Friday, 21 September 2012

It is Friday 21st Sept 2012.  I am lodging at the Oxford backpackers awaiting the T E L Society Symposium tomorrow.  Hostel prices are getting ridiculous.  I am paying £60 odd pounds for 3 nights here.  Such are things.  The Symposium is at St Hilda's College, new to me. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

RA G B R A I on the horizon.   Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

WHILING AWAY THE DAYS

Dear Friends,

I looking forward to home very much.  To see relatives and friends and to get on with various Projects.  I have done everything in East Africa that my budget will allow.  Today I am in Isiolo.  I want to make contact with acquaintances Bishop Joseph and Rev Alfred, but I cant find them around and my mobile connectivity is not working here.  So I have found a guest house in town for 800 Kenyan Shillings.  Projects:

1. Aircraftsman Shaw researches
2. Preparing slide-show.
3. Catching up on correspondence which has built up over last couple of months.
4. Hoped for lead with RWWHs.
5. Gardening to be put in order.
6. Planning France
7. Planning RAGBRAI
8. YHA Wardening week
9. MCFS walking
10. Working with Conservative Party.
11. Cleaning all my gear.
12. Other Project to remain a mystery.

Best Wishes

Andy

Monday, 5 March 2012

ROSS - A DRAMATIC PORTRAIT - A PLAY TOO FAR

Dear Friends,

It is with some measure of disappointment that I announce today that 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait' cant be produced in June 2012 due to lack of support and interest within the Northwich and area theatrical and acting community. The Director Brenda Spencer, Stage Manager John Goodier and other faithful supporters did their level best to make our vision happen. It is easy to take a horse to water but you cant make it drink.

I have now tried to get Ross stage in 2010 to coincide with Rattigan's centenary and now in 2012 to coincide with the River Festival and all to no avail.

We will have a look at matters when I am home. It would be a shame to allow the knowledge we have gathered to disappear into the either.

Best Wishes

Andrew

Friday, 2 March 2012

REACHED NAIROBI AFTER 10 HOUR BUS RIDE

Dear Friends,

An uneventful, thirsty and hungry bus ride from Mombassa. The bus set out at 6:00am and arrived 10 hours and 500 kms later in Nairobi. Think Ive had enough long bus rides to last me a while. Have checked into a hotel on River Road and I am now mooching about till bed time.

Best Wishes

Andy

Thursday, 1 March 2012

GETTING READY FOR HOME

Dear Friends,

Just a note from Mombassa. I am seeing home on the horizon. Feeling a bit tired and a small amount of home sickness these days. There is a lot to do at home, it demands me. Not sure what the remaining ten days will bring. I hope I feel a bit more refreshing and inspiring than I do at the moment. Maybe it is just the humidity of Mombassa that is reflected in my mood. Will make the big push to Nairobi in the morning. Once I would have feared Nairobi. The first thing any backpacker guide book does is warn you of the danger. God willing, I have found this to be nonsense. So I will do some exploring in Nairobi. They have a National Park right in the city. All my clothes and gear remain travel stained and dirty. Hope I will feel cleaner in the fresher air of Nairobi. See you in Nairobi.

Any messages kindly recieved.

Best Wishes

Andrew

MUDDLING THRU IN MOMBASSA

Dear Friends,

I am back in Mombassa after a short excursion into the sticks. I am staying in a guest house overlooking the bus station. I have a ticket in my pocket for the Nairobi bus tomorrow. It departs at 6:00 am. Not sure how many hours it will take. It will be nice to slip off the cloak of heat and humidity which envelops this city. Everything I need is very close to the guest house, restaurant, cyber cafe and bus.

Look forward to seeing you in Nairobi son.

Best Wishes

Andy

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A CHARITABLE PROJECT NEAR MOMBASSA

Dear Friends,

I feel much recovered after my nights lodging and a good breaskfast at the Glory Hotel, just off Moi Avenue. Communications are now open again after the cyber silence of the coast road from Tanga to Mombassa. I am back in Kenya with a reliable phone reception.

Today I may be meeting a contact, a Massai fellow called Ero, who is running a charitable Project of the Northwich Methodist Church. A few months ago a frieght container was sent over containing all manner of useful things. I meet Ero at 2:00 pm today.

I must check out the train to Nairobi as well.

Best Wishes

Andy

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

ROSS - A DRAMATIC PORTRAIT - ACTORS NEEDED

Dear Friends,

Maybe Northwich hasn't got the balls to stage 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait'. Prove me wrong at the auditions this coming Sunday 4th March 1:00pm - 4:00pm at Barnton Memorial Hall. We see lots of run of the mill tripe locally. Why do we endure that when we could have something special like 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait'.

Best Wishes to my true Friends

Andy

TOUGH ROAD TO MOMBASSA

Dear Friends,

In Tanga I breakfasted on coffee, boiled eggs and a bun. My main meal for two days. The road to Lunga at the Tanz/Kenya border post was difficult. There is a new road under construction. Much sweat, dust, grime and filth with nothing for a westernized stomach to bear. I survived the two days on next to nothing + soda at any opportunity. I cant romanticize this road in any way. At the end of yesterday when I came to a guest house I have rarely felt so filthy and wretched. I immediately washed from a bucket, pouring water over my head from a jugg. It was a relief.

Today the tough journey ended in Mombassa when I checked into a fine hotel. All my clothes are dirty and in the wash.

It is very hot in Mombassa.

Best Wishes

Andy

LAST DOWH TO TANGA

Dear Friends,

I have found some space in Mombassa at a fine hotel just off Moi Street. Last few days has been tough. Grace took me to Wete where I was just in time to catch the last sailing dowh of the day (possibly week) to Tanga on the mainland. I arrived at the port literally with mins to spare. Cost a bargain at $16 for a place incl bike. A place is perhaps too grand a description. The sailing Dowh is just a wooden hull with a mast and a rudder. 20 mts long by about 6 wide. Beyond the crew my fellow passengers were a lady and her young daughter. Due to the rushed nature of my passage I had only a few small bananas with me. The guide book says 4 hours for the journey across Pemba Channel. I was on the Dowh for 17 hours in all. It departed at 11:00am on Sunday and arrived in Tanga at 1:00am where we tried to kip till morning on the deck.

Accomplishment: sailing for the first time ever.

Best Wishes

Andy

Saturday, 25 February 2012

CYCLING ON PEMBA ISLAND

Dear Friends,

I got to Pemba Island this morning on the ferry from Zanzibar. Just cycled 20 miles to a town called Chake Chake in search of a sailing Dowh to Tanga. May have to push 30 kms north to the town of Wete, which has a Dowh port for sure. If it all fails I will have to retrace steps back to Dar. Will see.

Pemba is ruled by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. I imagine this is what Cuba is like.

It is jungle, palm trees and very green. Am looking for lodging now.

First thing I did in Pemba was to drink sugar cane juice.

Best Wishes

Andy

Friday, 24 February 2012

KING of COOL wandering in ZANZIBAR

Dear Friends,

I am having a leisurely afternoon strolling in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Just had Octapus and chips with bananna and apple smoothie. Goodness, this expeditioning is tough. The sea is turquoise. The sand is white. Maybe I will look for a bit of clear beach with some palm trees, roll out my bivi-bag and endure the night.

Still a lot of afternoon to go.

Best Wishes

Andrew in paradise.

ps. Tomorrow I will try to reach Pemba Island. Apparently there are less of the rif-raf over there. Will see. Ferry 7:00am. Then cycling on Pemba and hunt for sailing Dowh to Tanga on the mainland. 3 day bike ride to Mombassa. Charitable project. Train Mombassa to Nairobi. Will see.

ROAD TO ZANZIBAR is beautiful

Dear Friends,

I have just reached Zanzibar. This morning I took the 3 hour ferry journey from Dar es Salaam. I reached Zanzibar just like I told you I would do. It is beautiful here. Just been here in Stone Town for one hour. It is so laid-back after the madness of cycling into Dar city centre from the bus station. First job: communications. Second job: find lodging. Third job: eat. Ive barely eaten for two days.

After Zanibar I will ferry to Pemba Island and devote time to finding a sailing Dowh to Tanga on the mainland.

Yesterday evening in Dar was troublesome. I went to the YMCA but they were full with idiot tourists and so forth. I went to the Holiday Inn across the road but they want $180. It was nearly dark when a taxi driver took me to my Godly appointed lodging house. I paid 28,000 Tanz shillings. About $18. There was no electricity in the room. But it was a room. Showered for first time in ages.

I will now set to photographing the town.

Best Wishes

Andy (Uncrowned King of Africa - more to follow).

