Friday, October 31, 2008


Well holey moley,

I arrived in St Malo on Monday, having spent the ferry crossing chatting with a granny who was going couch surfing for a week! My French adventure almost came to an abrupt end at the first roundabout, some idiot was driving on the wrong side of the road. Awww man I spent the whole of the first day trying to stay on the correct side of the road, such a mission to get my brain to snap out of it.

I camped in a nice family garden the first night and she brought me out a steaming hot bowl of cabbage, potatoe, carrot and sausage. I gladly gobbled it all up even though cabbage would be my least favourite food but it was delish. Next morning they invited me in for brekkie and coffee, I could not dream of a better start to a new country.

The next night was spent in a camper van, having been led to a supposedly Irish farm by a couple of mad farmers. The Irish farmers where not around and it was getting cold so I tried the next house, delighted. They let me sleep in their camper van and I spent the evening inside their extremely warm house eating a four course meal. Veronic and Jules are possibly the nicest people I have met on my trip so far. The next morning I woke up to find the countryside blanketed in snow. Oh how I laughed and then laughed more at the thought of spending the next few weeks in conditions like this. Its been about 1 degree - 6 degrees out for the last couple of days and below zero overnight.

So I am now in Mamers after spending lunch time at a fruit market with Jesus and his daughter chatting about their organic farming, he gave me an apple for my trip. Everywhere I go people are constantmy offering me help or advice is brilliant but fricken cold. Its now that I am glad I read so much about polar explorers because yeah its fricking freezing outside its nowhere near what Tom Crean would have endured.

I will post some pics next time as this keyboard is driving me mad with the French layout haaa. The conditions dont bother me one bit so far, its harder in the cold but its soo much fun working out the best way to do things. Roll on Paris

Friday, October 24, 2008


Feelings are different for everyone, levels of excitement, sadness or boredom can be vastly different from one person to the next. A song, new or old can bring back a single perfect moment in life but mean nothing to someone else. A smell can do it, be it a flowers scent or cow shit! A shadow or a ray of light can spark a long forgotten memory. I love the complexity of life, the endless combinations, the diversity everywhere.

From my front door for the last few days

I just wonder have I topped out on excitement and curiosity?

Where does my happiness peak?

When I am happy, is the level higher or lower than my friends?

Is my anger worse?

I suppose the scale of these feelings is really only important to yourself. If I am only happy when traveling while others are happy to sit at home on the couch then so be it. The person sitting on the couch may actually be infinitely happier than me struggling around on my bike.

The main thing though is to be true to yourself. Don't lie to yourself just to stay in your comfort zone because maybe what you consider to be your highest level of happiness right now is really your lowest level?

Living on the edge like I do has its hazards

I only ask that people question what is going on around them. Question news stories, question new laws and policies of government. Most of all make sure you question yourself and double check your answers, just like you were thought in school before exam time runs out.

Catching up with Mono and cruising around Jersey sightseeing has been wonderful. Putting a list of great days in order of best to worst sounds like a hard task. Everyday I have had over the last few years seems to automatically jump to the top of my list day by day. My friend Anne, who is the best dive instructor in the world, used to slag me because I would come home from every single dive proclaiming it to be the greatest of all time. Maybe I am easily pleased haaa but I just feel like I am doing the right thing lately. Really learning something new every day, either about the planet or myself. I don't rate seeing one particular thing over another, my scale is not by size or rarity. It goes by feeling, the moment, the mood, not by tourism hype. What I am happy about is my appreciation and understanding of the natural world. So my time spent with Mono has easily been the greatest time of my life so far, for his ridiculous level of hospitality and his obsessive cleanliness!

The beauty of islands are the sea views

So tomorrow I jump on the ferry and start my slow crawl through France in search of the perfect French-fry. It will be hard to get to sleep tonight. This is the big one now, travel in a non English speaking country. Pumped up is an understatement. I know lots of people will speak English but I cant wait to try and explain that I want to pitch my tent in a farmers field, me with zero grasp of the language. Haaa are you kidding me, this is gonna be hilarious stuff. Real French stick, fingers crossed some (loads of) real French kissing. Finding the bread will be easy, getting a French kiss with this mush will be the hard part. I wanna try snails, frogs legs, the stuff I would never of tried last time I was in France.

I am hopefully going to meet a friend I worked with during the summer in the Porterhouse. Geraldine has kindly offered to show me around Paris! Fingers crossed I will get the grand tour of Paris by a local.

