When is a border crossing not a border crossing?

It's finally time to leave Antigua. I left early to make my way to the El Salvedoran border. 

It was around Midday when I pulled up. I had my passport stamped and then went to the SAT office to get the car cleared. It took a couple of hours as half way through doing my paper work they decided to go for lunch. So now there was nothing to do but wait. It was then I found out that a couple of friends had crossed the border a couple of hours before ma and were in the same position on the El Salvedor border. The border had closed for lunch on them too. 

On my end when lunch was finally over, one of the SAT officers had decided my papers were an issue as the car was over on its TIP (temporary Import Permit). So they gave me this long talk on how it was going to cost 900 usd. Hummm I call B*&^%$#T! Well as its on the SAT website if your vehicle is over there is a flat rate fine of $75 usd. They explained they couldn't bring the form etc. One of them then took me into the back office and told me if I paid them 100 usd in cash they would just stamp my paperwork and I would be free to go! Yep thats about as illegal as you get buy hey sometimes corruption just works. 

That's it, I'm finally out of Guatemala. I am now at the El Salvadoran border. Friends are still here as they only just completed their papers. So all I have to do now is get stamped and the vehicle papers done and we will hit the road together. 

Well Just like that everything changes!!!!

I have just been shut down from entering El Salvedor. Not allowing right hand drives in to the country is in solid effect. Nothing I could think of could get me in..... Now my only option is to turn around and head back to Guatemala. I said my goodbyes to friends as I headed back across the border and they continued their journey in to El Salvedor. I now had to deal with the Guatemalan border again and unsure if they would let me re enter. 

Well it turned out they did let me re enter. They gave me my papers back or at least most of them as I later found out. 

So I am now back on the road to Antigua. to make another plan!

Ohh but its not over yet. I got caught up in two hours of standstill traffic! It turned out to be a bus that had been traveling to fast (as they all do) and had ended up rolling on a corner. 

I finally made it back to Antigua around 8:30pm. Beers and a Burger was defiantly needed after that day!

 

10 June 2013 Life in the Wilderness

10 June 2013 

Life in the Wilderness 

So here I am, back in the wilds of the Yukon after a fantastic trip down south. I must say being asked to stay the summer and work was the best thing that could have happened as I knew I had to find work asap to earn some fuel and food tokens to enable be to sustain life on the road. With the Land Rover enjoying itself in the sun down in Arizona it enables me to get on with life up here in the North. 

The Yukon is around the size of Spain with a population of 35,000 people with 25k of whom live in Whitehhorse. So with so few people and huge distances between towns, the Yukon is some real unspoilt wilderness. It works out to be 13.8 km per person. It is one of the least populated places on earth. 

My life consists of Flying in and out of fishing camps preparing, maintaining and generally looking after clients. I must say they call it work but when it’s a laugh a day in this unspoilt beauty with truly wonderful people it’s really hard to look at it in that way. Amongst all that, on the rare occasions that I spend in town it’s still all gogogo from preparing for the next trip to helping out looking after Bernard and Amanda’s 4 children with everything in between, again its all hard work but so much fun at the same time….. 

  

I will be back on the road at the end of the summer but funds come first. 

Thank you so much to everyone for your support. 

 

25 April 2013  Returning to Canada 

25 April 2013 

Returning to Canada 

After what has seemed far too long I have finally arrived back in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory in northern Canada. 

The last few weeks have seemed a little like a whirlwind with finishing the house for renting, packing and organising parts for the Land Rover. But even with all the stress over the last months, leaving was made so much easier with help of my great Cornish friends. So For all that helped…… James, Clegg, Rob and Ben I thank you. I would also like to thank Philip Martin estate agents for doing a great job handling the house. 

It’s back to London to say fare well to the family. It has been wonderful being able to spend quality time with everyone since returning to the UK. 

I can’t really comment on the flight as it was just one of these cheap ones that get you every way they can!!! 

