It’s been quite a few months since my last blog entry as I’ve had nothing to write about. Having been in COVID lockdowns of various varieties since November 2020, we’re now half way through March 2021 and still in lockdown, unable to leave our homes yet alone travel.
For months now I’ve been watching other peoples travels on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime to help keep my sanity. I think I have now watched just about every travel video there is to see.
Today I came across a video on Youtube that peaked my interest, not the normal kind of thing that attracts my attention as it doesn’t involve motorcycles, but very interesting none the less.
This video was all about a couple of chaps who dared to travel across the Sahara Desert on an Iron Ore train. Not the most comfortable method of transport as it involves sitting in an open ballast wagon for 20 hours or more whilst the train trundles across the desert.
Now I’m not a train spotter or have any interest in trains however, this trip really interests me and I’m now looking into how feasible it would be to try the same trip once we’re allowed out again.
Take look at the video and see if it appeals to you!
Back in December 2019 I purchased 2 x Crosstour 4K video cameras for the trip and spent money getting the mounts such that they could be fixed to various locations on the bike and crash helmet.
After very little use I started to get problems with them both. First the sound developed issues. Using an external mic fitted in the helmet the sound gradually got quieter and quieter. I initially thought that perhaps the mic had developed a fault and so I tried some other external microphones but, the problem was still there. The internal mics in the cameras were fine but, useless when on the move.
The second problem that gradually got worse over time was the on/off buttons. Sometimes they would work and other times they wouldn’t. Eventually they gave up entirely and it was impossible to switch the cameras on!
Both cameras have now been returned to Amazon for a full refund and I’m now looking again at cameras for the trip. I was hoping to have been able to produce some video footage of my local rides by now but, alas not! So , I’m currently considering GoPro, Insta 360 One R, DJI Osmo Pocket and a few others.
The DJI Osmo Pocket looks extremely good for doing pieces to camera and some general hand held video footage as the 4K camera is on a 3 axis gimbal which is able to give professional levels of stability. It also gets great reviews and there are plenty of accessories available for it at sensible prices. The DJI app that accompanies the camera gives access to a pro set of controls for the device including the ability to follow a person or object as it moves.
The other idea I really like is the 360 degree video capability of the Insta 360 One R.
Having just one camera mounted but, capturing a full 360 degree view at all times will be very handy whilst riding. Whether the camera itself is actually up to the rigours of off-road riding is a concern though.
Lots to think about and much research to do but, I’ll blog about it as I go along.
I’ve been stuck in the U.K. lockdown for 5 weeks now and it’s starting to get a bit tedious to say the least.
The weather has been great, one of the warmest Spring times on record apparently. Having done various things about the house, tidied the garage, workshop, the cupboard under the stairs and chucked out all the junk we’ve collected over the years and never used, I’ve very little left to do apart from cook and eat which isn’t doing the waistline much good!
Having spent a good part of the weekend watching the The Side Car Guys on their Armchair Adventure Festival and enjoying all the talks by a number of well known motorcycle adventurers I was reminded of the books that my lovely wife bought for me at Christmas that I still haven’t read.
Not being a huge book reader as I tend to read most of the stuff that interests me online or via E-Books, I decided to take a look at what there was in the pile.
On the top of the pile was “In search of greener grass” by Graham Field that I have already read over half of but, had put it back on the pile as I found it to be incredibly boring and somewhat depressing. To me the book seemed full of moans and gripes and mentioned nothing of the places he’d visited or passed through. If you ever want to put someone off of adventure riding or travelling around the world then this is the book that will do it. Needless to say it was swiftly put to one side and will probably never get looked at again unless I’m really desperate.
Having seen Elspeth Beard over the weekend during the online festival and being very taken by her honesty and stories of her travel it appealed to me immediately.
Sitting in the garden with my wife I started reading it. I soon fell in love with Elspeth’s way of writing, very honest and full of wit, her story started to unfold.
I’m now 7 chapters in, yes I’m not a fast reader, I tend to read a bit, put it down and digest it and then come back for a bit more. This is the way I roll and it works for me.
At just 22 years of age in the early 80’s when travelling was very different to now, her round the world trip doesn’t get off to a great start. Having to fend off sexual attacks and more, her adventure doesn’t go quite how she imagined but, her strength and resolve sees her through.
I’m currently in Australia with her as she’s about to move on from Sydney where she found work and got to put her architect skills to good use. I’m eagerly waiting to see what’s around the corner whilst at the same time hoping she finds the love she’s always struggling with.
I’ve still got a fair few chapters to go but, even at this point in the book I can recommend it based just on the first 7 chapters. If you like really honest writing that reads as if the person is telling you face to face then this could be a good read for you.