Driving a pink tuk tuk halfway around the globe whetted my appetite for Very Long Journeys in unsensible modes of transport. As well as spending four years setting up new adventures for Bristol-based adventure anarchists The Adventurists, I’ve consulted adventurers on everything from visas to sponsorship, fundraising, PR, filming, routes, vehicle modifications, equipment and border crossings. I’ve also been on the Royal Geographical Society’s Overland Expedition Panel since 2006, speaking at their Explore conference in London every November.
If you’re looking for an adventure consultant for your overland expedition and need advice on any aspect of your trip, then I may well be able to help you.
Beyond my own adventures, here’s a smattering of the adventures I’ve been involved with over the past few years….
The Adventurists Mongol Derby
During my stint at The Adventurists I set up and directed the Mongol Derby, a 1000 km horse race across the Mongolian steppe. Selecting, vetting, training and co-ordinating nearly 1000 semi-wild Mongolian horses was without doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Add to that a staff of hundreds (nomadic herding families, vets, horse trainers, caterers, drivers, translators…) and 25 demanding international riders and you’ve got what could be termed a Logistical Nightmare. But we pulled it off, and since its incarnation in 2009 the Derby has become recognised as the world’s longest, toughest horserace. Even those folk at Guinness agree.
Here’s a little video of the Mongol Derby to whet your whistle.
The Adventurists Southeast Asian Rickshaw Run
Working with ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to implement a new rickshaw event that would trundle across Southeast Asia. A new fleet of rickshaws was bought from a tiny factory in Java, Indonesia, and in October 2011 28 brave teams set off in the direction of Bangkok. Arranging the smooth(ish) passage of these ‘shaws across Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia was extremely difficult and involved mountains of paperwork, alot of cups of tea and the assistance of tens of politicians, including luminaries such as Dr Surin Pitsuwan, the Big Chief of ASEAN, and the Governor of Bangkok. Once again, we pulled it off, and this sell-out event now wobbles across Southeast Asia three times per year.
The Adventurists Africa Rally: London to Cameroon in a tin can
The Adventurists Ice Run
Motorbikes and extreme cold don’t generally go together, yet The Ice Run is a limb-threateningly lethal combination of the two. Take one old Russian Ural motorbike, several idiots, a large dose of Siberian cold, and hurl the whole lot at the Arctic Circle. Bam. The perfect adventure….
Setting this baby up was another seemingly impossible feat and meant a crash course in motorbikes and extreme cold. It also meant doing a Test Run in February 2011. You can read all about this in the August 2012 edition of Motorcycle Monthly.
Here’s a video of our Test Run, in February 2011
If you’re setting off on an expedition or adventure and want a bit of guidance, feel free to drop me a line. I’m happy to give email advice for free. However, for those wanting longer face to face consultations I’m afraid I do charge, either in hard cash or tea at Claridges.
As well as the adventures I’ve been involved with I’ve also organised numerous other, smaller events over the last decade. I’ve run my own techno club night in Edinburgh, stage managed at music festivals, organised mini-festivals for The Adventurists, booked bands, hired DJs and worked with a fabulous selection of butlers, chefs, circus performers, artists and set-builders. A few examples of the events I’ve run (from concept to completion) are…
The Adventurists’ Czechout Party, Klenova Castle, Czech Republic (2008-2011). I found the castle, came up with the name, booked the bands and DJs, decided on menus and cleared up the carnage at the end of every party….
The Adventurists’ Christmas Parties, 2008-2011. These really were humdingers of parties. One was a pirate party in a Bristol warehouse, another an electro-swing rave in an old market in east London, the third one a Steampunk extravaganza at Islington Metalworks. Again I did everything from coming up with the concept, working with artists and performers, booking the bands (The Correspondents, The Baghdaddies…), finding the costumes and carrying out the last revellers. At each party we had between 4-600 people.
Between 2009 and 2012 I worked on a number of bespoke events for Hendrick’s gin. I organised a series of ‘Afternoon Teas with a Legend of Adventure’ and helped set up an expedition to Venezuela. We had fabulous tea parties all over the world: Colorado, Philadelphia, Sydney, Madrid, London and Edinburgh – with speakers including Benedict Allen, John Blashford-Snell, Lois Pryce, John Muir and Charles Brewer Carias. Earl Grey, Hendrick’s and adventure – what more could you ask for?
As well as all the exciting bits, I can also do the very dull but vital things such as Risk Assessments and budgets.
*Thanks to The Adventurists for kindly letting me use some of their photos.