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

EXPEDITION ACCOMPLISHMENTS SO FAR

Dear Friends,

In my view the expedition has achieved:

1. Traveled to the so-called badlands of northern Kenya.

2. Met five Bishops of the Kenyan & Tanzania Synods of the Methodist Church.

3. Crossed the Equator 5 times.

4. Met the British Army at Nanuki

5. Drank blood with the Samburu.

6. Stroked a full-grown Cheetah

7. Delivered 10 speeches, short and off-the-cuff.

8. Cycled 250 miles in East Africa.

9. Seen Thompson Falls and held a Chameleon.

10. Been on Safari in Samburu National Park.

11. Seen 3 of the big 5 in the wild.

12. Been within 4 ft of the deadly Gabon Viper.

13. Crossed the Serengeti.

14. Climbed Kilimanjaro.

15. Set personal altitude record of 5,895 mts.

16. Broadcast from 4,600 mts in altitude.

17. Been named Baba Zhenia in northern Kenya.

18. Been named Andrew 'Chacha' in Tanzania.

19. Un-official adoption of my boys Kingsley, David and Gift Emanuel of St Mark's Methodist compound in Kisumu.

20. First ever visitor to the Tanzania Synod of the Methodist Church.

21. Playing volleyball with the kids of St Mark's Methodist Compound.

22. Possible, nay almost certain, only Englishman ever to summit Kili wearing sandals - summit and return.

23. ASAP T-shirt on summit of Kili.

24. Zhenia on the summit of Kilimanjaro.

25. Hoped for nomination for the 'Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal'.

26. Carried sword in real life.

27. Realised that the Ostrich can be ridden in reality in S.A. north of Cape Town. I will give it a go in the future, God willing.

28. Named Laiser of the Maasai.

29. Discussed religion and Islam with a devout Muslim person.

30. Discovered Emirates airways.

31. Followed in some of the footsteps of Wilfred Thesiger, greatest 20th century explorer.

32. Challenged fear and death in the face.

33. Met Mama Sarah Obama.

34. Traveled in black Africa.

35. Kept my word.

Best Wishes

Andy

PHOTOS KILIMANJARO


























































NB// My guide took the summit still photos. They are not great. But I did manage to take a short piece of summit video footage which is good. So please wait for that footage in the future. However there are a handful of great photos from the days preceding the summit... Andy

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

RENOWNED IN AFRICA

Dear Friends,

In Africa I am now known as:

1. Northern Kenya: BABA ZHENIA

2. Tanzania: CHACHA - Watcher & looker as an explorer.

3. LAISER to the Maasai

Best Wishes

Andy

THE PORTERS ARE SUPER HUMAN

Dear Friends,

I cant fault the super-human abilities of my expedition guides and porters. Their spirit was magnificent. I was amazed at the loads they had to carry. Varied objects such as kit bags, tents, tables and chairs, water containers and food and what else for their own personal comfort stretches my imagination. I commend the porters very highly.

The guides who have summited over 100 times can take the rarified air without notice. I could just climb 25 mts without needing to halt to catch my breath.

The cook, waiter and porters never flagged. It was their triumph too.

Best Wishes

Andy

KILIMANJARO SANS OXYGEN

Dear Friends,

I have just returned to Moshi after a bold and daring climb of Mt Kilimanjaro sans oxygen and diamox. Together with my guide Tadhe, I reached the summit at 7:45am on Monday 20th February 2012. A personal triumph of will and endurance. Both my tour companions, Colin and Kerry Pinker of South Africa also made the summit 30 mins before me. It was almost certainly made historical because I climbed from the Park Gates to summit wearing sandals the whole way. I very much impressed the guides and porters with my achievement. Mt Kili is 5,895 mts above mean sea level, a personal altitude record eclipsing the previous record by over 1,000 mts.

The climb of Kili was so tough it ranks in the five most challenging days of my life. This along with the Shropshire 100, the Wessex 100, Mont Blanc and the crossing of the Great St Bernard Pass by bicycle.

In honour of the respect I earned, and the manner of my approach, I now bear the name 'Laiser' of the Maasai.

Best wishes to my true friends

Andy

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

AT THE KEYS MAIN HOTEL - MOSHI

Dear Friends,

I have arrived at my base in Moshi. It is the Keys Hotel. Very fancy colonial tropical style with swimming pool. Luxury for me. I will stay here tonight and also the night of the 21st when I return from Kilimanjaro. I hope, God willing, I can return with the prize of the first of the Seven Summits and a personal altitude record. If I reach the summit I will claim 1,000 mts higher than I have ever been before. I will take with me the ASAP T-shirt for the summit photo, God willing.

Later I must meet with two South African fellow climbers who will, along with the guide and porters, comprise the team.

I got some new sandals to use on the pre-snow approach trek.

Best Wishes

Andy

LEADERSHIP TEMPLATE

Dear Friends,

My leadership template will be cronstructed from a number of source examples:

1. Abraham Lincoln - He taught himself military strategy from scratch only after the Civil War began.

2. Teddy Roosevelt - The great outdoorsman and man of courage and ideas.

3. Ronald Reagan - The Great Communicator who was modest and genial.

4. General 'Stonewall' Jackson - Great man of faith and courage.

Best Wishes

Andy

REACHED MOSHI = KILI ATTEMPT

Dear Friends,

I have reached Moshi, base camp town for climbing Kilimanjaro. My try to climb the mountain is on. This afternoon I will check into the KEYS MAIN HOTEL which will be base and gear dump while I am on the mountain. We set off on the Whiskey route tomorrow morning. I will have two companions from South Africa as well as the guide, cook and porters. It is not cheap to climb Kilimanjaro. I expect to be here only once, so it is now or never to the seven summits bid.

Itinerary:

14th - Meet at the Keys Hotel in Moshi - dinner + overnight.
15th - To Machame camp
16th - Shira camp
17th - Barranco camp
18th Karanga Valley camp
19th - Barafu camp
20th - Summit bid + Mweka camp
21st - Return to Keys Hotel
22nd - Check out

Best Wishes

Andy

Monday, 13 February 2012

EXPEDITIION TO KILIMANJARO SUMMIT ON

Dear Friends,




My much anticipated expedition to the summit o

Sunday, 12 February 2012

ACROSS THE SERENGETI

Dear Friends,

Today, Sunday 12th February 2012, I crossed the Serengeti National Park by bus to arrive in Arusha town. The bus ride began in Musoma at 5:30 am and took 12 and a half hours. The journey was broken by a few 10 min stops to enhance the coffers of the National Parks service. $50 entry fees per Park were added to the bus ticket price. On route a tyre punctures and the bus people spent one hour changing it. I survived the ride with only a packet of biscuits and a can of Cole.

There were many wild animals to be seen. This included my first Wilderbeest. Stupidly I was dozing when there was a Lion to be seen. Many Zebra, Elephant, Giraffe. Antelope and Ostrich. I am getting used to see animals in the wild now. The Maasai I have seen so far are not as impressive as the Samburu. Will see.

Tomorrow I will set out to cycle to Moshi town.

Best Wishes

Andy 'Chacha'

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A COUPLE OF PHOTOS


















The MARA river & view ahead while pushing my bike toward Mosoma.

IS HE A WITCH DOCTOR?

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, Friday 10th, I cycled from Tarime to within 18kms of Mosoma. Daylight defeated me and I thought it best to call it a day at the first opportunity of a wild camp. My idea was to wait out the night in my gortex bivi-bag. In these warm conditions it is comfortable to use sans sleeping-bag.

I found an enticing Lake, maybe 175 mts in circumference. One or two people milling about collecting water in their buckets. I pushed the bike around the Lake to a secluded spot, I thought. However I soon drew a crowd of 20 or 30 people who oggled me as I ate some malt loaf. I met english speaker Edward. One lady wanted to know if I was a 'Witch Doctor'. She was concerned I may 'do something to the water'.

Edward advised me of a local guest house and led me to the village. I checked in for $4 for the night. I bought a Tusker beer for myself and one for Edward.

The whole day I had eaten on a little bread, banana and biscuits. I was kept going by numerous sugary sodas along the road. The road was up and down. The highlight was crossing the bridge over the MARA river. I saw a couple of log canoes on the bank. The MARA is one of the two rivers crossed by the mass migration of the Wilderbeest.

Before going to bed I was caught on the hop when I was asked if I wanted company for the night.

Best Wishes

Andy

ME TO CROSS THE SERENGETI

Dear Friends,

I am broadcasting live from Mosoma in northern Tanzania. I reached this town at 9:00am this morning Saturday 11th February 2012. I have now purchased a bus ticket to Arusha. God willing, tomorrow I will cross the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Controlled Area. Uncrowned King of Africa may bag the remaining two of the big five. Lion and Cheetah. I already have Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino. I have a window seat on this spectacular journey through Africa. Bus to depart at 5:30am tomorrow morning.

I am living the dream because I had the guts to do so. Follow me, all who seek.

Best Wishes

Andy

Friday, 10 February 2012

ANDREW 'CHACHA' in Tanzania

Dear Friends,

This morning I was dubbed ANDREW 'CHACHA' by the KURYA TRIBE. 'CHACHA' mean to watch & look as an an explorer. It is a great honor for me.

I am also the first ever visitor to the Tanzania Synod of the Methodist Church.

In the UK you can simply call me the MAHATMA or GREAT SOUL.

It is 8:55am Tanzania time, I am broadcasting from Tarime in northern Tanzania. I will begin my cycle to Musoma shortly. 74kms, should be fun.

Best Wishes

Andy

Thursday, 9 February 2012

IN GOOD HANDS

Dear Friends,

I am in the good hands of Bishop Leopold and Rev Stephen in Tarime in northern Tanzania. They greeted me and gave me hospitality.

Tomorrow I am going to cycle from Tarime to Musoma a journey of 70 kms. Should be fun.

