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Cycling Around the World

My Diaries

 

When reading my diaries, it will soon become clear that I'm not a writer or blogger, and there will be errors in grammar and spelling, but I will do my best to avoid errors of course. Your gong to be reading anything I write from my perspective, a complete cycle touring novice at the start of my journey to someone with a hell of a lot of experience in a few years time, who knows.

                               Some of my other Adventures
Other than visiting many other countries around the world for just holidays, cruises, and breaks of course
2 Year dream adventure
21 Years old living in my flat in Cheshire, I sold everything and took off for 2 years with just £300 in my pocket. No belongings and no home or job. (page in progress)
4x4 Western USA
A 3500 mile drive around Western USA (page in progress)
4x4 Southern USA
A 6500 mile drive around the Southern USA (page in progress)
40th in the Amazon
I had always dreamed about being in a canoe in the Brazilian Amazon for my 40th Birthday (page in progress)
Darwin Awards :)
Tree Fall
Fell 100ft from the top of a tree and landed on my head. Luckily the many branches on the way down broke my fall. No, it wasn't the Ugly Tree :)
Salt Water Crocs and waist
deep water

Not too long ago I took 6 weeks out to catch up with my best Australian mate, who has sadly since passed away.


We took a flight up from Perth to Broome and spent time at a mates place, which was basically a squat and surf shack, and digs for anyone passing by. Being a surfer in my youth, this was just great.


Mattresses on the floor, surfboards everywhere, and a really cool relaxed atmosphere. We would chill out at night in the back garden, smoking, drinking, and listening to the huge fruit bats landing in the branches of the trees above our heads.


One morning John and I took off to the harbour to do some fishing. We were in water up to our waists while casting out. John said “hey Steve, have you seen that sign?” I turned around to see a great big sign warning people not to go in the water due to Salt Water crocodiles.


I looked at John and he looked at me, and we burst out laughing, thinking what bloody idiots we were, then continued fishing. No crocs sighted, but on the main Cable Beach a 14ft croc was seen the day before.

Underwater Excavator 

Digging an 8ft deep pond with a mini excavator on my land in North Wales, I had just dug a trench from my stream to the pond as a way of filling it.


Suddenly the track of the excavator started slipping on the edge of the pond, and as it did so I swung the excavator arm around and down into the pond in an instant as a way of stopping the digger from going in, but I wasn't quick enough and over the digger went throwing me out.


My foot hit the floor next the track, and the excavator went over, trapping my foot under the track and swinging me head first to the bottom of the pond. There was only a few feet of water in the pond at this time, so I was able to keep my head above water for a little while.


The excavator was upside down hanging from the edge of the pond by the track my foot was trapped under, with me hanging upside down from it and with the pond filling up with water due the trench I just made from the stream.


I was either going to drown or pull what was left of my foot out from under the excavator track, so I pulled through the pain because I thought I had lost my foot anyway. Eventually I felt some give, so I kept trying to wriggle my foot , and it came out of my crushed boot and I slipped into the muddy pond completely.


I was luck, covered in blood and mud I scrambled to the house and to hospital. Suffering all soft tissue damage, gashes and bruising, but no breaks, thanks to the very curved steel plate in my rigger boot.

 Circling Sharks
As a teenager I loved nothing more than swimming in the surf on the coast of Perth Western Australia. 

I used to train under an Australian Gold Medallist in breaststroke every day before school and I competed in under 16 competitions, coming 2nd and 3rd in the same day at one event but never a first unfortunately. Still, I was up against the best.

But anyway, swimming was my passion, and this day I was diving in and out of the waves and didn’t hear the shark alarm. I stood up in waist deep water to see that everyone was on the beach looking at me and shouting.


I turned to see 3 huge fins just feet from me and big dark shadows of the sharks just below the surface. They started to circle as I looked to the beach, and could see mum running to the water shouting.


Cotteslow Beach in Perth was famous for shark attacks, but just as strangely it was one of the most popular beaches. The sharks suddenly turned away from me and moved to deeper water, they must have see my mum :)

Blue-Ringed 
Octopus 

Pulling a huge seashell from edge of the beach off Western Australia, I just figured the shell was no home to anything so I took a closer look. I couldn't see any creatures, so yep, I shoved my finger in the shell and moved it around to see if I could feel anything :), as you do, but nothing.


I put the shell down on the sand next to my towl where I was sat. A minute later and a deadly poisonous golf-ball sized Blue-ringed Octopus slithered out onto the sand.


The venom is 1000 times more powerful than cyanide, and just one tiny octopus contains enough venom to kill 24 people. So a close call indeed.

Married
Twice! :)  
Tiger Snake

When much younger in Western Australia, my mates and I would sometimes go into the bush to catch snakes, lizards and other critters. We would set up a drainpipe on the ground days before, then turn up and see if there was anything in it.


We would look along the pipe without touching it to see if there was anything blocking the light from the other end, and if there was, we would put a bag over the end and stand the pipe up so that anything in it would slide into the bag. 


We caught all sorts of things and even rats and mice, but on this day on the way to the pipe, we walked past a tree that had been hit by lightning and burned down. I was in the middle of the group, when my mate behind me shouted "Tiger Snake".


I turned to see that it was right behind me. I had stepped right over it thinking it was just a tree limb. It kept so still until we stood looking at it, then it was off like a shot. A bite from that would not have been good at all.

Run over by an
articulated lorry
A few years ago I was carrying out a lane closure on the M6 motorway in Birmingham and as I stood on the hard-shoulder, I suddenly heard something behind me going over the rumble strip (the bumpy line that separates lane one from the hard-shoulder). 


I turned, just in time to see the front of an articulated lorry strike me. The lorry had left lane one and crossed onto the hard-shoulder where I was stood. The driver of the lorry said he heard and felt the thud but thought it was just a traffic cone, he did accepted liability.


I suffered permanent spine damage, right elbow, shoulder, neck, and nerve damage to the whole of my right side. I will never be cured of the damage, but I'm extremely lucky to have survived. Having worked on the motorways for some time I am aware that it is a rare thing for someone to survive such an impact, I'm extremely lucky. 

 Biggest Splinter

In my youth, a friend of mine picked up a bamboo rake and started to fence with me, I was armed with a broom. As he thrust the rake it ran across my thumb, embedding a massive 5 inch long splinter from my first joint to my wrist.


3 months in hospital before doctors found it. It had run tightly along the bone and all that was visible was a small cut at the first joint on my thumb, so nobody knew there was a splinter because it didn’t show up on X-ray being other than a part of my bone structure.


I had massive infection and had a needle in my arse almost daily for 3 months. They did eventually find it, due to mum complaining that they should open it up and take a proper look.


Mum came to visit me after the operation, and couldn’t believe that I had 4 stitches in my head as well as an eye infection and my arm fully in plaster.


The arm in plaster was to keep me from moving my thump, the eye infection was just something floating around the hospital, but the stitches in my head were a result of a little aboriginal boy steeling my chess set and me chasing him around the ward.


He ducked under a bed and I ducked but hit my head on the steel bed frame instead. My head is like a cricket ball with stitches from mishaps. The splinter I still have in a jar.