If you get a chance go to Bletchley Park. Its a haunting place that was the location of the UK Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), and perhaps most famously the site that allowed Dilly Knox and the team including Alan Turing to build the Bombes which helped crack the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. I had to double check my facts after my first visit as I just could not believe that in the UK homosexuality remained a criminal offence until 1967. Turing committed suicide on June 7th 1954 after begin persecuted for being gay. It is little recompense that the UK government officially apologised to him for the “the appalling way he was treated”, but on the 24th December 2013 Turing was pardoned posthumously by the Queen – its not the finest moment for our democratic system and tolerant culture – live and let live.
I am certainly no Jacques Coustea but for the first time in years I have managed to get more than a few meters down to play with the fishes… I have forgotten how isolating the water is and just how big some of the fish are (or at lest seem to be through the misted lens of my Cressi mask) and having spent years riding a multitude of bikes this is the first time in maybe twenty years I have gone below sea level in any meaningful sense. Making a guest appearance with me today are a local Banded Dascyllus (centre stage) and in supporting cast, a Yellow-ear Anglefish.
Succumbed tonight to a night under bricks and mortar after riding through some of the worst summer storms locals tell me they have seen for years – the bike is tucked up in an underground car park and everything I have is laying around me dripping in an attempt to get it dry before the ride to Austria tomorrow and through my window I can see dancing shards of lightening over the old village of Bergamo. Rode the Col De l’Iseran today and although it was warm when I left I predicted snow at 9,100 ft and I was not wrong. Seems odd to be grabbing extra layers and using heated grips when 16 hours earlier I was riding with jacket open in the evening sunshine.
Plans are afoot for my big 50th and the long tour I have always dreamed of – route is in early stages of planning all I know for certain is I leave the UK on 8th June and have to be back at work early September.
Blogging, poetry and writing on the road has always been done by me using pencil an paper but I have just specified and had delivered a semi rugged net book designed and built by Novatech in Cardiff – 500GB SSD and running Win 7 Pro with Open office and all my mapping software (BaseCamp and MapSource) lets see how the equipment performs this year in the shakedown tours before the 2012 expedition.
My twitter following is almost in double figures now – not bad for a man who is a bit of a technical luddite but precisely 3,734,435 behind Steven Fry…so I have decide to launch my separate travelling and photography website – welcome.
I am proud to announce that I have been selected by the Ted Simon Foundation to be one of the first ever Jupiter’s Traveller. The Ted Simon Foundation believes that individuals of good will, moving among foreign cultures and making themselves vulnerable to the beliefs and customs of strangers, have great importance in promoting world understanding, and even more so when they can distil the essence of their experiences into a form that can be absorbed by many.
As a ‘Jupiter’s Traveller’ I will strive to seek to understand the beauties, mysteries & tragedies of our world, & his place in it, through personal adventure. I am inspired and motivated to develop my observations and insights into something of value for the rest of the world to share.
Having already travelled more that 160,000 miles by motorcycle and having a number of major solo motorcycle trips under my belt I am returning to Eastern Europe before I set off for North America . I am planning to ride from Alaska to Mexico by motorbike on my own through north Americas finest wilderness areas and I will document my experiences through photography, writing and poetry with the aim of compiling all my material, including that from previous journeys into a published book. You can follow me via Twitter @tyclyd.