On Saturday I will get a bus into Serengeti Nat Park and beyond to Arusha and Moshi. Moshi for the 'Whiskey' route up Kili.

Catch you later.

Best Wishes

Andy

THANKYOU TO MY FRIENDS IN KISUMU

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank my friend Rev. Beatrice of Mombassa and recently Kisumu for hosting my sojourn in Kisumu. She was brilliant and looked after me well. Her cooking is excellent. Thanks also to the whole Methodist Church community in Kisumu. Particularly Chairman William who worked tirelessly on my behalf. To my adopted sons in Kisumu I say good luck this year and God willing I will see you next year. My good friends Kingsley, David and especially little Gift Emanuelle. It is Gift who was afraid I would eat him. He is two and a half years old. Hopefully next year we will go fishing on Lake Victoria after I travel down from the north.

Best Wishes

Andrew

IN TANZANIA - IT IS DIFFERENT

Dear Friends,

A couple of hours ago I crossed in to Tanzania. It is different to Kenya. Less english spoken, one or two outstretched hands. More traditional mud huts by the road. Different currency to get my head round. Ive changed $270 to Tanzania Shillings. Border crossing was easy. Just cycled 18km to the town of Tarime. In Tarime I am scheduled to meet Bishop Leopold of the Methodist Church.

I must strike out hard tomorrow to get close to Serengeti Park entrance at Ikuma Gate. There is the chance tomorrow to visit Julius Nyrari museum. Will see.

Best Wishes

Andy

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

OBJECTIVES in TANZANIA

Dear Friends,

I could be out of internet for next day or so. Will be setting out at 5:30 am Thursday (East Africa time) to get to the Tanzania border post. Then I will be traveling as a free spirit on the road again. I will have about 3 weeks or so in Tanzania. Objectives in Tanzania:

1. To log Tanzania as a new country to me
2. To clock up some bicycle miles
3. To cross the Serengeti
4. Maybe visit Ngorongoro Crater
5. To meet the Masai warriors in their true surroundings
6. To make contact with Wild Frontiers Ltd.. on the ground
7. To attempt to climb Kilimanjaro via the 'Whiskey' route.
8. To have a slug of Whiskey on the summit
9. To broadcast from the summit.
10. Possibly to cross the Masai Steppe, maybe
11. To cycle in Dar es Salam and so bag another Capital city
12. To reach Zanzibar by ferry.

Best Wishes

Andy

CAN I BROADCAST FROM THE ROOF OF AFRICA?

Dear Friends,

My dream is to start the Seven Summits. Can I reach the summit of Kilimanjaro in the next two weeks or so? If God wills it, I can, very much so.

I have the excellent company of RAMBLERS WORLDWIDE HOLIDAYS and WILD FRONTIERS Ltd of Johannesburg. The prospects are good. It will need guts and determination and luck and force of will. But victory is at hand. I just have to reach out and grasp it like an apple from the tree.

Can I broadcast by mobile phone from the roof of Africa?

Best Wishes

Andy

WOULD-BE RAIDER ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD

Dear Friends,

There is such a thing as the Seven Summits. God willing, I can go to Kilimanjaro and if permitted I can strike the summit and set a new personal altitude record in the process. I must reach Moshi by the 15th, with God's help. I will be raider on the roof of Africa. One of the Seven Summits could be in Andrew's pocket in two weeks time, God willing.

Thankyou to RAMBLERS WORLDWIDE HOLIDAYS of the UK and WILD FRONTIERS LTD of Johannesburg, South Africa. M. of RWWHs I owe you a debt beyond imagination. You believed in me when others did not.

God willing, 'Whiskey' route here I come. I love the mountain environments. The Whiskey route is the finest most beautiful on Kili.

Best Wishes

Andy

THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY

Dear Friends,

For me 2012 will go down in history as 'the year of living dangerously'. We have:

1. Across the Equator to Zanzibar

2. Communing with Cheetahs

3. Possible close encounter with Lion

4. Possible new altitude record on Kili, God willing.

5. Crossing of the remaining Tour de France Cols. The Galibiere, Izourd, Alp du Huez and Mt Ventoux. God willing.

6. RAGBRAI ...500 mile crossing of Iowa in baking summer heat of the mid-west.

7. Possible Polish Tatra trek

8. Taming the slide show audiences.

9. Travelling to the bandit country of northern Kenya.

10. Drinking blood with the Samburu.

11. Meeting the snakes of East Africa.

12. Charming the audiences of Ross - A Dramatic Portrait.

13. Travelling cattle class with the budget airlines.

14. Making friends with the Maasai warriors.

Best Wishes

Andy

KILIMANJARO ON THE HORIZON

Dear Friends,

God willing I can attempt to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro at 5,800 mts. Highest peak in Africa. Highest free standing peak in the world. One of the fabled seven summits. I will try my hardest to reach the top. It will be tough, it will be painful, it at times will be agony. I know these feelings well. I do not fear them. God willing I will go for that summit and set a new personal altitude record. Breaking the record by 1,000 mts.

I hope to go to the summit with a fine company called WILD FRONTIERS Ltd. of Joburg, South Africa. With thanks to Michael H. at my company of RAMBLERS WORLDWIDE HOLIDAYS of Lemsford, Welwyn Garden City in the UK.

My attempt will be from the Tanzania side on a route known popularly as the 'Whiskey' route. It is the most scenic route on Kili. Maybe, I can broadcast by mobile phone from the summit, God willing, we will see.

Will reach northern Tanzania tomorrow by noon. There are many challenges still to face before Kili is reached. I pray God is with me and He will guide me to The Way.

Best Wishes

Andy

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

PHOTO - AW + Beatrice + CHEETAH



STROKING A FULL GROWN CHEETAH

Dear Friends,

This morning I went with Rev. Beatrice to the Impala Sanctuary. It was extraordinary. $15 to enter for a non-Kenya, 150 KNS for a national. It proved to be great value for money and time.

I saw two Ostrich close up, and I now know that my ambition to ride on an Ostrich is very much possible. Where and when, I am not sure. But, God willing, it will happen in Africa at some point in the future. I saw how powerful and strong they are. I think I could do it. I will have to undergo some training, but it is possible.

We saw Water Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Monkey etc. The highlight was going into the pen of the Cheetah and stroking their head and paw. There was two Cheetah. They were very relaxed, but you must keep them busy mentally. The Cheetah is the big cat of least danger to humans. We took photos and video.

Later we walked among Impala antelopes. Very beautiful animals.

A priceless outting for us to treasure in our memory.

Best Wishes

Andy

WILL MOVE IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS VERY QUICKLY

Dear Friends,

Whether it be by boat, or bus, I will move very soon on route to Tanzania. Keep watching this space.

Best Wishes

Andy

AIRCRAFTSMAN SHAW IN NORTHWICH - 1934

Dear Friends,

Research into 'Aircraftsman Shaw in Northwich - March 1934' is coming along well. We believe we have an eye witness, alive in Northwich, who saw and waved to Lawrence as he sailed down the River Weaver on board the 'Aquarius'. This gentleman is now 90 years old. I will interview him when I get home to UK.

Best Wishes

Andy

NOW ON SIX CONTINENTS of the WORLD

Dear Friends,

I am now broadcasting from Africa to six continents of the world. Bogota in Colombia has joined us.
Germany will soon be on board too. If anyone knows how to get this blog read in Antarctica, South Pole base, please advise me how to do this.

Best Wishes

Andrew

Monday, 6 February 2012

DELAYED IN KISUMU - BUT LOVED HERE

Dear Friends,

I have been in Kisum some days now awaiting the fabled and mystic Cargo boat to Tanzania. I will give it to Wednesday morning to appear. It is 5:30pm Kenya time, Monday 6th feb 2012.

Tomorrow we will go to the Impala Park where I should be able to bag the remain two of the big five...Lion & Cheetah. I will see the tame Impala.

When I leave Kisumu I must move quickly and without delay across northern Tanzania. I must travel fast by whichever means. I give two days max in the Serengeti and thence on to Kili. Thankyou Michael of RWWHs for the info re the Kili routes. God willing, I will avoid the Coca Cola route and take the Whiskey route instead. It seems much better to me.

The children of the St Marks Methodist compound in Kisumu love me. I got them a football yesterday, a big bottle of Sprite and some simple cakes. It was a joy to see their smiles. Prince Harry..why do you spend 500 pounds on cocktails for an evening at the night clubs?

Best Wishes to my true Friends

Andy

ROMANTICALLY REJECTED HERO

Dear Friends,

I have known rejection all my life, particularly romantic rejection. I now find it amusing and such fun being constantly rejected. Such:

1. Katie of Tarporley 1997
2. Katie of Northern Ireland 2005
3. Christy of USA 2003
4. Marilyn of Canada 1993
5. Nadia of Annecy 2003
6. Victoria of datetheuk circa 2004
7. Anita of Belgium 2012
8. Luda of Kiev 2005
9. Sena of Ghana 2008
10. Katryn of Germany 1990
11. Catherine of Canada 2000

Others I forget and that are too numerous to mention.

Everytime you rejected me, you added a rock to the foundation of my seven pillared worthy house. Thankyou sincerely.