Unemployed and too much time to think

A quickie from Eve Ensler of Vagina Monologue fame, off her video clip on

"Happiness exists in action, it exists in telling the truth and saying what your truth is, and it exists in giving away what you want the most"

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The word on the street is that Stonehenge aint all that compared to what is in Avebury. Wow ye mean there is better than a World Heritage site, along the same route, I cant be missing that. So I roll into Avebury village to find a huge stone circle.

Pasta in a bus shelter

We are talking boulders as big as a... well as big as boulders get in the world. Dragged along and placed in a field that would be pretty boring without them. I skipped the museum there and went straight into the field to get the low down off a few people who had been inside to hear all the different theories on why they bothered to build it. Also I just wanted to talk to people. Its interesting chatting to people to hear their own thoughts, personally I just like to be around stuff that was put in place ages back. Way back before anything really existed, back when people thought pushing boulders around was fun, suppose it would be like playing the Xbox for us now.

I love the place names

Stonehenge was next. The road signs stated that it was straight ahead, keep going, I'm tired, are we there yet? It was getting dark and the signs still said it was straight ahead. So I pull in and camp in a forest. Wake up the next morning and I go around the corner and Stonehenge is right beside the forest haaa. So next time your there ye cant miss the little forest I camped in.

I try not to think about the Blair Witch Project too much

Its a place I have been looking forward to visiting for a long time. It certainly gets you thinking about the old days, back when it was cool to pull a woman by the hair into your cave for some lovin. My theory is that there isnt any deep meaning to these places. They were not meant to around this long. It was just a fluke, it was a few drunk ass cavemen with nothin to do one Saturday night. The ice age had left a pile of rocks in one spot and for the craic, they decided to push them up on top of each other to show who was the strongest. Like when guys get drunk now and show off doing drunkin one arm push ups or giving each other dead arms for no reason. Fast forward six thousand years and we are being charged £6.50 to see a pile of rocks.

Is it just me or are they doing it doggie style?

South England was a big change from the Welsh valleys. At first I was put off by the lack of mountains but the flat crop fields grew on me. The quaint villages with oddly shaped houses and pubs were everywhere. The weather was crazy, one minute I am getting sun burned, the next its pouring down hailstones. When this happens I used to jump into my rain gear and continue on but now I just run for cover and pull out a book and chill. I was reading Paul Theroux, Kingdom By The Sea, about his trip around Britain but he was a bit grumpy for my liking right now so I started a John Grisham book instead, 50p at a charity book sale and ye cant go wrong with some court room drama.

Adventurous travel through a war torn country

So now I have made it to Jersey island and I am staying with Mono and Kate. Their flat has a stunning view of a hill top seaside castle. They have also kindly offered me an iPod shuffle which is still in its box unused so I will probably be taking up their generous offer after my old iPod went for a swim in the Welsh lake. I will gladly slum it in the "real world" and stay here for a few days to chill and catch up with Mono and Kate. UFC 90 is on Saturday night and I dont wanna miss that. I caught UFC 89 in Jacks house last week, seems like I am timing my visits to the UFC calender hmmmmm.

Coast to coast!

The news I keep up with at times can be a bit different than the 6 o clock news about insurance rates or road deaths over the bank holiday weekend. I like to know what is going on in my world, not the world of shares, I dont have any. The world I am interested in is about science, nature and adventure. So I read sites like nationalgeographic or TED. I also religiously check some blogs, like Alastair Humphreys. I like to get motivated and inspired by what I read on a day to day basis.

I spend most of my day trying not to cycle over beautiful creatures like this

Evan Tanners blog is one which I have enjoyed the most. He is a UFC cage fighter who kept a very honest and open blog in which he talked about his struggles through life in detail. He traveled all around America in many ways and took random snapshots on a crappy digital camera. The shots were never really framed like most peoples, he just clicked away to show his life from day to day. He liked his alone time which I can appreciate but he also had many great friends. He had a unique outlook on life and wanted to see and do it all. I could relate to how he talked about life and his place in the world. I felt like I had made many of the same fundamental changes in my life that he has.

His latest trip he had been planning was to go alone by motor bike out into the desert, way out there. Well it appears he found his limit. It looks like he died from heat exposure after running out of petrol and water. I was sitting in a cafe when I seen the news online and got really sad, the same sadness I felt when Steve Irwin died. I truly feel my world is worse off without him. He was flawed in many ways like all of us, he was no saint. But there are no saints, just real people with real problems. Its how we progress in life that should define us, not the moments when we slip but what we do when we have a chance to turn our lives around.

