited Field Guide. Some of you who know Billy, know that he’s pretty well into that side of our African tours, so who better to send on this mission of discovery and adventure. We’re going to follow Billy throughout his training and keep updating everyone how things are going – right through to his accreditation exams at the end of the course – so no pressure hey, Billy Boy? You can follow Billy’s Twitter @biketruck and also pickup regular updates from here.
Most of this year Billy will be in Australia, Africa and South America – so the 2 months he’s putting into getting his accreditation means he’ll be home in the UK with just enough time to maybe cut the grass – before he’s on a plane again back to Africa. We’re incredibly excited to have this opportunity with EcoTraining and from our perspective, to have Billy as a fully trained up Safari Field guide, will add a whole new dimension to our African adventure rides. The excitement of spending some time in the bush, looking for tracks – maybe even tracking an animal – wow, this will be more than a motorcycle or 4×4 trip – this will make our trips so special – a trip of a lifetime.
Of course, Billy is a bit of a character – so we’re not expecting this to all go smoothly – maybe the best way to collect crocodile eggs for research is NOT by pulling the tail of the 18ft Daddy croc – Billy has a lot to learn. I’m sure we’re in for a few laughs and some fantastic images along the way. If anyone would like to join Billy on his new adventure, it’s an open education centre and they take people from all over the world. Check out their courses and availability here on their website calendar – in our view they’re the leading specialists in this area with a reputation second to none. They are the eco oracle.
Charley Boorman xx
ps. Watch this space for more info and updates as it happens… should be a fun ride!
Hi Guys, you may have heard that I’ve been working with a really cool charity lately called United World Schools. Their mission is to bring education to parts of the world that frankly, ain’t going to get it – without external help. Educating the worlds children is what makes the world a better place and gives kids a chance. This mission is quite doable too – it’s not some foggy kind of a mission statement – it’s pragmatic and you can see the physical results. I’ve been so impressed with United World Schools – they make a plan, visit a remote part of the world, get the community on board and give them responsibilities to make the school sustainable – then build the school – what a result. Sometimes, within ten weeks, a community end up with a school, teachers, books and a better standard of life, with more opportunities for these children to develop and expand their horizons. They’ve shown time and time again that education helps break the poverty trap that many isolated villages find themselves in. So – what am I doing? I’m helping to raise awareness, but more specifically I’m helping to build a school! Yes, I’ve visited a beautiful little village in Cambodia, called Tae Le and we’ve had the planning meetings with the community – and we’re up and running. All we need now is some money to help the community help themselves. You can see my recent visit to Tae Le and find out more about the project here – and you can skip along happily to my Just Giving page here to help us build the Tae Le school. Please help, it will be fantastic to watch the school develop and see for ourselves what we can do around the world helping kids who really could do with a little help…
Charley has this week announced an exciting collaboration with one of the worlds leading adventure touring operators, Compass Expeditions. Having worked together for the last four years offering tours across Australia, Charley and Compass will now offer amazing opportunities to have the adventure of your life in South America. Riding through Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, you can ride alongside Charley as you discover the amazing character of South America. The people, the history, the culture – all from your motorcycle seat – the best way to see life.
The tour dates, routes and pricing will be announced shortly, but suffice to say they’ll be offering two special expeditions, open to all kinds of riders and as usual, Charley’s tours will differentiate themselves by his added touch and input to all aspects of the expedition – adding his wealth of experience as a biker and a world traveller, not to mention quality support and guides, including a qualified medic.
Charley said “All our tours stand out from the crowd by going that extra mile across all aspects of the expedition. For example, having a medic on all our tours gives everyone that peace of mind and lets you just get on with enjoying yourself and the location – they’re handy for sorting out hangovers too! We also do a little bit of off road training for those who perhaps need a refresher.”
To get the info and book a place – before they all go, check out the Compass Expeditions site here www.compassexpeditions.com - The first South American tour will be late August 2016… with the next one following right after.
ps. We’re also doing Southern Africa in 2017 – Cape Town to Victoria falls and back via Botswana and Lesotho – taking enquiries for that, but early days. xx
I’m just on the border of Namibia and Botswana and in a few days time I’ll arrive with a big group of riders, into Zambia – the classic Victoria Falls. We’ve had a great adventure ride from Cape Town, north and look forward to spectacular finish at the falls. The first thing we do when we get there is to visit old Joe McGregor Brooks, the true African Crocodile Dundee, in Livingstone – just a bridge away from the falls in Zimbabwe. Joe, starred in our Long Way Down series and has been a major focus for our annual adventures tours in Africa. Joe, who’s now 87 years old, takes us and our group around his collection of killer crocs, crocs that have been captured due to their ‘bad behaviour’.