Andy

GREATEST ALL-ROUND SPORTSMAN

I think Andrew is without dispute the greastest all-round sportsman Northwich has ever seen. His like will never be known again. Sports:

1. Mountaineering
2. Long Distance walking
3. Marathon man.... London 97, Manchester 98.
4. Cross country runner.
5. Runner of the Roman walls of Chester
6. Snooker
7. Pool
8. Darts
9. Shove happenny
10. Rock climbing.. the Peaks, Chamonix, Pembroke coast, Lakes, Snowdonia
11. Horse riding
12. Tae Kwondo
13. Bungee jumper
14. Cricket
15. Football
16. Archery
17. Chess
18. Volley ball
19. Badminton
20. Tennis
21. Ten pin bowling
22. Crown Green Bowling
23. Marbles champion
24. Rowing
25. Challenge walker
26. Draughts
27. Hang-gliding
28. golf
29. Three card brag
30. Pub quizzing
31. Table tennis
32. Ice climbing.. French Alps

I challenge anyone to equal me.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

THE WORLD LOOKS IN AWE

Dear Friends,

The world looks in awe and respect to those beings who are indifferent to material gain and goods, to luxury or comfort. Men who walk with Kings and also people of the streets alike. Beings who devote themselves to the service of others without consideration of financial and material gain.

The world will come to see that my name will flow through the annals of history. They will barely believe that a man such as Andrew once walked the Earth. He is flesh and red blood flows through his veins.

He is uncrowned King of Africa, would-be master of Arabia and the East. Grandson of Robert and Laurence, great men of service to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and its former Empire.

Best Wishes

Andy

THE GABON VIPER - DEADLY

Dear Friends,

My fear of snakes is now healthy. I have just been to the Kisumu Museum and seen the live snakes. I fear the Gabon Viper & the Black Mamba. The Gabon Viper has 2 inch long fangs and when it bites it hangs on and doesn't let go. It is vicious and deadly as is the Black Mamba & many others.

Also saw two examples of the Nile Crocodile. I think I could handle the Nile Croc with a bit of advance warning and my knife, but not the Gabon Viper.

We also saw fishes of Lake Victoria.

Best Wishes

Andy

MODES of TRANSPORT in KENYA & TANZANIA

Dear Friends,

I have already, or will, use the following transports in Kenya and Tanzania:

1. Bus
2. Matatu mini bus
3. Cargo boat
4. Bicycle
5. Bicycle taxi in Kisumu
6. Airplane
7. Taxi
8. Private car
9. Motorbike
10. Foot
11. Tuktuk in Kisumu
12. Ferry to Zanzibar
13. Dhow sailing boat to Mombassa
14. Train Mobassa to Nairobi

Goodness knows what else

Best wishes

Andy

WITH DAVID in KISUMU

Dear Friends,

Today is a kick-back day. I am sharing the company of my new friend David and his Sunday School class mates. We are in Kisumu center looking for the Museum. It is 2:36 pm Kenya time. Have to rush to catch the Museum before it closed.

This morning I attended the St Marks Methoidist service and the Sunday School class.

Best Wishes

Andrew

Saturday, 4 February 2012

WORRIED I WILL BITE HIM

Dear Friends,

There is a young boy at the Methodist compound in Kisum who is afraid I will bite him. Normally he comes to the Methodist Minister's house, but now he is shy to do so while this unusual man is lodging there. Will see if he grows to like me in the next day or two.

Please comment and write to me, while I have the time in Kisumu now.

Best Wishes

Andy

IN TOUCH with FIVE CONTINENTS of the WORLD

Dear Friends,

I am still in Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria. It could be as late as Tuesday before I can catch the Cargo boat to Mwenza in Tanzania. At little lost time, I know. My desire to travel by cargo boat is great, so I must wait. I can expect news on Sunday or Monday. Once I am in Tanzania I must move quickly still. Hoped for objectives in Tanzania:

1. Julius Nyrarie museum
2. Somehow to cross the Serengeti
3. Kilimanjaro, at least six days.
4. Possible crossing the Maasai Steppe.
5. Get quickly to Dar e Salam
6. Dont linger, get ferry to Zanzibar
7. Cycle in Zanzibar
8. Possible boat or Dhow to Mombassa.
9. Charirable Project of the Northwich Methodist Church in Mombassa.
10. Train Mobassa to Niarobi.

Dear readers, please bare with me, I am doing my best.

Best Wishes

Andy

Friday, 3 February 2012

BROADCASTING TO THE WORLD

Dear Friends,

I am broadcasting to the whole world from Kenya today. I am being read in USA, Kenya, Canada, Belgium, UK, New Zealand, Singapore and Belarus. It is 3:57 pm Kenya time this is Andrew Wright in Kisumu, Kenya on a bright warm day.

Best Wishes

Andy

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA AWARD!!

Dear Friends,

Could it be possible that Andrew is worthy to share an honor with Wilfred Thesiger CBE, Sir Chris Bonnington and Colin Thubron? Some say why? Others say WHY NOT.

Best Wishes

Andy

CARGO BOAT tomorrow?

Dear Friends,

There is a good chance that I will sail for Tanzania tomorrow aboard a cargo boat. Me the lad from ordinary origins in Northwich travelling on a cargo boat down Lake Victoria. Eat your heart out Michael Palin. I did this from nothing to triumph so. If I get home to tell the tales I believe I will be Northwich's greatest son. My name will ripple through the pages of history. this is good. I will see the Captain tomorrow and discuss the terms. God willing it will happen and I will reach Tanzania and accomplish a boyhood dream. I had a vision that one day I would travel in Tanzania. It is to hand for me. God willing I will survive to reach Zanzibar and thence home. There is a lot to do before then.

Best Wishes

Andy

WHO IS ANDREW? continued

65. Diplomat
66. Negotiator
67. Organizer of Expeditions
68. Leader of registered minor political party 2001 'The Tatton Group'.
69. Cyclist John OGroats to Lands End 2010
70. Team member 'Salomon Womens Will Trans-Iberian' cycling expedition.
71. Leader 'In the Footsteps of T E Lawrence' cycling expedition to Jordan, Syria and Israel 2010.
72. Investor
73. Home owner
74. Gardener.
75. Poet
76. Romantic hero
77. Romantically rejected hero
78. Challenge walker
79. Climber of the five British Isles highest peaks in each country
80. Climber Yorkshire 3 Peaks
81. Tramp on Malta, Corsica and Crete
82. 26,000 mile endurance cyclist
83. Friend of Palistine
84. Cyclist on the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza
85. Youth Hostel worker all over England & Wales
86. Life member of the Scottish Youth Hostel Association
87. Traveller in 42 countries
88. Talker of talk. Walker of walks.
89. Parliamentary candidate Referendum Party, Knowsley South 1997.
90. French end to end cyclists 1989.
91. Cyclist in 30 Capital cities.
92. Trans Pyrenean cyclist, Atlantic to Med
93. Solo climber Mont Blanc 1994
94. Trier on the Matterhorn 1999
95. Sayer of prayers
96. Lover of music
97. The Lion Heart
98. Starter from nothing
99. Greatest all-round sportsman Northwich has ever produced.
100. Knowledged on the cinema
101. Friend of Poland
102. Leader
103. Dreamer of dreams
104. Northwich's greatest ever son.
105. Private detective
106. Uncrowned King of Africa
107. A latter day Cyrano de Bergerac
108. Crosser of the Sprengersandur glacial desert in Iceland by bicycle.
109. Camel rider in southern Tunisia.
110. Walker of long distance footpaths
111. Debater
112. Honorary Maasai tribesman... could be
113. Attempt-er of the Seven Summits... could be
114. Crosser of the Welsh 3,000 ft peaks
115. Swordsman..yes, I carry a sword in Africa
116. Collector of books
117. Cyclist around the Sea of Galilee..yes
118. Master of all he surveys..could be
119. Collector of maps
120. Philatilist
121. Runner around the Roman Walls of Chester
122. Endurance bus rider..yes, 48 hours on Greyhound bus across the USA
123. Observer of Parliament
124. Admirer of movie stars
125. Correspondent with Martin Bell OBE
126. Independent candidate: Tarporley, Wincham & Lostock, Bucklow
127. Monarchist
128. Working class hero...maybe
129. Tour de France Col cyclist. 2 x Tourmalet, Aubisque, Colombiere, Iseran etc and so on.
130. Opera lover
131. Ballet lover
132. Budapest lover
133. Orient express to Istanbul traveller x 2... Interail
134. Man on the road to Damascus..yes
135. Dublin, Paris & Amsterdam tripper
136. Horseman in Cairo & Cheshire
137. Bungee jumper
138. Cyclist across the Great St Bernard pass without dismounting..age 28
139. Battlefield explorer, Dardanelles, Somme, Flanders, Verdun, D-Day beaches, Bosworth Field.
140. Entrant to RAGBRAI 2012
141. Is the man who failed the 11+ but went on to lecture the Professors at Oxford.
142. Is he a legend?
143. Eater at McDonalds
144. Only needs Mt Ventoux, Col Galibiere and Alp du Huex to have conquered the whole Tour de France of the mountains.
145. Cyclist Pisa to Palermo
146. Cyclist of volcanos. Etna, Vesuvious, Strombloi
147. Rower of the Ganges
148. Walker of 100 miles in 48 hours.. yes
149. Meditator in the great Mosques and Cathedrals.
150. Devoted son
151. Pilgrim at the Golden Temple in Amritsar
152. Student of Mahatma Ghandi
153. Psycologist
154. Sociologist
155. Retiree at 94 miles on the LDWA Wessex 100.
156. Timed out at 90 miles on the LDWA Yoredale 100.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

VISIT TO MAMA SARAH OBAMA

Dear Friends,

Today in the company of Rev Beatrice and chairman William we mounted an expedition to Kogero to visit Grandmother Sarah Obama. Mission accomplished. I cant transmit any photos due to a promise not to publically convey any images of Mama Obama. I can show the photos at my home and privately, which I will do in due course..God willing.

