Friday, 28 October 2011



Everyday in the week I'm in a different city
If I stay too long people try to pull me down
they talk about me like a dog
talking about the clothes I wear
but they don't realise they're the ones who's square

Yeah! and that's why
you can't hold me down
I don't want to be tied down I gotta move

I said,

Stone free do what I please
Stone free to ride the breeze
Stone free baby I can,t stay
I got to, got to get away....

Jimi Hendrix, 1st song he wrote,
Band of gypsies


Lights, camera, action

 Oh myGod....I think I love TV......
Hmmm what a great bike...

Never thought this was going to happen today, its all that wierdness you are sending to me Surf Boy!!!....keep it up, going to be a crazy story soon.

I spent many of my first few days here in Dubai, walking up and down Port Saheed, looking for a cute wooden Dhow boat, in my mind I was determined to travel just like Michael Palin did when he was here and travelled to India this way.

My optimism took a roller coaster ride from that day to now, 1 week later, still searching, still hoping.

Meanwhile I had contacted the press and got my story printed, trying to open a few more doors this way and also to inspire other people to follow their dreams as far as possible.

Well still no boat on the horizon, but now even more people are stopping me every day to say that they saw me in the paper, ask me about my journey and to take photos. I am really impressed with the enthusiasm and support from everyone here in the UEA, but still I am hoping for some guidance towards finding transport out of here, so I can continue this story, as I am just as excitied as everyone else is to know how it all will end, or even whats written on the next page, so for now the curtains are still closed, everyone is eating popcorn, drinking cola and waiting for the show to start again. Especially me!!!

Yesterday was the bit where the roller coaster ride had left you with a fantastic, exhillerating feeling in your stomach full of anticipation and uncertainty, then suddenly everything comes to a stop, as it starts climbing up slowly to the top again.
I was sure, the security guys was sure, the goats in the wooden boat were sure that had just arrived, then suddenly left in their own roller coaster way, being abruptly thrown out into the back of a truck.....destination who knows.

With as many clear hand signals as I could, I asked some of the guys if the boat was from India and if I could travel with them, I get a positive Hindi head shake that could mean either yes or no, leaving them with a no blame whatsoever situation, that they did or did not agree or even say anything, so this has started to be my main problem now, the language barrier.

After getting through all the hard work of actually getting the right information which port to go to I had started my enquiry first from port Saheed, then port Rasheed, then port Jebel Ali, to finally get good information that boats from India were entering into port Hamiyra, and they are trickling in everyday, so you have to keep turning up in the morning, take a translater with you, even better one of the security guys who can speak Hindi, and eventually I am sure you will get a result. I was told by some of the people working there that they had seen a few people travel through here, some hippies with a vehicle, and a few with bikes/motorbikes, so it has been done, it is possible.

I got through  security no problem, they checked me into customs and immigration who had no problem, providing you have passport and visa for your destination, and a captain of a ship willing to take you, all you need to do then is to find the captain, who is probably drunk in some whoar house in Dubai, and take him to the office so he is clear that you are allowed to travel through here, sounds simple does'nt it!!!

I will keep trying for a few more days, hoping now the power of TV may open some more doors, especially portholes, but maybe I have to accept a failure this time and take a flight instead. Would be a shame. Inchallah!!!

Big thank you to 'Dubai one' who put out a special request live on TV asking if anyone out there could help me get to India.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Tribute to the people of Gambia and especially to my daughter, Leah

These two pictures are a tribute to the people of Gambia and especially to the hard work my own daughter is doing out there right at this minute, she has been doing voluntary work in the hospitals, prior to returning back to the UK to continue studies for a carear later on in this line of work.

You can read all about her experiences, which are many, both good and bad, a real eye opener to the rest of us not yet seen or heard about such places and hardships. I am obviously very proud of her and seems to be clear she has the same genetics that drive me to explore and see different ways of life.

Click here to read all about Leah's experiences.



Hot news here in Dubai!

Yeah right next to Mettalica, a blast from my own past....go on boys show them.

Or if you really want to make things hotter, go for the Chilly willy.....

Bloody big, medium and minimalistic, how far do you want to go? and how much is it going to cost you in energy, the balance and the choice is yours....?

Good beach at Dubai, and even a cycle path all 2 km of it....!
Come on Dubai more trees,more green, more places for people to ride, skate, and take to the outdoors. Escape your air conditioned cubicles.

Thank you, merci beacoup, shukria, to all the people here....shanti shanti...

Thank you to all the people I have met here in Dubai, so many people,  so many nationalities, all have been so friendly and always offering to help in some way, even if its just to make me smile.
Special thanks to Ambaresh, who I met the first day here and has been checking on me daily and helping me ever since, driving me to places, information and help with processing my Indian visa application, really thank you all of you, I never forget people with big hearts.

 Ambaresh, standing taller than any skyscraper. Thank you so much for all your time, help and friendship. Hope to catch up with you in India.



 I treated myself to what I thought was going to be my last night in Dubai, dangerous I went to find a restaraunt, hunting for a dish I had only eaten once before in Nepal and have been scared to try it again since, in case I would be dissapointed, but I experienced my second best ever Vegetable Kofta Malai, the chef here produced the finest food, really reccomend this place. You can find them in the Atrium center, Bank street, Bur Dubai

My Indian visa is ready today, and now with the power of the press behind a little bit maybe the doors of opportunity will open a little this seems to be my last door, window or porthole that I am trying to squeeze through, and running out of ports to run around, now my last chance seems to be at Port Al Hamiyra, about 3 km outside Dubai. If there are anyone following my footsteps then this will save you a big run around too. 
I was told many small wooden boats come and go from here to India and that 6 months ago someone did travel from here, so it is possible.

