As many of you will know, much of my time is spent organising the logistics for Sarah Outen’s around-the-world expedition. She is approaching the end of a her first leg – cycling across Europe and Asia – so I thought I’d provide a quick summary of what’s happened so far.
She departed Tower Bridge, London, on April 1st with two navy boats, a news helicopter, a choir, several groups of school children and large crowd on the bridge to wave her off. She spent the next few days and nights kayaking along the Thames in time with the tides, and assisted by veteran paddler and film-maker Justine Curgenven.
I joined her at Ramsgate for her Channel crossing. My friend David Tett took some nice photos whilst Sarah paddled overnight to catch a good weather window and I tried to hold a video camera while emptying the contents of my stomach into the sea.
I drove a car with Sarah’s friend Claire to get some footage of her first few days and smooth over any teething problems then we left her to cycle east, east, east all the way to Beijing.
On her way she was met with a much aplomb in Russia, awarded an MBE by the Queen, joined by Justine again in Kazakhstan – this time on my trusty steed Bobby – and met a bloke called Gao in China who decided on the spur of the moment to cycle several thousand miles with Sarah to Beijing. When they met he never cycled more than 10km and didn’t own a bike.
Sarah will now be heading northwards back into Russia ready for a tricky string of island hops to Honshu via Sakhalin and Hokkaido as she makes her way to Tokyo. I will be joining her for this next section in September.