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Category: Adventurers & Explorers (Page 1 of 5)

Oskar Speck, the man who paddled a kayak from Germany to Australia starting in 1932, and Sandy Robson, the woman who recreated the adventure some 80 years later

Justin Housman, writing in The Adventure Journal »

In a span of seven years, he paddled a series of 15-foot kayaks more than 30,000 miles from the Danube River in Europe to the tropical shores of far northern Australia. Even better, when he first set out, he was “merely” planning to paddle to Cyprus for work, with no intention of traveling by kayak to the other side of the world. But the paddling proved irresistible and Speck did not stop once he reached Cyprus.

[…]

Speck was 25 years old when he set out on his incredible journey. He was an unemployed electrician living in Hamburg. Work was scarce and prospects were dim after the 1929 stock market crash ripped through Germany, so Speck decided to seek work in the copper mines of Cyprus. With no other means to get there, and as a proud member of a kayaking club since his youth, Speck decided to paddle his way to, hopefully, a job.

In May, 1932, Speck shoved off from banks of the Danube in a collapsible and very much not seaworthy 15-foot kayak, and began paddling south. He arrived in the Balkans several weeks later and, lulled to boredom by the languid waters of the Danube, Speck made for the Vardar River, where soon fierce rapids dashed his boat nearly to splinters. While awaiting repairs, winter set in and the Vardar froze over, locking Speck in place for months.

Read the whole article in The Adventure Journal »

In November 2016, Western Australian woman Sandy Robson (aged 48), recreated Speck’s adventure, completed in some 5 years, having visited 20 countries and paddled some 23,000 kilometres.

‘Put aside your fears and just go’ » Every person should read Elspeth Beard’s travel memoir

In 1982, at the age of 23, halfway through her architecture studies, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6. She returned 2 years later to become the first British woman to ride around the world.

Nicola Moyne »

‘I first rode a motorbike when I was sixteen; a friend was taking his Husqvarna down to Salisbury Plain and asked me along. I can’t say I was instantly hooked but in 1979 I bought a second hand 1974 BMW R60/6 with about 30,000 miles on the clock. It gave me an immense sense of freedom and over the next couple of years I gradually travelled further afield. My first trip was a tour of Scotland, then Ireland, finally progressing to a two-month trip around Europe in the summer of 1980.

‘The following summer I persuaded my brother, who had been picking apples in New Zealand, to meet me in Los Angeles where we bought an old BMW R75/5 and rode together across to Detroit. All these trips gradually built up my confidence, so when I got back, I bought a Haynes manual and set about stripping down parts of the engine to get my bike ready for a bigger trip across the globe. It was already eight years old and had done 45,000 miles so I replaced all the cables, bought a new battery, changed all the oils and put new tires on. I also took the cylinder heads off to fit an extra base gasket in order to lower the compression. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I had been told by a friendly mechanic at the BMW shop that this would be a good idea!

[…]

‘Travel helps us to understand other cultures and not just rely on what the media tells us. It’s easy to be afraid of things you don’t understand – that’s why it’s really important that people go and find out for themselves. Those two years on the road completely changed my life and made me the person I am today. They gave me the confidence to take on anything life throws at me without any fear. The truth is, you will always be able to come up with reasons why the time isn’t right. Put aside your fears and just go.’

Read the whole article at Marie Claire »

‘Put aside your fears and just go’: why every woman should read this travel memoir

More » Ultimate Motorcycling

 

 

 

Nirmal Purja climbs world’s 14 highest peaks in just 189 days – smashing the previous record by some seven years

Nirmal “Nims” Purja

Nirmal “Nims” Purja, a 36-year-old Nepali, became the fastest climber to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains on Tuesday, scaling all the mountains in just over six months. It’s a feat other climbers have taken several years to complete.

Peter Beaumont, writing in The Guardian »

His extraordinary series of ascents makes him one of the most successful climbers at the highest altitudes, joining only a handful of other mountaineers who have climbed all of the 8,000-metre peaks in the Himalayas. Notably he climbed Everest, Lhotse and Makalu (the fourth and fifth highest peaks in the world) consecutively in just 48 hours.

The previous record was held by Kim Chang-ho, of South Korea, who took seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

“I am overwhelmed and incredibly proud to have completed this final summit and achieved my goal of climbing the world’s 14 tallest mountains in record time,” said Purja after his final ascent.

Read more »

More » Reuters, BBC, CNN, CBC, NPR

Watch Noraly from ItchyBoots.com Travel Through Georgia and Armenia as She Rides Around The World

We last connected with Noraly transiting quickly through Russia and the border crossing into Georgia. With this video series we follow her progress in Georgia.

Ep. 96 – Noraly crosses into Georgia
And heads to Tbilisi, the capital city.

Ep. 97 – Boom! Noraly surprises us by crossing into Armenia
In the video she tells us why.

Ep. 98 – Noraly highlights the people of Armenia

Ep. 99 – Noraly visits The Republic of Artsakh
Artsakh is a breakaway state that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan

Ep. 100 – Noraly returns to Armenia

 

Watch » The Voyageurs

Voyageurs is the French translation for voyager – a person who goes on a long and sometimes dangerous journey. However, in Canadian history, the term has an added significance.

This 1964 National Film Board film tells the story of the men who drove big freighter canoes into the wilderness in the days when the fur trade was Canada’s biggest business. The film recreates scenes of the early 19th century.

Continue reading

Watch Noraly from ItchyBoots.com Travel Through Russia as She Rides Around The World

We last connected with Noraly riding through Kazakhstan. With this video series we follow her progress in Russia on her way to Georgia.

Ep. 92 – Riding from Atyrau, Crossing into Russia, and Riding onto Astrakhan
Noraly rides here last 300km in Kazakstan, across rough roads to the Russian border. And then rides onto Astrakhan.

Ep. 93 – Riding 300 km from Astrakhan to Elista

Ep. 94 – Riding from Elista to Stavropol
Noraly passes through a police check stop.

Ep. 95 – Noraly heads towards the Georgian border
Her transit visa is running out.

Follow Noraly as she continues her adventure with riding through Georgia.

Watch Noraly from ItchyBoots.com Ride Through Kazakhstan as She Makes Her Way Around The World on a Royal Enfield Himalayan

We last saw Noraly riding through Kyrgyzstan. With this video series we follow her progress through Kazakhstan.

Ep. 83 – Crossing into Kazakhstan
Noraly rides from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Almaty, Kazakhstan

Ep. 84 – Getting a Russian Visa and servicing the Royal Enfield in Almaty.

Ep. 85 – The Plains of Kazakhstan
Noraly has only a couple of weeks to travel to some 3400 km to the Russian border. So despite the weather forecast, she must make tracks.

Ep. 86 – Riding to Turkestan, Kazakhstan
Naraly rides to an important pilgrimage site. Yasaui Mausoleum, built in the 14th century, hosts the tomb of Sufi teacher and poet Yasaui.

Ep. 87 – Noraly explores Sauran, the ruins of the capital of the Mongol White Horde, on her way to Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan

Ep. 88 – Riding from Kyzylorda to Aralsk
Noraly rides to see rockets at Baikonur on her long day’s journey to the Aral Sea.

Ep. 89 – Nothing but Camels – Riding from Aralsk to Aktobe
Noraly plans a long 617 km day ride.

Ep. 90 – Aktobe to Uralsk
Noraly takes a 480km detour due to road construction.

Ep. 91 – Noraly ploughs through another 510 kilometers of detour on her way to Atyrau.
Through flat grasslands and semi-desert on her way to the Russian border

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