There are many ways of looking at his death. But once your brown bread does it really matter how or why it happened. Its over for him. All you can do is go through life and try make the right honest decisions. To do it with a ton of passion. To do some good, to live free. To wake up with a smile on your face because you know that the day your about to have can happily be your last because you are being true to yourself. Be honest to that voice deep down that tells you how your living right now is bullshit, that its half arsed. To ignore that voice is wrong, if you hear it screaming you have to answer it. I did answer it and half the reason I have gone on this journey was because of Evans blog. The ride that has already given me so much and its only just begun. Strangers ask me why I am doing this? I do it because I can. Because one day I will take my last breath and have a flash back of my life and I want to be to able to just smile happily knowing I gave it everything I had.

Live like you mean it

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wait, wait, wait for it, ok now laugh!

Every single day something incredible happens. Last Tuesday stands out from the crowd!

I camped at the side of a reservoir in Brecon Beacon Park in southern Wales. The water was still, the woods were quite, a paradise spot to camp. Just as I parked up a kingfisher flew away, electric blue, my first and another life moment of the trip. I was only one more day away from Cardiff and decided to get up the following day nice and early and head into Cardiff to stay in a hostel. I tucked into bed around 7pm and put pen to paper on how easily I made it all the way through Wales, trouble free. Struggling over mountains and cruising through the valleys. Soaking up the scenery, not much to this wandering cycling lark, just keep pedalling and enjoy the ride. So I get up before sunrise, eat my usual ton museli, fruit, sandwiches, vitamins and glucosomine tablets to keep the old knees lubed up. Unlocked my bike and packed up the tent and got ready to freewheel down to Cardiff for my open top bus parade around town organised by the mayor.

It was just when I was about to load up my food bag onto my bike and I was imagining the press interviews when I heard a splash. I turned around to see my bike had achieved the impossible. It had done a ninja style somersault down the eight foot bank and into the deep dark lake. I stood at the edge of the bank staring down at all my gear, my life, sinking into the abyss. I have suffered in the past from some earth shattering moments and events but this one destroyed them all in an instant. I took my jacket off and dont ask me why but also my sandals and just leaped and slide down the thorny bank, ripping my feet to shreds and lunged out for my bike. The handle bar bag just flopped open and my wallet with a few hundred quid, iPod, camera, knife, gloves, hat, book, torch, vaseline, vitamins and of course my Passport dissapeared into the lake. None of that mattered as all my brain could think of save the bike. So there I am trying to swim around the corner to anywhere I can rest my bike to grab all the other gear.

Oh my god I could just not stop laughing, I broke myself up trying the get the bike out of the lake. After finally popping a vein I dragged her to safety then had to jump back in the lake and swim around the corner and go fishing for the rest. Passport luckily did not float to far away. I had to pretty much go free diving and duck down underwater and feel my way around on the side of the lake and grab my stuff, it was like Supermarket Sweep. I would feel the rocks and slime then all of a sudden I would brab my torch, yippee, then my knife ha forgot all about that. My wolly gloves, hat, Treasure Island book and vitimins looked like they were in a race to the centre of the lake so I let them keep their freedom. Got all tangled in bushes and crap trying to find things like my wallet and diary.

All through it I knew it was not actually going to end my trip but I was still freaked out that all my stuff got soaked. I swear on my life the bike was standing no where near the bank, it was the first time it fell on the whole trip and they way the bags sit on the back makes it ideal to do a roll once it falls. I dried off and got into half wet clothes from the bag and made my way into town about 40kms away. Flying down the hill I hit a rock and tear my tire, so I change the tube and tire in the rain on the side of the road with the dirt from the trucks destroying me. All ye can do is laugh, nothing else needs to be said or done but to just laugh.

So I spent two days in the cracking Riverside hostel just chilling out and chatting with a real character from Sydney, Ellen. Watching the presidential debate and talking about coffee and travel. Met up with the two German touring cyclists by chance in the city. Left the city happy and dry with a new waterproof camera, ready for England.

The generosity of strangers is what has made this trip so special already. Rambling around yesterday evening somewhere east of Bristol I asked a cyclist which way to go to buy milk and make a phone call. Next thing I know I have pitched my tent in his back garden, and I am eating the first course of our feast with John and Maggie. Turns out they are mad keen bike tourers and have been all over the world together on a tandem bike. Stayed up late talking about travel and adventure. He let me use his phone to ring a friend of mine I met three years ago in Byron Bay to arrange to meet him and gives me a map to get there in the most scenic way.

