For Mike Hannan and wife Jo setting out on a voyage of a lifetime on a trusty steed (a state of the art BWM road bike) named the Elephant, was to be everything they ever dreamed of: traveling to faraway places, meeting the unexpected and dealing with it as well as having a never to be repeated adventure riding across the continent from London to Korea on two wheels.
Years of careful planning saw the couple setting off to attend their daughter’s wedding in Britain. Leaving all they knew to be great and good in Australia, along with the wet and slippery roads of Britain they headed off through France, Spain and into Northern Africa trialling the bike, the luggage storage and the handling potential of a seriously overloaded two wheeled vehicle.
After many mishaps, new friends well met, bottles of wine drunk and local delicacies consumed they eventually returned to Britain to re- configure for the beginning of the greatest adventure of their lives: the trek from London to Seoul.
The Elephant’s Taleis truly that: a great tale of making do on the road, coping with a huge raft of unexpected delays, meeting other travellers en-route and sharing their knowledge of where they’ve been and not to go and so much more.
For the baby Boomers amongst us they will relate to two people taking off in their mature years to take on mother nature as well all of Europe, Asia and the stultifying bureaucracy you stumble into headfirst, despite your better efforts.
Along the way Mike and Jo learn much about themselves and each other as well as coming to realise there is a huge and vast difference between being a tourist and a voyageur: and it’s not as subtle as you may think.
It’s not exactly around the world in 80 days, more like across the world in 366 day and all the bits in between and a rollicking good story to be told as well.
A great read for the armchair traveller and an inspirational one for those who are planning to leap off the edge and do something radical or something they have always wanted to do: all after the kids grow up and leave home: dare I say before “Old Age”, whatever that is, sets in!