We also saw the graves of Baba Obama and Grandfather Obama.

Best Wishes

Andy

CRASH in KISUMU

Dear Friends,

Yesterday afternoon I had a slight mishap. I was following Rev Beatrice to the Methodist Church on my bicycle when suddenly a lady walked in front of me and I crashed into her. I came off worse. She appeared uninjured while I got a nasty bump above the left eye. There could have been an ugly incident but we managed to quell the heat of the situation. I now have a black eye.

Best Wishes

Andrew

WHO IS ANDREW?

1. Explorer
2. Geographer
3. Adventurer
4. Scholar
5. Mountaineer
6. Cycle tourist
7. Writer
8. Journalist ...amature
9. Photographer
10. Film maker
11. Leisure activities promoter
12. Publicist
13. Theatrical producer
14. Motivational speaker
15. Traveller
16. Mountain Group Leader
17. First Aider
18. Racqonteur
19. Historian
20. Family history researcher
21. Politician
22. Son
23. Baba Zhenia
24. Nephew
25. Cousin
26. Brother
27. Uncle
28. Great uncle
29. Member of the T E Lawrence Society
30. Hangglider pilot
31. Grandson of Ivy, Laurence, Robert and Annie
32. Archivist
33. Archaeologistical digger
34. Cross country runner
35. Tai Kwondo yellow tab
36. Long distance walker
37. Member of the Methodist Church
38. Arabist
39. Navigator
40. Rambers Worldwide Holidays leader
41. YHA volunteer warden
42. Communicator
43. Reader of biography and travelog
44. Former Special Constable
45. Student of T E Lawrence
46. Student of W S Churchill
47. Member of the Sons of the Desert
48. Construction steelwork draughtsman
49. Charity fund raiser
50. Internationalist
51. Chairman Ross A Dramatic Portrait Committee
52. Grape picker of France
53. Quiz team captain..Laughing Gravy.. The Claire Bears
54. Crosser of Deserts and Continents
55. Friend
56. Helper of the needy
57. Philospher
58. Member of the MCFS
59. Member of the North Cheshire Ramblers
60. Presenter of slide shows
61. Advisor to politicians
62. Marathon runner
63. Lecturer Aircraftsman Shaw in Northwich..March 1934
64. Honorary member of the Samburu tribe of northern Kenya

More to follow.....

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

PHOTO in the outback of KERICHO

BROADCASTING FROM KERICHO

Dear Friends,

It is 10:50 am Kenya time, Wednesday 1st February 2012. This is Andrew Wright broadcasting from Kerichio in the highlands of western Kenya. Another warm day beckons. The conditions are idea for cycling. I have just cycled into town, 11 kms from Rev. John's mission station home. I have been staying with Rev. John, his wife Stella and their three small children. Their welcome and hospitality has been wonderful. I will miss being with them. The people of the countryside are so friendly. The children of the school, where I spoken yesterday, came to the track and waved and smiled to me.

Here in Kericho town I must buy some new earphones. Music is good for morale.

Will be pushing on to Kisumu later today. Fingers crossed I will meet Grandmother Obama on Thursday.

Best Wishes

Andy

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

TEA PLANTATIONS

Dear Friends,

This area of Kenya is famous for its great tea plantations. I hope to visit the plantations this very afternoon. I am the guest of Rev. John of the Methodist Church of Kenya. I am staying at his mission station out in the wilds about 10kms out of town. It is idilic. You should see this beautiful countryside if you ever get the chance.

We are travelling around the locale by Rev. John's motorbike. Me riding pillion. It is fun.

Best Wishes

Andy

PAULA RADCLIFFE TRAINING in Kenya

Dear Friends,

I found in the newspaper that Paula Radcliffe is in Kenya at this time, for winter training in the Rift Valley, east of where I am in Kericho.

If she had been on my route I would have gone in search of her. She is a great admirer of Kenya and its people.

Best Wishes

Andy

TWO SPEECHES IN ONE MORNING

Dear Friends,

I delivered two speeches this morning, Tuesday 31st January. First to the CHEPNGOBO Methodist church congregation and then shortly afterwards to the pupils of the ITOIBI PRIMARY SCHOOL. I am getting quite comfortable with this public speaking business. I can even make my audiences laugh. Looking forward to the Northwich slide shows.

Best Wishes

Andy

NOW A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

Dear Friends,

I am now a motivational speaker. I was invited to address the 12 year old pupils of ITOIBEI PRIMARY SCHOOL as they prepare for their forthcoming exams. I spoke for about 8 mins. I told them the 'picking up the ball and running with it' story and I read out the 'dreams come true' poem given to me by Nanna Riley.

It went down well. I got rounds of aplause and cheering. I have said before, I love these African children and they love.

Best Wishes

Andy

Sunday, 29 January 2012

WISE WORDS FROM MY FRIEND LAWRENCE

Dear Friends,

I collected these words from my friend Lawrence Ibuuri. thus:

*The greatest architect and the most needed in hope.
*Be sure you are right then go ahead.
*Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.
*Hospitality is an expression of devine worship.
*Lord teach me the way my soul should walk.
*It is man who makes truth great, not truth that makes man great.

Best Wishes

Andrew

WALK SOFTLY

Dear Friends,

When you are at the top you must tread carefully when you walk among those at the bottom. Advice to G.O.

Best Wishes

Andrew

PHOTOS EQUATOR EXPEDITION




A BATTLE LOST, A WAR TO WIN

Dear Friends,

I was not, at this time, successful in my quest to meet Lord Delamere or Tom Cholmondley at Soysambu Ranch. However I did meet a fellow who took my ASAP/Equator flyer and my business card and said he would present them to Lord Delamere.

After leaving Soysambu I had a bit of a slog to reach Nakuru. 30kms in hot conditions along a busy road. I just got my head down and faced it.

I am now staying with Rev. Julius of the Methodist Church. He is another fine man and a great Kenyan. He gave me a signed copy of his book 'Dependable Receipts - Devotions and Meditations for your soul'.

Tomorrow I hope to get some kind of view of the thousands of Flamingoes on the lake near this town. I will then push on toward the objective of Kisumu.

Best Wishes

Andrew

I HAVE REACHED NIAVASHA by Matatu

Dear Friends,

I have reached the town of Niavasha in search of Lord Delamere. But I dont think he is here. I must move north now to Soysambu Ranch to test my luck. Another warm day.

I dont think the Sgt Major was kidding me re. the Camel Spider.

Best Wishes

Andy

Saturday, 28 January 2012

IN SEARCH OF THOMAS CHOLMONDLEY

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, God willing, I will set forth for Naivasha in search of Thomas Cholmondley and his ranch. Will see what I find. Thomas is the descendent of Lord Delamere, of Delamere Forest fame. To make faster progress to my horizon objective of reaching Kisumu I must take a matatu in the morning.

Nayharuru is a fine town. I have found an excellent hotel. 1,000 ksh (8 pounds) for B & B. On suite + TV. Restaurant with balcony view on to African life on the street. I had dinner of chicken & chips.

I have now taken 1,200 photos + maybe 20 mins of video footage. Still a lot more work to do. We are only 12 days into the Expedition.

Maybe, God willing, I can reach Nakuru by tomorrow evening to keep me on schedule for Kisumu.

Best Wishes

Andy

THREE EQUATORS ON ONE BIT OF ROAD!!

Dear Friends,

Today I found three Equator signs on one bit of road. I think people just stick them up anywhere for business purposes. However I think I was at the real Equator. I paid 300 shillings (2.20 pounds) to see the water test of the Equator line and to receive a certificate of proof. On the exact line the water did neither turn clock-wise or anti-clock-wise.

I did, in the words of the poet A E Houseman, for one brief time 'wear the turning globe'.

Best Wishes

Andy

KENYA AND DON QUIOTX

Dear Friends,

Where else but Africa could you wander down the street with a sword hanging at your left side as I do. I have a genuine Masai scabbard to carry it. Soon, God willing, I will be among the Masai tribe. I think they will heartily welcome a man who carries a sword as they themselves do. I am growing to love Africa with a passion. I look forward to meeting the Masai warriors in their glory. This trip is so good that my guide books are excess baggage to me. I have yet to consult them. Wilfred Thesiger's My Kenya Days is a good guide to use.

Best Wishes

Andy

ROSS - A DRAMATIC PORTRAIT in anticipation

Dear Friends,

In June 2012, God willing, we are going to witness something quite amazing in Northwich. The people of Northwich will come to know of one of Britain's greatest sons. T E Lawrence, 'Lawrence of Arabia'. It is my hope that people will flock from miles around to see this marvelous tribute to a great man. If he were alive today, with the aid of the E-mail and the mobile telephone, he would quite simply come to dominate the very World itself. We honor and treasure the dear memory of Lawrence. Come to see 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait' at Northwich Memorial Hall in June 2012. Opening night Tuesday 19th June 2012.