Calgary…….. It was great to touch back down on Canadian soil. It was made even better by being mat at the airport by Morgane from Whitehorse who had relocated down south with her new husband Matt. 

It was a gentle ease back into Canadian life by spending a couple of days at Morgane and Matt’s house. While I was trying to figure out a flight back to Calgary I met one of Morgane’s friends Emily who just happened to mention that she was driving back home to Whitehorse, so with that plans were made for me to join her for the drive back. 

At the end of two long days driving (well I say driving that is I was in the passenger seat while Emily drove) I’m here…… I’m finally back in Whitehorse, it’s such a great feeling being back amongst wonderful friends! 

So wonderful being greeted by a smiling Amanda and the kids, although I had no time at all to think as it was straight out the door to a family party celebrating two joint birthdays!!! 

I could even say “I’m home”

22 March 2013

22 March 2013 

I have just taken delivery of my new Sawyer water filtration system. This system is the only Hollow filter on the market that easily and effectively removes 99.9999% of all bacteria and protozoa, this highest rating around. 

I have negotiated a 10% discount on all Sawyer filter products to all my followers purchased through my website..

Thank you so much to SAWYER. 

www.sawyereurope.com/

14 September 2012

14 September 2012 

 

Ok so Im back in the UK, and have been here about two weeks now in various places..... Its still all a little strange to me as in a small way I just don't feel like I belong any more! I'm here due to an on going heart problem where 6 months ago I had a little bit of a scare by having news of results from he latest tests. So here I am having a whole bunch of new tests and waiting on news of an upcoming heart operation! I love all my friends and family who have welcomed me on my return and if it wasn't for them I don't know where I would be! We live in amazing world and throughout my journey I have been shown nothing but love no matter what the country. For this I thank you all, the people I have met who have made this journey an unforgettable adventure, i think about you all the time. I feel I have left apart of me in every country I have been. There world is full of love and inspirational people, give it a chance and it will welcome you with open arms. THANK YOU!!!!

Flying Yukon 5 July 2012

Flying Yukon

5 July 2012 

 

After spending time in the Yukon now, people often ask how I would describe life up here in the far north of Canada.... Well for starters there are 31,500 people in a place roughly the size of Spain!!! The main reason for staying for so long is I randomly stumbled upon an opportunity to work with Wilderness Fishing Yukon which all started wile staying at a campsite and was asked by the owners husband if I wanted to give him a hand with his plane... well obviously I jumped at the chance! The plane is a Cessna 180 float plane and after a few days of getting it ready for the season it was time to take of foe the first time, that day also answered a question I have always had. "How do you get a float plane from the airport(ground) to the lake(water)?", well this is how..... I was lucky enough to drive the truck, it was an incredible day and the start of what would be some unforgettable memories of flying, fishing, laughing all in the company of some truly wonderful people. Last year in 2011 Robson Green came out to an episode of his extreme fishing series It's an incredible lifestyle here with more wilderness than you can possibly want people hear really do know how to survive and thanks to Bernard Stehelin I am learning the Yukon way...

Bought back down to earth with a thump........ 30 April 2012

Bought back down to earth with a thump........

30 April 2012

Hi all, Ben here. I'm afraid this is the post I was trying to avoid doing and hoping never to do. A short time ago I had some annual test on my heart. Unfortunately over the last year its condition has gone down hill so much it has now reached the point that in just a few months I will have to return home for a heart operation. Although I ha now trying to cover as much ground as I can, it is at the point I am unable to do some of the activities I had planned to do, I have also been told if I get any signs of symptoms to be on the next plane back to the UK. I am sorry to have to tell you this as I was hoping to finish before I was due for an operation. I will of course keep you informed of any further news. I will be leaving the Land Rover in the States and plan to return to it to complete the expedition once I've fully recovered. Thank you all for your support through this time.....

