Days 509 – 511 Calais – Whitstable (England) / motorbike GS Dakar RTW overland adventure traveller

  • Left – 8.15am
  • 26th – 28th August 2015
  • Miles rode – 57 (91km) + Le Shuttle (Euro Tunnel)

509 days ago I woke up in the same hotel here in Calais, I was about to embark upon an adventure I had planned and dreamt about for years, my plan was to ride East without much more detail, as I rode away I was full of stress and it took at least two weeks for me to start settling into the world of overland travel. I couldn’t imagine what was about to unfold in front of me, I would have laughed had you said I would ride across the Himalayas, cross Myanmar from India to Thailand, I could go on.

Now 509 days later I walk out of the same hotel, load my luggage onto my bike and ride along the same roads for a few kilometres before I head north, home to the unknown home rather than South East to the unknown. I’m not stressed and the same as 509 days ago I have plan. 

I wonder how I’ll feel in another 509 days time. I’m about to start a new chapter in my life and I’m very excited about it.

I arrived back in UK to grey skies and rain. I took my bike straight to get an MOT, whilst waiting I went to a proper ‘greasy spoon’ (that’s an old fashioned cafe) and ordered a mug of tea & bacon roll. Welcome home I said to myself. As I drank my tea I watched people coming and going ordering all the quintessential foods in a greasy spoon, ‘full English’, ‘bubble & speak’ most people reading a ‘red top’ (tabloid newspapers) and talking about football. Everyone seemed to know the woman serving, her name was ‘Luv’. I don’t want to be here I thought. This is real England but I’m not ready for ‘this England’, there is a part of England I love and this isn’t it.

With a road legal bike and driving license in my wallet I set off to Whitstable to stay with my sister for a couple of days, I found myself on the A2 in the wind & rain with lorries around me. I hated it so took a right turn and found myself riding through the beautiful Kent countryside. Old habits die hard.

Over they following days I stayed with my sister to acclimatise myself to home. I mowed her lawn, cut the massive hedge and ate fish & chips on the beach. How very English.




5 Responses

  1. Great trip. You have inspired me (along wjtb ted simon, austin vince, graham field etc) to do my own rtw. 23 monthes and counting. Good luck Dan. Will you be writing a book?
    All the best.
    Michael bell

  2. Hi Dan
    I’m gonna miss your posts truly inspirational. How strange I followed you all around the world then you come back to the UK and get your bike MOTed same place I used to then you come to Whitstable just down the road from me. Good luck with the book put me down for a copy. Hopefully settling back into life back here isn’t too much of a shock for you. Jealous of the sights you have seen….it’s all about the people…have a good one mate.

  3. Hi Dan,
    Nice transition, going from Australia to England. You sure had the ultimate adventure/vacation. Just one very fine chapter in your life. I’m sure that you’ll have many more.
    All the best,
    Mark & Sue (from Canada)