Ticket Prices:

Adults 7.50 pounds

Concessions 5.50 pounds.

Best Wishes

Andy

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE BICYCLE

Dear Friends,

It is not about the bicycle, though I love my Galaxy bicycle. It is about following dreams. The bicycle is a wonderful tool to that object that I found many years ago. It has, and will, take me to all the corners of the World, God willing. I was 18 when I got my first adult bicycle. 21 when I got the Dawes Galaxy which is fundamentally the same machine I have with me today here in Africa. My first significant cycle was to Chester and back. It began from those small beginnings. I have cycled from Northwich to Manchester and back at least 50 times. A round trip of over 40 miles. I used to cycle to Manchester, go to the theatre, and then cycle home for midnight. I will keep cycling for ever. In the summer I will be heading to Iowa for the World's greatest participant cycling event: RAGBRAI. That is how far a bicycle can take you, if only you desire it enough.

Best Wishes

Andy

A YOUNG LEADER! HAHA

Dear Friends,

I once read that Rt Hon? George Osbourne MP in his earlier days attended a young leader's conference in America. Osbourne, a leader! What a joke. He could not lead a sausage at the breakfast table. Go where you belong Mr Osbourne.

Best Wishes to my true Friends

Yours Andrew

THOMPSON FALLS

Dear Friends,

Today I had the privilege to see the Thompson Falls just outside Nyahruru. It was heaven to witness. I took photos and film footage. I relaxed a little for a half hour resting on the grass. They have tribesmen mocked up for the tourists. I will wait till I visiting the Masai later.

Best Wishes

Andy

VISITING THE THIRD WORLD! OUT ON PATROL WITH THE POLICE!

Dear Friends,

With my very ears I once heard come from the mouth of Rt Hon ? George Osbourne MP in 2001, I believe, that he said he had visited the third world that he had been out on patrol with the Cheshire Constabulary. Mr Osbourne, I have visited the third world too, I have tramped in the third world in Nepal, in India, in North Africa, in the Middle East, in the poorer areas of East Africa. From your privileged vantage you have nothing to offer. Mr Osbourne I spent 10 years patrolling the streets and town centres of Northwich & Winsford, with the Cheshire Special Constabulary, while you were tucked up in your bed in your fancy house. I stood at 2 am in freezing conditions in the town centre of Northwich. Mr Osbourne you have nothing to offer. Mr Osbourne you take a 5% pay cut and expect us to admire you. In this country decent working men & women are taking 25% cuts. You would be greater heard if you walked the walk. Mr Osbourne you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You know nothing of what it is to struggle. Go to where your like belong.

Best Wishes to my true friends

Andrew

KARMA CAMELION

Dear Friends,

Today, I held in my hand a little green Camelion. It was beautiful. I thank God for my life.

Best Wishes

Andy

HE WILL RUE THE DAY

Dear Friends,

I was once insulted by the PA of the Rt Hon ? George Osbourne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He will come to rue the very day, the very hour, that he insulted me and my family name. God willing.

Best Wishes

Andy

PHOTOS - EQUATOR EXPED - JAN 28th 2012




GOD'S CREATURES

Dear Friends,

The other day I was talking to the Sgt Major at BATUK in Nanyuki. He told me of dangerous creatures. The Black Mamba and the Spitting Cobra. He told me of Scorpions eight inches long and of the Camel Spider which has a span of six inches. The Camel Spider will inject you and anaesthetise you and then it will eat your very flesh. It can jump and it will run after you, seeking to remain in your shadow. God willing I will not meet these creatures on my travels.

Best Wishes

Andy

A HARD JOURNEY FROM NANYUKI TO NYAHURURU

Dear Friends,

It took much longer than I thought to reach Nyahururu. I have been on the road for two and a half days. It has been rather hot. But the rewards are magnificent. 130kms. The map said 94 kms.

Last night I camped for free in the Police compound at a small town 30kms east of Nyahururu. The Police were very kind and brought me a mug of hot tea. It was a fine camping spot. In the night got a bit cold and I shivered somewhat.

Best Wishes

Andy

THE FORCE IS WITH ME

Dear Friends,

Yesterday when trying to find internet I met a retired Police Commissionaire. A fine and wise man. He has great regard for the British legacy to Kenya, law, education, infrastructural and modern civilisation. Thank you so much Commissionaire for your generous words. I am in touch with the entire Kenyan Police Force. I have made contact with the Police Commissionaire in Kisumu. The force is with me.

Best Wishes

Andy

TONY BLAIR - 'A JOURNEY' - HAHA

Dear Friends,

Tony Blair called his 'autobiography' A JOURNEY. He does not know the meaning of the word. A journey from privilege at Fettes public school to extreme wealth. What nonsense. Let him come with me if he wants a journey. I would no more read his book than wipe my backside with sandpaper. This man who spends a million pounds on a vanity world tour only a week or two before he leaves office. This man who insults Parliament by resigning as an MP the day after he finishes being Prime Minister. He did not deserve a standing ovation he in House of Commons. My way would have been a resounding raspberry to him and his charming wife Cherry.

Best Wishes

Andy

Friday, 27 January 2012

I HAD A BICYCLE IN AFRICA

Dear Friends,

My cycling in Kenya has now passed the modest 100km barrier. Next target is one hundred miles and so on. I began serious cycling yesterday. I set off from Nanyuki in direction of Nyahururu in company with my friend Bishop John of Nanyuki. John had a single speed heavy duty African bike but he led the pace. John kindly cycled with me for 35kms. We had lunch of sweet pineapple, the real thing. Crossed 20 kms of farm land of a weather road before reaching the tarmac. I gave John water and a little money to get him home to Nanyuki. When I reached the tarmac there were some farm workers, one took great gulps from my water bottle and then offered me a woman. I had to decline the offer.

After the initial prospect of staying at a lodge for 2,000 Shillings I found a motel room for 200. I had a clean room and hot water.

We now have links in Kisumu and the glimmer of a chance to meet Grandmother Obama. Will see. That is days away. I now have a generous line of contacts within the Kenyan Police Service.

I still have 50 kms to cycle today to reach Nyahruru. It is fine here.

Best Wishes

Andy

I HAD A BICYCLE IN AFRICA

Dear Friends,

My cycling in Kenya has now the modest 100km barrier. I began serious cycling yeasterday

Thursday, 26 January 2012

ON EXPEDITION FROM NANYUKI







Dear Friends,

Today I set forth from Nanyuki to Nyahururu. It is 90 kms away. Its a hot day so I may not reach there by night fall. Will see. After Nyahururu I will take a matatu to Naivasha and try to find Lord Delamere. Then I will be on route to Nakuru, then Kericho where there are tea farms and then on the Kisumu on Lake Victoria. Kisumu is the ancestral home of President Barak Obama. His Grandmother lives in an area of Kisumu, know as Kogero. God may allow me to meet her.

Best Wishes

Andy

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

AT THE EQUATOR WITH BISHOP JOHN




Dear Friends,

I am in Nanyuki as the guest of Bishop John of the Methodist Church. We have just been to the Equator. I stood with one foot in each hemisphere of the Globe. A triumph. See photos above taken not one hour ago.

Best wishes

Andrew

WITH THE BRITISH ARMY in NANYUKI - A triumph

Dear Friends,

Today barely one hour ago I was with the British Army in the town of Nanyuki. I met the Sgt. Major Carl and the Major. Both splendid men. I was with Bishop John. We were given lunch in the canteen. I had pasta. Then the Sgt Major gave us a tour of the camp. I loved it. If I were ever young again I would join the army and come to Kenya. The camp was BATUK UNIT (British Army Training Unit Kenya). 'Cap badge' or Unit: Infantry (across the board); Royal Engineers; Royal Logistic Corp; R.E.M.E.

We were at the base from 12:15 pm till 2:30 pm.

Best Wishes

Andy

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

IN SEARCH OF LORD DELAMERE

Dear Friends,

I am now in search of the descendants of Lord Delamere.....Any clues or advice welcome. Tomorrow I will be in Nanuki near Mt Kenya.

Best Wishes

Andrew

WITH BROTHER LAWRENCE IN MERU

Dear Friends,

I have reached Meru town. I will be staying with my good friend Lawrence, brother of Rev. Duncan. I came here from Isiolo by matutu. Tomorrow I will be in Nanuki with the British Army, God willing.

Best Wishes

Andy

A LIFE OF MY OWN CHOICE

Dear Friends,

I am living the life of my own choice. It has been a tough road, but I took the road not travelled and for me it made all the difference. Paraphrasing Wilfred Thesiger and I believe Robert Frost.

Tomorrow I will reach Nanuki and visit the British Army.

Best Wishes

Andy

GETTING TO KNOW THE BISHOP

Dear Friends,

I am getting to know Bishop Joseph of Isiolo very well. He is a very fine man. If I get back to Nairobi early by any luck I will return to Isiolo to do some work with the little children. Maybe bring then a football.

