The Westerner

Adventurers rev up Dayboro

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Source: Lee Oliver

Motorcycle enthusiast Linda Bootherstone-Bick has been riding around the world for the past 50 years.

Motorcycle enthusiast Linda Bootherstone-Bick has been riding around the world for the past 50 years.

All roads lead to Dayboro for motorcycle enthusiasts who spend their life on the road.

Around 150 adventurers from Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and Germany attended the three-day Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meeting last week.

Amongst them were Heike Fania, from Stuttgart, Germany and Linda Bootherstone-Bick, from Port Lincoln, South Australia.

After quitting their jobs and “selling everything” 17 months ago, Heike and her husband Filippo have ridden more than 520,000km from Europe, across the Middle East and Asia, to Brisbane.

“We sold everything, packed everything up, gave up the house and the job, so we had nothing left at home,” Heike, 35, said.

“We put everything we had left on our bikes and then left. We've always wanted to travel the world and see the world.

“We both had this dream independently. The funny thing is we actually met at a Horizons Unlimited meeting in Germany.”

The couple plans to end their current trip in New Zealand.

“Our favourite country so far was Iran. The nicest people in the world live in Iran,” Heike said.

“The hospitality there and the friendliness was unbelievable.

“We also liked northern India and the Himalayas very much, it's just an awesome landscape.”

Linda, 67, has been riding around the world for the past 50 years.

“I joined a motorcycle club in England in the 1960s and we used to tour to Europe.. and I found that motorcycling was the best way to see things and to meet people,” she said.

“I've been all around the world and the only continent I haven't been to is South America.

“I've been doing this since before there were guide books. When I went through Africa in 1974 there weren't any of these Lonely Planet Shoestring Guides or anything, you just went and made the best of it

“If you want to do something you save up the money, you go off and do and it, and when you run out of money you come back.”

While there is a romanticism about living life on the open road, Linda says the reality of overland travel doesn't always match the dream of travelling solo on a bike.

“People think you're going off on this holiday but it takes an awful lot of mental and physical effort to do the types of trips that we're doing,” she said.

“When you're travelling through different countries it's a big strain and you've got lots of things to worry about.

“You've got to keep your bike going, you've got to try and commuicate with the people, you've got to get visas, you've got to know where you're going to get petrol and spares.

“It's hard work actually, and I have noticed at the end when I've done really long trips I've had to really try to recover.

“You lose a lot of weight (and) you mentally go around the bend sometimes because of the stress of it.”

Dayboro event organiser Shane Kuhl described Horizons Unlimited gatherings as “50 per cent education, 50 per cent inspiration”.

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