Banff to Jasper 18 April 2012

Banff to Jasper

18 April 2012 

Here we go again, leaving Banff Heading to Jasper via the famous Ice Feild Parkway!
It has been a long time since I traveled this the Parkway. I Last drove this road at the end of November, i must say what a difference, compared to last time! The road is now clear and dry with most view points open. Its a stunning place to see and just be, I think we drove through at the perfect time of year with mostly sunny skys, dry and clear roads and no tourists as far as the eye could see.......... ohhh yehhhhh!!!! 

We arrived in Jasper around 6:30 pm to stay with friends of Christian. As we where all starving including Cati and Skender who we were staying with we went straight down to the bar where they had Wednesday wings a basket of chicken wings for $2:50!

I was still so excited about being back on the road for the next part of the advfenture.....

A Big thank you to Cati and Skender for putting us up the night!

Leaving Golden and back on the road 17 April 2012 

leaving Golden and back on the road

17 April 2012 

Well a sad day finally came when it was time to leave the place I had called home over the last few months.

I would firstly like to thank all who have been apart of my life and made Golden such a wonderful place to be. My housemates Sonia, Ryan and Shane I am sure are the best housemates any one can have and having the craziest neighbors (in a good way) along with a lot of others have truly made this rest stop one crazy ride. You all mean so much to me and the memory's (that I can remember will stay with me forever!

Thank you........

USA and back  30 January 2012

USA and back 

30 January 2012

A great day today, after leaving Ray and his family in sunshine valley I headed to the border of the US of A! 
It went about as smoothly as you like with both sides being helpful and friendly. The border was on of the quieter ones with very little traffic. I spent around an hour in the states having a look around the town and filling the fuel tanks. After all the paperwork was done and I had my visa in my passport I was back on the road in Canada heading east. 
Well I managed to make it to Nelson tonight after the weather setting in and making the last few hours of driving rather rubbish! Still I'm hear now and have some twisting back roads to look forward to tomorrow.

A Golden Season 27 January 2012 

A Golden Season

27 January 2012 

When I returned to Golden after spending time in Banff over new year I wasn't quite sure what my plans were, I knew I wanted to wait till the spring before I adventure North and cash was getting low. It all happened quite quickly as I fell in love with this little town in the Rockies. I spent my first week of so back at the Dreamcatcher Hostel, a very homely place run by a wonderful couple called Gerald and Abi both whom make everyone feel so welcome (you are made feel like your being welcomed into their home rather than just another hostel)

It wasn't long after I had bought a season pass for the local ski hill as I was determined to learn or re learn how to snowboard. 

With a little help from some friends and word of mouth I found a room in a house to stay for the rest of the season. I moved in just a few days after going to see the house. Its a beautiful timber framed house in around 1 and a half acres of land and around 8 minutes out of town.

The Town of Golden is beautiful place to Visit for all who like the out door, there is plenty of out door activity's all year round. So some down off the hi-way, stay at the Dreamcatcher hostel (more than just a hostel) a wonderful place for the family, and experiance the small town with so much to offer. 

   

Happy New year from Banff, Canada  2 January 2012

Happy New year from Banff, Canada 

2 January 2012

Happy New year one and all... 

I decided to see what the famous mountain town in the Rockies had to offer. Over the last few days I have been snowboarding in some breath tacking scenery with veiws that make you feel like your on top of the world.
I had a wonderful New year with an amazing street party as midnight hit. it was great to see so many people out enjoying them selves in the sub zero climate. Good on you all!!!
It has been a great stay here and met some fantastic people. 
Michael took me on a tour of the Spectacular Banff springs hotel, as well as telling me a few ghost stories along the way, as well as being told that this hotel inspired the movie "the Shinning" its all great stuff :D

As for me on the 4th I will make my way back to Golden where I hope to spend the rest of the season.
On the way back I plan to call into Lake Louise for a bit of boarding and to see the spectacular frozen lake in the Rockies...