Shortly I will take a matutu to Meru town to visit Lawrence.

Best Wishes

Andrew

Monday, 23 January 2012

BE DEFIANT

Dear Friends,

They will say it is impossible, they will criticise you, they will do you down, they will laugh at you, they will ignore you. But never be defeated by them. Let them go to hell or where ever. Believe in yourself and never forsake hope. Victory is at hand. Follow your dreams.

Best Wishes

Andy

I AM BECOMING A GREAT AFRICA MAN

Dear Friends,

Give me a few more days and I will have this vast wild land in the palm of my hand. Tomorrow I will take a Matutu to Meru town where I hope to stay with my friend Lawrence, brother of Rev. Duncan of Northwich. Next day I will bus to Nanuki to visit the British Army. God willing.

Progress on Ross - A Dramatic Portrait is going well. Volunteers are coming forward. Thankyou all for this.

Best Wishes

Andrew

ON SAFARI WITH THE BISHOP

Dear Friends,

Today I went out on Safari in the Samburu National Park with my friends Bishop Joseph & Rev. Alfred of the Isiolo Methodist Church. What excellent company they were. I saw:

Girafe

Baboons

Monkeys

Elephant dozens of them.

Zebra

Secretary birds

Antelope

Gazelle

Orynx

Warthog

Dikdik, I think they are called. Very small antelope.

Ostrich

Sadly, we could not find the Lions or Samba. Another day, I hope.

Best Wishes

Andy

MY KENYA DAYS by Wilfred Thesiger

Dear Friends,

My guide in Kenya and Tanzania is the book: My Kenya Days by the great 20th Century explorer, Wilfred Thesiger. He died only a few years ago at over 90 years of age. He loved to be amongst the tribes. They are still here in all their glory.

Best Wishes

Andy

MY CUP FLOWETH OVER

Dear Friends,

I can hardly believe what is happening. I am living a dream. My cup floweth over.

Today we are off on safari to Samburu Nation Park to see the wild animals. If I am lucky I will face the lions and become know as Andrew - The Lion Heart - Wright. Will see.

Best Wishes

Andy

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A TIME WILL COME

'A time will come when you will listen to me.' Quote of AW 1997.

Best Wishes

Andrew

PHOTOS of the journey


BABA ZHENIA

Dear Friends,

I have been dubbed 'Baba Zhenia' by the people in Marsabit.

Best Wishes

Andy

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA MEDAL ??!!

Dear Friends,

I was wondering if I might be fit to be nominated for the 'Lawrence of Arabia medal' ?? It would be for my expeditions: 'In the Footsteps of Lawrence' in Syria, Jordan & Israel and 'Across the Equator to Zanzibar' (IF I live to tell the tale). Also noteworthy my researches in to 'Aircraftsman Shaw in Northwich - March 1934' and my production of 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait' at Northwich Memorial Hall in June 2012.

One to think about.

Best Wishes

Andy (On Expedition in Kenya).

BACK FROM MISSION TO MARSABIT

Dear Friends,

The bus just got into Isiolo from Marsabit. An 8 hour wonderful journey through the arid lands of the north. I once again met the Samburu tribes people. They are so beautiful and handsome.

I saw camels :-). Many camels :-). I will come here again to go camel trekking. I will be 'Lawrence of Arabia' or 'Andrew of Kenya', as of my dreams. I can get a camel or two for perhaps 150 pounds sterling each.

The journey from Marsabit was 280 kms. Mostly on gravel & sand. I think I can cross the Serengeti or maybe the Masai Steppe by bicycle. God willing.

Now I will go to my friends at the Methodist Church in Isiolo.

Best Wishes

Andy


Saturday, 21 January 2012

PHOTO me at the Crater

COME UNTO ME LITTLE CHILDREN

Come unto me little children of Africa. I love you and I think you love me too.

Today I am in Marsabit in northern Kenya. My visit to Marsabit has been hosted by Benson and Mworia of the Methodist Church. They have been very kind to me.

I am lodging at the Nomads Trail Hotel. Great value at 1,200 shillings for B & B. It is centrally located near to the bus station.

We went on safari in the outlying districts. We visited to Catholic Mission on the hill above town. I became a preacher and Sayer of prayers for the first time.

We then went 10kms to the north on the road to Moyale to see a great Crater and to do some filming.

Before returning to Marsabit we handed out some biros to the little children of the road.

I set out on the 8 hour bus ride to Isiolo at 8:00 am tomorrow morning.

The bandit problem in northern Kenya is much overdone. There is only inter tribal fighting over water and livestock issues. I have felt totally safe in northern Kenya and I would advise that travel here is not a problem.

COME UNTO ME LITTLE CHILDREN

Come unto me little children of Africa. I love you and I know you love me.

I have found no place on earth like Kenya, it is extraordinary.

I am in Marsabit today. Mworia and Benson of the Methodist Church in Marsabit hosted me. I have been lodging at the Nomads Trail Hotel in the town center. A fine place to stay if you are ever in these parts.

The bandit problem here in northern Kenya is overdone. There are only tribal disputes and occasional fighting over water and livestock. I have felt on danger to myself in this area.

Today I went to the Catholic Church on the hill above town where I was made preacher and Sayer of prayers. I met the Sister.

When it is not so dry Elephants, Cheetah and Hyena roam these parts.

Later in the day we drove out to a big Crater 10kms on the Moyale road. Here we did some filming of cycling in the desert.

COME UNTO ME LITTLE CHILDREN

Come unto me little children of Africa. I love you and I know you love me.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

DRINKING BLOOD WITH THE SAMBURU

Dear Friends,

I am back in Isiolo after a daring mini expedition to Archers Post seeking the British Army. Instead of the British Army I found the Samburu tribe. The Samburu are semi nomadic now living by cattle and goat herding. They are the most beautiful people. With them I am now a hero in Archers Post. I have friends among the Samburu.

I drank blood and milk with the Samburu. They drew the blood from a goat's neck before my very eyes. The goat lives.

I saw the little children of the Samburu in their school house and sat in on their maths lesson. In the future it would be great to help the children of the Samburu, they are very poor materially but rich in spirit and goodness.

I am now in Isiolo. Tonight I will take a bus to Marsabit. A 10 hour ride. Maybe I will find evidence of Wilfred Thesiger in Marsabit. Will see.

After Marsabit I will come back to Isiolo by bus. Then with the Methodists I will arrange a short safari into Samburu National Park.

After the safari I will go to Nanuki to visit the British Army HQ and to stand on the Equator line. This before pushing on to Kisumu to get a cargo boat down Lake Victoria to Tanzania.

Best Wishes

Andrew


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

PHOTOS EQUATOR EXPEDITION

PHOTOS - EQUATOR EXPEDITION

TURKANA & SOMALIS around ISIOLO

Dear Friends,

I am safe in the good hands of Bishop Joseph and his colleagues in Isiolo of the Methodist Church.

My day started in Meru with a four mile walk in the company of my new friend Lawrence Ibuuri, brother of Rev. Duncan of Northwich.

We had breakfast then we went by car in search of Monkeys and Elephants on the road north of Meru. Sadly we found no Monkeys or Elephants. It was too early for the Monkeys and we found only Elephant dung by the road. On the journey we stopped and I sampled maize beer and khatt leaf.

Then I cycled 25kms to Isiolo where I met the Methodist bishops and leaders. We had lunch together. I did some filming and photographing.

We then drove out into the bush where I met the Turkana and the Somali tribes people. I adore the little children of Africa and they love me too. I am admired here and I love the people back.

God has given me courage in abundance and hope to use it for the common good in times to come. I was born to make this very journey and to meet these great people in East Africa.

Tomorrow evening at 8.00pm I will take a night bus to Marsabit, an eight hour journey.

The weather conditions are ideal.

Best Wishes

Andy

A BRAND NEW DAWN in KENYA

Dear Friends,

I have spent a wonderful sojourn with my new friends in Meru. Off to see the monkeys.

Then will cycle to Isiolo.

Catch you later.

Andrew

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A PRINCE IN KENYA

Dear Friends,

I am safely in Meru town after a six hour bus journey. I have landed in the finest country it has ever been my pleasure to visit. I am photographing like mad. God willing, I will make Northwich proud in East Africa. I am staying with Lawrence, brother of Rev Duncan, here in Meru.

Tomorrow I will cycle to Isiolo. I will meet monkeys for the first time. This place is a joy. They love me here and I love them too.

Nest day I will try to get a bus to Marsabit and achieve glory.

I have been here barely 24 hours and already I have been in the national papers and 30 mins ago I stood on the Equator for the first of two times on this Expedition.

Best Wishes

Andrew

FAMOUS IN KENYA ALREADY

Dear Friends,

Ive been in Kenya for 15 hours and already I will be in the national newspapers. The National Media. All Expedition and charity details will be published in Kenya. In the UK the national media is so up its own backside they haven't got a clue. Ive never seen such dismissive arrogance from any person as that displayed by the news desk lady I spoke to at Channel 4 News.

Kenya is God's own land as I expect the whole of Africa to be.

Just going to get lunch then Im heading to Meru and then Isiolo to meet the Bishop.

This morning I saw a big tree with many Storks resting on the top. It was wonderful.

