Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Sydney 4wd & Adventure Show

Hema Maps Vehicle
The 2014 Sydney 4wd & Adventure Show was held this past weekend. It's been two years since I last attended the show (and got to meet Gareth & Kirsty from Aussie Overlanders)  so I was keen to meet a few more interesting people and to check what the 4wd market was doing.
The popular online magazine 'Unsealed 4x4 - where the adventure begins' were the primary sponsors. I had a quick chat with the new editor Matthew Scott and was encouraged to hear about the growth of the online magazine and the emphasis on good content.

It was tough leaving the car park as it was filled with a few unique vehicles, excellent modifications and many tried&tested overland tourers.
Unimog's always attract attention...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Focus on: Gunther Holtorf

Google Image Search: Gunther Holtorf
It's good to reflect on those anonymous overlanders who silently travels the world without the hype of social media and travelogue updates... one person who has managed to keep under the internet radar is Gunther Holtorf.   Although, a quick Google image search reveals that many magazines and internet websites have published articles on this silent overlander.

His Mercedes Benz G-Wagen 300GD, named 'Otto', has been his faithful companion for the whole journey and will soon be featured in the Guiness book of records.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Contributing to the overland community: Jupiter's Travellers

Google Search: Trans-Continental Travel
When last did you share overland travel stories with like minded travelers?  Did you notice how Overlanders love to share the passion for the journey and the destination.  When I started 'The Africa Overland Network', the aim was to share the passion for overland travel and link past, current and future travelers together - I wanted people to take the bold step and to experience independent trans-continental overland travel and continue to hope that the Overland Network inspires others to do the same.
Websites, forums, Facebook plus many 'overland-related' private companies are all positively contributing to the overland community with a few companies taking a global approach.  One such company is 'Jupiter's Travellers' and another 'Overland International'.

Whilst listening to Sam Manicom's 'Under Asian Skies' audio book, I took the opportunity to revisit his website to catch up on the authors current travels.  I spotted that Sam was an advisor for 'Jupiter's Travellers - The Ted Simon Foundation' and took the time to read a little more the organisation.
Jupiter's Travellers Website (2014)
I liked the caption on the home page:
The Ted Simon Foundation encourages those who adventure into the world to go the extra mile and transform their experiences into something of value for the world to share.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Audio Book Review: "Under Asian Skies" by Sam Manicom

Listening to an audio book is almost as good as meeting the author in person.
A popular adventure motorcyclist author is Sam Manicom.  His first book "Into Africa" (printed and audio book available) highlighted his travels around Africa.  His second book "Under Asian Skies: Australia to Europe by Motocycle" continues the story of his world travels on his BMW GS Motorcyle.

I have recently finished listening to "Under Asian Skies" - all 11h 40m of the book!

The pace of the book is good which meant that I never felt I needed to speed the reading up or that moments in the chapters had little interest, which might have lead me to skipping to the next chapter. There with certainly enough interesting 'talking' points to keep me engaged.  The chapters (and hours) seemed to speed past and before I knew it, I was into the last hour of the book.

Listening to Sam as he reads his adventures outloud had me fascinated with his attention to detail. He briefly mentions writing a journal (as part of his daily routine) and somehow managed to capture huge amounts of detail, mostly around people, places and daily activities. You won't be dulled into a narration of his daily journal, instead you will gleam an insight into the life of a motorcyclist overlander.

The authors voice is amazingly clear and articulate and his tone and mood wonderfully stylish. His writing is organised and in my opinion, entertaining and informative.

I purchased the book through Audible and listened to the book via my phone, mostly linked to my Toyota Prado's radio or on the bus commuting to work meetings.  The only downside of the audio book is the lack of ability to mark an interesting paragraph and re-read.  The Audible app has a bookmark feature but I was never quick enough to get the phone out of my pocket, unlock it and bookmark it, or I was driving and needed to focus on city traffic.  Buzz words or phrases would leap out of Sam's reading like "Into full cruise mode" and "Travel Blind" which would capture the moment in Sam's journey and in my listening.

I would recommend the audio book over the printed book purely because of the way that the author narrates his story.  It was his overland journey, he knows the people and places he reads about it in a way which we can't capture when reading a book, and that counts a lot.  Adding your voice to a printed book misses elements of the travels that potentially the author might have found fascinating.

Time to listen, visit Audible.com and purchase a copy of the book.  It only costs the equivalent of 3 Australian 'Flat White' coffees!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sydney Overland Meetup 2015 Dates

The Sydney Overland Meetup will be taking place in 2015.
Venue: Expedition Centre, Sydney
Book the following dates in your diary and see the page above to read more about the events:

The following dates have been scheduled:

7th February 2015:  
Guest Speaker to be announced soon
Venue: Expedition Centre
Time: 1pm to 4pm (with option for BBQ afterwards)

13th - 15th March 2015
Overland Workshop and camping weekend
Venue: TBC
Price:  Camping Fees only
Agenda:
Friday:  Informal Meet & Greet and BBQ
Saturday:  Guest speakers, and workshops
Sunday:  Guest Speakers