After a really early start this morning, I fell asleep again in the sand of the eastern desert, on the edges of the great Sahara, awoken only by a strengthening onshore wind, I watched the sun rise. So close to the equator there is really no discernible length of twilight at either end of the day and sunrise to full strength takes a matter of minutes – pulling my self together I could not help notice tracks in the sand made by an unknown nocturnal visitor as I snoozed, seems he was not interested in me at all – I just like to think it was something small and fluffy…
The story goes that a young maiden ventured into the Forest of Dahn to pick berries when a man with ‘dishonourable intent’ thought to be Hans Trap from Berwartstein Castle chased her down to take her ‘innocence’. The young maiden gathered up her skirts and took to flight but in her panic she did not watch where she was going and found herself at a cliff edge – without stopping to think, the young maiden fell over the cliff and because her skirts ballooned out she floated down gently and survived the leap unhurt – ever since at the spot of her leap a spring has flowed. All I know is that stumbling across this set of waterfalls on a bimble around the Austrian and German border was amazing.
Catching occasional glimpses of a famous merchant vessel used to guide the way for ships during the D Day landings, I meandered around the tracks and back roads of Skewen before finally ending up on the waters edge alongside the River Neath. Perched in the mud was LV72 – Juno. Built in 1903 by John Crown and Sons in Sunderland this lightship is now ‘rusting and resting’, embedded in the sticky estuary mud and, to be honest, is a sad sight. Having been a lightship for Trinity House she was moored off the Normandy coast on 18th June 1944 and was used to mark the edges of minefields and give safe passage – remaining on station until 27th January 1945. In the spring of 1973 she was sold and after plans for a nightclub conversion failed, she now sits on the bank slowing eroding back into her surroundings.
Been a topsy turvy month with the gearbox on my 02 R1150 GSA wearing the main bearings and damaging the gearbox case, its in Cardiff Mototrrad still with Phil working his magic and within a few weeks he will have cannibalised three gearboxes into one new refurbished one for me. In the meantime I have a new blank canvas to play with – the Bumble Bee.
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.