I'll keep you all posted on the season


Just to say a big thank you to all my new friends over the last couple of weeks for making this time of year so special for me as it has been a long time since I have seen my family and friends and I do miss them all very much and do think of them all.

Missing you all xxx

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Sunday, 25 December 2011 

Staying at the Dreamcatcher Hostel.

I have just had a wonderful Christmas with some wonderful people......

It all started at 6.45am with an early morning wake up call from Abi (the owner) with a secret Santa at 7am. 
Everyone was in the Christmas spirit. 

Most of us left the hostel around 8:30am to head up to kicking horse mountain for some Christmas day snowboarding and skiing.

We met for a drink at the Eagleseye bar for a festive drink. 

As I hadn't been on a board for a few years and so being my first day I did more than my fair share of wipe outs. 
It was really having a couple of others with me on a few runs to watch me wipe out! 

I ended being up there for the whole day but by the end of it every muscle in my body had turned to jelly. 

Let the evening commence.....

Well on returning to the hostel it was time to start getting ready for Christmas dinner. Just about everyone was cooking. 
So at around 7:30pm when we started to eat...
It was a fantastic meal with great company.
With a few festive games to be had after. 

Well the night draws to a close, on the wonderful day. 
Merry Christmas everyone

Thank you
Abi and Jerold
owners of the Dreamcatcher Hostel Golden, Canada
For making this a Christmas to remember. 

 

1st Cornwall 2 France 26th-28th May 2010

1st Cornwall 2 France 26th-28th May 2010

So sorry it’s taken so long to do this but I'm not getting on the internet as much as I would like. I left Cornwall on May 26th and headed straight for London as I needed to say goodbye to my family. It was lovely to see them before I left on this adventure. Being in London gave me time to do a manic run around and pick up anything else I had forgotten. It was Friday 28th of May and time to leave London, but not without calling in to the Royal Geographical Society for a quick goodbye. Thank you Spike for the tea and cake before I left. What a way to be sent off into the world! >It wasn't long before I was sitting at Dover waiting for the ferry. To be honest it hadn't hit me yet on what I was doing but it wasn't long though, as I watched England disappears over the horizon it did. That was it. When would I see the country again? It was a lovely afternoon as I drove off the ferry into France. It wasn't long before I found my first place to stay, a small seaside place called Bray Dunes. Setting up camp for the night just thinking about how this will soon be routine. .. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

Monday, 5 September 2011

After a few great days in Yakutsk and meeting some wonderful people it was time to leave and make my way to Magadan!!!

I left the city on rather cloudy drizzly day. i made my way to the ferry where I borded straight away but still sat here waiting to leave for around half an hour till we left.
As I sat in the car watching as we floated down the river back to the other side I couldn't help but feel a little sad as I was starting my final leg across Russia. 

Well the ferry takes around an hour to cross from one side to the other but its a lovely ride either way costing 470 roubles for the land rover.

The drive today was quit spectacular with the vast changing colour of the trees.... Such a vast aray of colours over a huge scale.
I must admit even though I won't be driving the summer route of the road o bones I am really happy that I get to see this magical change of coloures.

I arrived at the river at around 6:30pm. Even though there was a boat waiting to go I decided to camp this side and cross in the morning.

Thursday, 1 September 2011 

Thursday, 1 September 2011 

Good morning Setptember and what a morning it is!!!
It must be the coldest its been since winter time back in the Uk. I have ice on the inside of my tent from I suppose the frozen condensation. It is giving me a tast of what was to come over the next few weeks.

After kind of warming up by putting on lots of layers, jumping aroung for a little bit and with a coffee inside me I got moving. 

The road to Yakutsk was the same as it has been for the last 700 miles a rough dusty dirt road with the odd stretch of asphault.

I arriver at the ferry for Yakutsk early afternoon. It was more of a ship than a ferry taking nearly an hour to reach the city.