Best Wishes

Andrew

OBJECTIVE TODAY - MERU town

Today I have decided that I will try to reach Meru. A town north of Nairobi. I will travel by bus company 'Kensilver'. In Meru, I hope to meet Lawrence, brother of my friend Reverend Duncan of the Northwich Methodist Church.

I am just about to get my gear sorted for todays expedition to Meru.

Had a fine breakfast of fruit, pancakes, omelette, toast and coffee.

Andrew - 7.15 am Tuesday 17th January - guest house, Nairobi

Monday, 16 January 2012

BROADCASTING FROM NAIROBI

Dear friends,

As you can see I am making new friends all the time. Here is a photo with one of the very beautiful Emirates stewardesses. I am now a big fan of Emirates. God willing, they can take me anywhere on my globetrotting expeditions in the future. Their service is superb. They take bicycles for free. They also have a service to Durban which I hope to use.

I am now in the safe hands of the Kenyan people. They will not let me down, I know it now for sure. They are very handsome people. I think we will grow to love each other over the coming weeks.

I am staying at a good guest house near to the airport. In the morning I will meet my friend Zippy, manager of the guest house. I will then go to the city centre and visit the offices of a big national newspaper, get refreshments and then I will get a bus direct to Marsabit or just as far as Meru. If I go to Meru I will stay the night with Rev. Duncan,s brother before going to Isiolo and catching a bus on to Marsabit in the north.

Best Wishes

Andrew (would-be King of Africa).

EXPEDITION: Jack of all trades, master of all.

ACROSS THE EQUATOR TO ZANZIBAR cycling expedition:

ANDREW WRIGHT: Expedition Leader; medic; interpreter; photographer; film maker; media specialist; chief cyclist; public relations; diplomatic adviser; writer; researcher; accountant; financier; map specialist; navigator; logistics expert; advisor to the Leader; promoter; media specialist & all round good egg.

THAI FOOD IN DUBAI - EQUATOR EXPED

Dear Friends,

I have just eaten my first ever Thai meal. It was one of the finest, most tastiest meals I have ever eaten. Dubai is a truely excellent airport. Very friendly helpful staff. No rif raf here. Goodbye Ryanair & Easyjet. Service is what matters, not treating people like cattle. I will definately use Emirates again. They have a service to Durban in South Africa. From Durban, God willing, I can get to Lesotho with the help of Emirates.

Remember the charity the 'African Support & Assistance Project'. View: www.asapnet.co.uk
Donate by text or by cheque to John Reilly ASAP Treasurer at: Mid-Cheshire College. Make cheques payable to: African Support & Assistance Project.

Best Wishes

Andy

EQUATOR EXPED. REACHES DUBAI

Hello, it 10.15 am Dubai time,

I am safely in Dubai at the airport. All is in order. Emirates is now my prefered airline. Excellent service. I hope to use them to get to Durban later in this year of 2012. Had a good conversation about religion with my adjacent passenger. It helped to formulate my ideas. I have a long wait here at Dubai, seven hours. Will reach Nairobi at 7.15 pm local time.

Interested parties please focus all attention on 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait' at the Northwich Memorial Hall. Opening night: Tuesday 19th June 2012. Tickets will soon go on sale via the Northwich Memorial Hall's own booking system.

Best Regards

Andy

Sunday, 15 January 2012

EQUATOR to ZANZIBAR - UNDERWAY!!

Dear Friends,

I have sucessfully passed through security at Manchester Airport. Ever lasting glory is beckoning in East Africa. I thank God that I am able to tackle the project. We will have a lot of fun together on this great journey. Flight to Dubai is delayed by a half hour. Then I have a seven hour wait in Dubai. Good for a kip I sholud think.

This afternoon I had a splendid send off from my neighbours and friends. I travelled aptly with 'Andy's Taxi Service'. And it was a good service too.

Best Wishes to you all.

Andrew

Thursday, 12 January 2012

ROSS - A DRAMATIC PORTRAIT

It is looking very likely that at long last, after long endeavours and rejection that my dream of seeing the Sir Terence Rattigan play 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait' will be reality. Ross is based on the life of the hero 'Lawrence of Arabia'. It will be staged at Northwich Memorial Hall on the dates 20th June to 24th June 2012. Northwich Memorial Hall has hosted both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in its past. I will be the Producer of the play. A great lady called Brenda Spencer will be the Director and my friend John E Goodier will be the Stage Manager. The production will coincide with a big 'River Festival' at the Northwich Marina on the Weaver. Interested parties are invited to come to Northwich to see 'Ross - A Dramatic Portrait'. Demand for tickets is expected to be high.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

DESERT ISLAND DISCs - Andy's music

For a time there was the glimmer of an idea that I might appear on a 'Desert Island Disc' style show for Cheshire FM radio. So with this in mind, I made the following selection of music to accompany me on this desert island thus:

1. 'Dont Cry For Me Argentina'. For Argentina read Great Britain. Remember the Falklands.

2. Pavorotti - 'Nessun Dorma'. This is what I was listening to when the grape picking season finally ended in the early autumn of 2009 in the Beaujolais region of France.

3. Chuck Berry - 'Memphis, Tennessee'. One of the greatest songs ever written. If I can only choose one record to take to the island, this would be the one.

4. 'Rule Britania' or 'Land of Hope and Glory'. In honour of the greatest country on the face of the planet.

5. Elvis Presley - 'At the chapel, where people are of one accord'.

6. Amy Winehouse - 'Rehab'. The voice of a Goddess. I found her only after her sad death last year. This song has personal resonations.

7. Dean Martin - 'Napoli'. I have been to and seen Naples two times.

8. The Drifters - 'Saturday Night At The Movies'. I may have seen a thousand movies at the cinema in my time.

BOOK choice beyond The Bible and Shakespear is 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' by Eric Newby.

LUXURY ITEM - Photo album of family and friends.

THE BUSH TELEGRAPH - ASAP Reference



Today was an important day for the Equator Expedition. The Northwich / Knutsford Guardian photographer came to Mid-Cheshire College to record the event. There are now official photos of the Expedition preparation. The Guardian will publish next week.


Here is 'The Bush Telegraph' of January 2012 is featured above. Double click to enlarge for reading.









Monday, 2 January 2012

Message to Ian R.

Dear Ian,

Glad you like the Israel photo. You may use my e-mail address: andywright8117@hotmail.com

Many thanks

Andy

Sunday, 1 January 2012

FLANDERS cycle tour - summer 2011 - photos












FLANDERS cycle tour - summer 2011 - photos


EQUATOR EXPEDITION ITINERARY Latest

THE EQUATOR EXPEDITION projected itinerary by ANDREW WRIGHT

1. Taxi from home to Manchester airport Terminal 1. Fly to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport with Emirates on 15th Jan

2. Arrive Nairobi at 19:15 hrs, collect bicycle, and to be met by driver from 'Nairobi Airport Stop Over House'. Guest house Tel No. 254 722 787 182 Stay at guest house for the night of 16th Jan.

3. Find bus station for direct bus to Marsabit in northern Kenya.

4. Reach Marsabit. The great 20th Century explorer Wilfred Thesiger spent a long time in the Marsabit area in his later years, living among the Samburu tribe. Possible meeting with the Methodist Church in Marsabit (no exact contact at the moment). Possible meeting with the British Army who have a camp in the area. Northern Kenya is an arid area confounded by drought and famine. There is also the 'Turkana' tribe in the area.

5. Start cycling south on the main road. If there is no food or water I may take a lift on a bus or private truck. Will see.

6. Reach the Equator. Stand with one foot in both hemispheres.

7. Move south and then west. Mt Kenya National Park area.

8. Cross the Aberdare mountains by bicycle.

9. Move west to Lake Victoria.

10. Cross into Tanzania by one of two road crossing points. Or, take ferry down Lake Victoria from Kenya to Tanzania.

11. Cross Serengeti National Park, probably by bus. It is unlikely that the park rangers will allow me to cycle across the Park.

12. Move east towards Kilimanjaro.

13. Possible climb Kilimanjaro. Mt. Kili. is over 5,000 mts high. The guide fees to climb the mountain are $500. It will take at least five days for the trek if I go ahead.

14. Move toward Dar es Salam.

15. Travel among the Masai tribe.

16. Ferry from Dar es Salam to the fabled island of Zanzibar.

17. Possible ferry to Pemba Island.

18. Ferry to Mombassa in Kenya.

19. Make contact with the Methodist Church of Northwich charitable project near Mombassa. My contact is from Rev. Charles Makonde (UK tel: 01606 44613). The contact is Hero Ole Saitoti, a young Masai tribesman. His local phone no. is: 0711561041. The Project and time in Mombassa will probably be two or three days.

20. Take the night train from Mombassa to Nairobi. Travel second class.

21. Reach Nairobi and do some sight seeing.

22. 11th March take Emirates flight EK722 to Dubai and thence on to Manchester to reach there on the 12th March.

23. Cycle or take train home to Northwich.

24. Hero's reception in Northwich for AW ;-).

25. Meet with JR for de-brief of Equator Expedition.

SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM 1935 Edition

Today, Sunday 1st January 2012 I went to visit Dug of the Mid-Cheshire Footpath Society. I spotted on his shelves this 1935 edition of the 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'. What a beautiful treasure to own. What a great surprize to find.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom