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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:TRAVEL
  • SubGenre:Africa / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:230
  • eBook ISBN:9781620955659

A Hitch-Biker's Guide Through Africa

Cairo to Cape Town on a Folding Bike

by Jo Charnock

Book Image Not Available
Overview
After a sailing trip from South Africa to Belgium in 2007, Jo Charnock, and her partner Jan Wouters found themselves stranded in Europe with winter approaching fast. Instead of taking the easy option of flying straight home, they decided to travel overland from Cairo to Cape Town. With their mode of transport undecided Jan came up with the idea to travel with folding bicycles; almost certainly a first in Africa. In November of that year, confident of the fact they would not cycle the whole distance, they set off to traverse the length of Africa by whatever means available. Their experiences saw them travelling with missionaries in the desert, Sudanese and Ethiopian truck drivers, on trains, a plane, buses and of course hitch-biking. A Hitch-Biker’s Guide Through Africa is the story of their extraordinary adventures, and of the incredible people they met whilst travelling in the most beautiful and diverse continent of Africa.
Description
After a sailing trip from South Africa to Belgium in 2007, Jo Charnock, and her partner Jan Wouters found themselves stranded in Europe with winter approaching fast. Instead of taking the easy option of flying straight home, they decided to travel overland from Cairo to Cape Town. With their mode of transport undecided Jan came up with the idea to travel with folding bicycles; almost certainly a first in Africa. In November of that year, confident of the fact they would not cycle the whole distance, they set off to traverse the length of Africa by whatever means available. Their experiences saw them travelling with missionaries in the desert, Sudanese and Ethiopian truck drivers, on trains, a plane, buses and of course hitch-biking. A Hitch-Biker’s Guide Through Africa is the story of their extraordinary adventures, and of the incredible people they met whilst travelling in the most beautiful and diverse continent of Africa.
About the author
I think not staying behind for a parents visit when I was away from home for the very first time, at the tender age of 7 or 8, was perhaps a defining moment or realisation that I would always want to travel. This coupled with the fact that as a family we never lived in one house, or place, for longer than a few years at a time probably contributes to that ‘itchy-feet’ kind of feeling. I was born on the 5th November 1968, into a world of changing times. The Vietnam war was in full swing, and the day after I was born Richard Nixon was announced as the 37th American president. Earlier in the year America had formed the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and in England Led Zeppelin performed their first ever live concert. Strange days indeed! The non-descript industrial town of Bolton was the place of my birth, but we lived in various places including Aspull, Blackrod and Sale in Cheshire, all before I turned 7. Fortunately for me my parents then moved to Cornwall to run a guesthouse. Memories of this time are a blur of starting school and going on holidays to Cornwall (hence my parents decision to move there). Growing up in Cornwall was a pleasure. Kids of my generation were probably the last to have the kind of freedom that we were able enjoy (before the advent of cell phones and paranoia). My free-time was almost all spent horse-riding. I would leave home in the early hours and not come back before dinner, having spent the day roving around miles and miles of countryside on horseback. All this came to an end when my parents moved to run a pub outside Helston on the other side of the peninsula. Changing schools at the tender age of 14 was probably not a good idea as I now went from a grade A student to just scraping by when it was time for the now defunct ‘O’ levels at 16. This was also the time of my rebellious youth, when I got into punk and goth music as well as a goth / hippy crowd (even going so far as shaving my hair and dying the remaining bright purple!). But after a lot of dedication and hard work concentrating on my art, my portfolio got me into Edinburgh College of Art and so I moved to the other end of the country. After studying for two years I came to realise that studying and fine art were not really for me and so I left to start work and to start saving to travel. November 1994 (and coincidentally the year of the end of apartheid), saw me arriving on a backpacking trip in South Africa. I quickly fell in love with the country and it became my home. Various experiences awaited me including stints working on overland vehicles, travelling around Southern Africa and later opening my own restaurant. In November 2003 (good things seem to happen in November!) I met my partner Jan Wouters who literally introduced me to sailing and changed my life. Since our meeting I have sailed (almost) around the world delivering yachts, as 1st mate and partner in our company, Indigo Yacht Management, which we continue to do to this day. 2007 - 2008 saw us take on another endeavor, and we travelled from Cairo to Cape Town with our folding bikes. The fantastic experiences we shared and the many people we met along the way were the inspiration for my book ' A Hitch-biker's Guide Through Africa'. Hopefully our adventures will long continue as we have many plans for new projects including lots more sailing to faraway ports, and other ventures with our folding bikes.
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