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Peter Gostelow

Adventure cycling, Photography, Writing

Looking back at 2008

Memories of life on the road sometimes feel quite distant now. On New Year’s Eve last year I was in Syria – looking ahead to the challenges of cycling through Jordan, Egypt and across north Africa. Europe was slowly getting closer and the anticipation of finally arriving back in the UK was building in my mind. When I rolled off the ferry on English soil 7 months later there was an immense feeling of satisfaction and achievement.

I wasn’t home long before Ni, whom I met in Syria, came to visit during August. The plan had been to introduce her to the joys of cycle touring. Instead we walked the length of Dorset’s coastline. She flew back home to Singapore in September. I’m heading there in ten days for a few weeks.

 For the last few months I’ve been working on getting this website running and trying to speak in schools about the trip. Neither have been that simple, particularly the latter. Schools often book their calenders many months and terms in advance. I should have considered this before returning home.

Dorset, which continues to be home for the moment, isn’ t the easiest place to find employment. The small village of Godmanstone where my Mum moved to two years ago has a population of about 140 people. It boasts England’s smallest pub, although this hasn’t been open for several years. Organic farming is big in this part of the country and it’s provided me with some casual work over the months. Racing across the Libyan desert, climbing over landslides in Tajikistan and escaping from Chinese police in Tibet seem a distant memory whilst picking spuds and sprouts.

The Dorset countryside beckons with country roads to be explored on two wheels. My bicycle has hardly been out of the garage since I returned though. I never enjoyed cycling in cold weather, and there’s been plenty of that in the last month.

I continue to think and look at the possibility of getting a new bicycle to head off on another tour. Africa is the likely destination – heading south from Morocco along the west coast to South Africa. A Thorn Raven would probably be a more reliable choice than my last bike. More about this trip in the New Year.

For those who’ve followed the Long Ride Home over the years and continue to read my posts on this new website – a Happy New Year to you all. And many thanks to those people who’ve purchased a calendar. It’s not too late if you’d still like one. There might well be another next year. Here is one of my favourite pictures. It was taken at about 7am on Christmas Day morning 2006.

Sunrise over the Himalayas, Nepal

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