So I stayed the night in Swindon, staying with Jack and his Dad. Jack had to work but left the house in my capable hands. This is what I live for, to meet extraordinarily kind people. The little things people do for you, the trust of strangers. This level of excitment, wonder and peace is exactly what I have wanted for a long time. No rush, just chill, eat, read, chat and move onto another place I have never been.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am only going around the next corner!

Hey hey there guys,

Everything is going good so far. Angelsey was a rough start for me as it absolutely poured down for the first couple of days. The whole area is flat farm land with no shelter and no real towns. So to stop and make a sambo was a fair old struggle in the rain. Was crashing out in old barns and ruined houses to make some food and get out of the rain for a bit. At one stage I pulled in under a garage at the side of a house and seconds later this frail old granny pops out for a chat and then whips inside to make me a cup of tea, haa two minutes later she comes back out with a delicate little tea cup and saucer with a freshly baked scone with home made jam on it. Delish man, my hands were a bit shakey from the cold and I was shitting it that I would drop the fecking cup, then I imagined she would of dropped dead with a heart attack and I would be left to explin this to the police! Haa she lived and I enjoyed the cup of tea no end.

Once I made it onto mainland Wales it changed, the sun came out and there was alot more character to the land. I rambled along stopping to chat with locals to find my way and get more water. This part will be a struggle in France and beyond. Loving the small town people here. I am in a library here and they wont let you upload pics but hey its free haaa. Bumped into some German tourists, bloody tourists eh, they told me about a national cycle lane running the length of the country. They also bought me a coffee, loving your work Pita and Angelica. I had already been on bits of it but thought it was just a local thing. So I have been going on and off that trail, some of it is pure hiking stuff which led to me pushing my heavy bike for many Kms but even then I was loving it as you dont bump into anyone for hours.

On one section of the bike trail I was cycling alone down this tight country lane parallel to a river for hours with thousands of pretty pheasants running and flying away everytime I got near them. The most skittish animal I have ever seen, so no pictures of them, dam it. They do the funniest jump when the see you and then not so much fly away as gracefully glide away in shear panic, it had me in stiches every single time.

Stayed a night in Coed Y Brenin National Park which is just fricken spectacular. They are in the middle of preserving all the old trees and cutting down all the ever greens which are not native to the forrest. Aw just the most beautiful night there over looking a huge autumn coloured valley with a huge eagle stalking an ickle (my cute word for small) bird high up and making a dive for him and missing only to begin a 60 second dogfight which led to the ickle birdie flying away safe and sound.

Most nights I have to drop in and ask a farmer can I stay in one of his fields as its all farm land. I have cycled right down the centreof Wales. Which last night led to a one hour talk with old man Mr Bowman about his travels around the world with the local farmers association in Builth. Hilarious stuff, he has no teeth and a mean old face until he starts talking and he just does nothing but laugh and every few minutes will say aww but us poor farmers have it soo bad even though he collects vintage tractors, 40 so far! He was just loving me for my little trip.

Let it be known that the hill outside Staylilttle village in the heartland of Wales was were I met my toughest match so far in a hill.

So here I am on the outskirts of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Just doing a bit of food shopping to last me through the park till I get to Cardiff. The countryside here is stunning, the roads are surrounded by big overhanging old trees ful of grey squirrels and birds of prey. To cycle so freely along with no rush and no worries is the greatest experience I have had while travelling. I am really starting to settle into it now and am enjoying every moment and the feelings are getting stronger along with my legs on the Welsh hills.

See ye soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I am just going as far as the horizon...

The time has come, earlier than expected. Work cut my last week down to only 2 shifts so I politely told them to shove it. Coming home after two and half years away was one of the most nervous times in my life. Had everyone changed? Would I fit in? Did I turn odd while I was away? Luckily I got the right answers. People had changed, in a nice way. I did fit back in with my friends and family. I turned only slightly odd, sandals! My summer back in Ireland has been one filled with some magic moments. The time spent with friends new and old has been special. I want to thank everyone I have been hanging around with in the last while, sorry for leaving a bit early but I feel its time to go now. I am walking around pumped up to 90, ready to lift a mountain and its making me tired.

Hopefully I will be able to make another video like this when I get off my bike

Aussie and New Zealand

When its raining out I want you to think of me sitting on my bike soaking wet and miserable and laugh out loud at me but remember when its sunny I will have my top off getting a tan and I will be the one doing the laughing while you are in work.

Travel is 10% scenery and 90% the friends you make, I am glad I came home and had the opportunity to get to know all the new gang!

This is the single biggest adventure I have attempted in my life and if I think about it much longer my head will actually explode.

I leave in 10 hours.

Lots of love

Sea x x x