I showed the newspaper article to the guys at the security gate and explained I was trying to continue my journey to India, trying not to take any flights, with this they told me to turn up in the morning with my Indian visa, hopefully they will clear me through their customs and we can start the process to find a captain who will agree to let me travel with them. 

Well it has taken many days of running all over the place, speaking to many people, so hopefully the wheels of fortune will be turning in my favour again and soon be writing new chapters in the book of life...Inchallah.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Its bloody hot hot hot.

Not the sort of place suitable for my way of travelling, but I am learning to adapt to my new surroundings, which is just another part of the journey and challenge.

I have found a few places now where I can stay, luckily meeting people and making friends has been as easy as ever, finding a little space and time to yourself is as usual sometimes a challenge.

My first few days were spent behind a small mosque that was on the site of a petrol station. I stopped to fill up water here, where soon I was answering a barrage of questions again as people slowly became magnetized to my strange bike, but getting great response, enthusiasm and help. I quickly found myself installed at the back of the mosque for the night, with running water and toilet at hand, feeling really tired this day not sleeping well on the boat and generally my daily routine of cycling, eating and sleeping being disturbed, which had suddenly come to a full stop. It does take time to adjust again to new patterns and so I was needing a quick easy solution for this nights accommodation.

After quickly applying for my Indian visa and left them now to process it that leaves me with 5 to 10 days they said, so I have been doing a bit of research and been asking lots of people at the Al Rasheed docks in Dubai if any of them were off to India.
I rode from one end to the other, rows and rows of old wooden boats, loading huge loads of cheap Chinese goods and food, that all looked like they were going my way. I was sure of it, but alas it seemed most of them were going to Iran or Samolia, finally just one said they were off to Gujarat which is perfectly in India, I asked him 4 or 5 times in different ways and with different hand signals and facial expressions, because many people assured me no one along here were going to India, but this one did seem to be consistently going to India, well my spirits were suddenly transformed, knowing now that it was possible to travel this way.

I also asked at Port Rasheed a few kilometers away, now a big shipbuilding area. I enquired at their office and explained I was travelling by bike and looking for a ship, or anything that floated which was going to India and able to get on board, they telephoned to another bigger port 25km away called port Jebel Ali. I got a definate yes, that they can help me out, sounds like it will be a big commercial ship though. I was hoping to do the Michael Palin thing and travel on a cute Dhow boat, well I don't have the power of TV behind me and maybe things have changed since then, so I will have to take what I can.

Dubai is not the sort of place that I have been used to these past few weeks of spacious plateau's, mountains, desserts and moments of peace, nature and tranquility, now it is survival in the concrete jungle, blacked out huge V8 gas guzzlers, heat, sweat, cars and people 24 hours a day, there seems to be very few places where to escape or to relax.

It really is bloody hot, I am currently sat outside of one of 4 or 5 purpose built places, by the Dhow wharfe, where the guys from the boats can come eat, wash and use toilet. I quickly took the opportunity to get myself noticed here so no problem to use the facilities and now a common appearance for them, so slowly but surely the novelty is wearing off, crowds of Iranians and Pakistanis disperse from around me as they get used to my coming and going, most of the time I have great fun with them all, as I have time these days to joke and talk to them, satisfying their curiosity, sometimes trying to lift the heavy cargo aboard with them, much to their amusement, in this heat though that game soon gets enough.

I am sat here now outside it is 9.00 pm I get out my laptop to write, no one around a good quiet moment feeling inspired to write and pass some time away, suddenly as the screen lights up, from out of no where I am surrounded by maybe thirty dark faces the whites of their eyes peering into my screen with me, heads wobbling from side to side more than usual and jabbering away, watching me now trying to type. It is like some radar that they have, attracted to anything you do, I feel like I am the main character in the true man show.....I get out my cooker to cook food and I suddenly have a crowd around me, so I just be cool, smile and try to ignore them. Trying not to move much so as not to use any muscles that will raise my body temperature any higher, just typing and I am constantly dripping, wet all over, eyes are getting bigger, closer and closer.......arrrrgh I think they going to consume me good I stop typing and laugh to myself and wait for the crowd to get bored.

For anyone interested and travelling similar to me in this place, then you might be interested to know you have good facilities here at the top end of Al rasheed, Dhow boat warfage, there are 4 stations where you can wash, shower, eat and have toilets.

For sleeping I have found a good place just a bit further up towards the bridge in between the dual carriage ways there are two large areas of raised grass with a few trees, the one by the bridge is the best, a relatively quiet nights sleep, no one bothering you at all and even internet connection from an unlocked wifi at hotel Viktoria, just a little background road noise, sometimes the grass sprinkler system comes on, as I discovered when sat there preparing lunch, right in the middle of creating a complicated salad I get showered from all directions, which is very refreshing in this heat but watered down my salad dressing a bit too much. Number 6 tree from the far end has a faulty sprinkler system and here you have complete undisturbed peace, internet connection, a real piece of treasure in this place.
After 3 weeks on the road, a dip in the ocean was the first priority.

Tallest bulding in the world....

...Until America builds one even bigger.

Big buildings, big cars, big bank accounts.....

Big fish tanks also...

There are a lot of rules here....think I broke them all in the first hour of landing and gave them twenty more to invent......


My first night, late, tired....back of a mosque and try to ignore the drone of traffic....sleep.

Asking around the docks at Port

plenty of boats...all more than happy for you to Iran, or to Samolia....!

The little oasis, grass, trees and always friends...

Sometimes I have my time.....I am a tree you know...

First wash for the bike, now we both look a bit more presentable.

Money money money....

If only I had wings, I would fly out of here as well.

The dance of flight, so free, peck at the crumbs that no one wants and take to the skies.


OK back to the boat hunting for me.....