What’s Joe’s secret to his long and eventful life? Croc fat! He takes a spoonful of croc oil every day. “When a croc looses a leg, it heals up in days – so what’s good for a croc is good for me.” So Joe claims. Well fair game – I’m ordering mine today! If you want to have a real African experience you wouldn’t do better than to visit Joe’s place. Mention my name, book yourself into one of his incredible castle apartment and enjoy a game drive with him – who knows, you may get a discount if you say “Charley sent me!“. For more info about Joe’s place – known locally as Gwembe Safaris… check out all the details here on their website www.gwembesafaris.com or email Ian, his son for more info at email@example.com. Joe also has his autobiography on sale – which is truly an amazing historic look at how life was back in the day as a young scot arriving in Africa, and living the life of a hunter – now turned conservationist.
Ian or Sue Brooks
P.O. Box 60576,
+(260) ø3 321 733 / +(260) ø3 321 648
+(260) ø213 321 733 / +(260) ø213 321 648 (if calling from a cell phone)
+(260) ø3 321 733
Woema, pronounced ‘Vooma’ like in the ‘Va va Voom…’ kinda way, is a really cool adventure bike travel business based in Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city. With a background in adventure travel TV documentaries, they’re a good fit for Charley. This year Woema is supporting Charley’s adventure rides across southern Africa, supplying amazingly functional kit and some great expertise. From wider off road footpegs to great waterproof and dust proof bags, satchels and hydration backpacks – if you want some adventure gear, this is the place to go in South Africa.
As well as the normal bike accessories they also cover camping and general overlanding. Charley said “…its a great fit working with Woema this year. As soon as I learn how to pronounce the name, we’ll be on a winner!”
Charley will be visiting the shop on the 12th September in Johannesburg for a morning coffee and a ‘hello‘. Everyone’s welcome, so if you’re around – pop in and grab a coffee, and you can join in a BIG TEAM PHOTO with Charley. We’ll have all our international riders with us as we’re en route to Lesotho and the Sani Pass. It will be an exciting stop off for our guys and gals before heading south – come and wish them luck. The shop address is:
Woema, Glen Gables Shopping Centre, Lynwood Gen, Pretoria East, Gauteng, South Africa.
Here we have our glamourous assistant, Billy Biketruck showing off some of the Woema kit we’ll be using in South Africa this year. Tail packs, Hydration bags and mega cool luggage bags – waterproof and dustproof. We’ll report back on how the kit holds up to the rigours of the Namibian desert and the cold mountains of Lesotho – but we’re pretty confident – the kit is awesome!
You can check out Woema’s website and follow them on Twitter and of course Facebook – check them out, click on their logo’s below… And of course if you want to join Charley on his great big African Adventure – keep an eye on our website as we announce dates for 2016.
Guys, I just got to tell you about this gem of a place in Zambia – The Maramba River Lodge. This will be our seventh year staying there being looked after by Brad and his family and staff. The place is just wonderful. It’s not another Disney type commercial place, it’s very real and earthy. Sitting actually on the banks of the Maramba river, you’ll see tons of wildlife. Elephants, Hippo and crocodile are there most of the time – it’s like being on a safari 24 x 7… honestly. Each time we’ve been there we’ve had visitors – several young elephants decided to come into the camp and eat anything – or in fact – everything they could find. We had some great tales to tell regarding how we helped chase them out! Then, each night, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the munching of grass from the mighty hippos – who stroll around at their night time leisure keeping the grass down – I mean who’s going to stop them! In Ireland we used to use goats – over here in Zambia it’s a bit different.
If you want to get a way from the busy side of Livingstone, then come over to the Maramba and tell them Charley Boorman sent you! You never know, he may even give you a discount (or charge you more!). All the best to you Brad – looking forward to seeing you all very soon – in fact, August! Here is the link to the Maramba lodge http://www.maramba-zambia.com/
If you ain’t been to Dirt Quake before (created by the incredible Sideburn Magazine) well you haven’t really lived! It’s the epitome of what the bike community is all about. Watch top racers – and nutcases – race around the dirt track on proper bikes and not so proper bikes! Last year there was a meat pie racing… Dont ask. This year again you’ll see Guy Martin there, racing his cow fork’d Harley Davison – on the dirt track! Yes indeedy! Alongside Guy you’ll spot Charley Boorman racing his precious Kawasaki 650cc retro bike. So dont delay, cancel your weekend plans and get to the Adrian Flux Arena for this Saturday and have a fun fun fun day! See www.sideburnmagazine.com for more info…