Right, enough namby-pambying around with television crews, drivers and translators. It’s time for another proper adventure. The sort where I find myself lost in the middle of the Southeast Asian jungle and survive on nothing but twigs and peanut butter for weeks on end. The sort where I’m well and truly On My Own.
So, in the Spring of 2013 I shall be saddling up and setting off to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for a solo trip down the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail. Travelling by Honda C90 moped, I’ll start from the heaving, cacophonous streets of Hanoi, bump through the karst clad Truong Son mountains into Laos and battle through the dense jungles of Cambodia. My two-wheeled odyssey will end in Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon. As well as following parts of the Trail popularized by this burgeoning biker tourism, my journey will also take me to places few foreigners ever get to see.
Whilst I am a relative veteran of ridiculous adventures in unfeasible vehicles, this will be the first time I have gone solo. For someone with no mechanical know-how, and who’s terrified of spiders, snakes and the dark, it’ll be quite a challenge: especially as it’s said that the jungle in Laos is haunted by ghosts from the war. There are even parts of the modern Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam that the locals won’t travel on, for fear of spirits. I’ll have to learn to survive on my wits, fix the bike and sleep in a jungle inhabited by wild elephants, Very Large Spiders and even the odd tiger. Riding the bike will be the easy bit, overcoming my own fears somewhat harder.
During my trip I’ll be raising funds for Mines Advisory Group (MAG) who do sterling work in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia (amongst a long list of other countries) clearing UXO. I’ve set up a Virgin Money Giving page here and shall be soliciting for funds in the next few months…
Watch this space for more juicy info on the trip, sponsors and MAG.