England to Siberia
Like any great adventure there has to be an element of mystery. Not knowing where you’re going, not knowing if the car will make it, not knowing if you will make it through the Kazakhstan boarder. However, not knowing your team mates is made this trip an even greater mystery. That’s how things went down. A few months back, two best friends Jack and Karl put a shout out on Facebook for a professional photographer to join 2guys1car, their team name for a charity adventure rally. I bravely volunteered after being shown the advert by a friend. Having only spoken on the phone, the first time we would meet would be the day that we set off on our trip.
Goodwood Racetrack, England - Ulan-Ude, Siberia. Eighteen countries, five mountain ranges, three desserts, one sea, all in a VW Lupo.
We experienced some amazing things, from waking up on Romanian beaches to eating with friendly Turkish families to talking to local villagers in mountain ranges so far away from civilisation you wouldn’t think people even live there. We drove some of the world’s most dangerous roads and got held up by some money hungry officials. We meet other travellers along the way from all over the world, making great friends with some Danish guys and some Kiwis too.
We hit troubles in far gone corners of the globe: engine problems and a night time sandy crash at 4000 meters above sea level on a narrow but heavily travelled mountain pass. Lorries came past us every ten minutes in darkness whist we toiled away on the car, trying to get it moved out of the way. We battled heat waves… in a dessert. We battled lack of food and water. We dragged that poor car up to 5000-meters above sea level. We partied with locals in Bulgaria and ate with families in Uzbekistan. We got chased by wild dogs in Tajikistan and peered into the Fires of Hell in Turkmenistan. We soared above the land in Turkish hot air balloons, bathed in fresh mountain streams in Kyrgyzstan, drove through dust storms and snow, camped out under the stars in tropical conditions, and shivered in our tents in arctic colds. We crossed a sea full of sailors that didn’t speak English. We still had an amazing time.
For two best friends and a stranger, it was a trip of a life time. There were no real plans other than getting somewhere eventually. I found that the joy of our adventure came from our encounters and new experiences, the ever changing horizon, the drastic changes in landscapes, and each day a new and different sun. I found passion for our adventure and the helter-skelter life it brought. Once I accepted that, there was no going back to the mundane day-to-day life.
So here is to the next great adventure… whatever and wherever that may be.
The new 2016 Hiker features an updated waterproof membrane with improved breathability, an anti-microbial lining, and a luxurious anti-odor footbed.