Sunday, 11 October 2009

Bloody Ripper - I Have Arrived!






These images provide pictorial proof that I did not spend seventeen months simply camped in Carnoustie. Updated map and my orations on Oz to follow.

Below is the thank you letter read out at a recent charity raising disco event in Aberdeen. It is a thank you to every single person who has helped me through the 14386 miles!

G'Day Disco Dwellers,

Before you all get too inebriated on nips, pints and alcopops I wanted to thank everyone for parting with their hard earned pennies to help me and M.E. on my Aberdeen2Adelaide adventure.

However, thanks barely begins to repay the debt of gratitude that I owe to family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and complete strangers who have given so generously, in everyway, throughout the whole journey.

Even although I am on a solo cycle ride I have never felt alone, due to the magnitude of love and support which has continually flowed my way helping me through some of the more challenging aspects of the trip.

Seventeen months, sixteen countries and over fourteen thousand miles pedalling have produced an amazing eclectic mix of experiences. Tooth traumas, a broken bone, freezing in minus 38 degrees in Turkey to frying in plus 48 degrees in India. Snowstorms, sandstorms, multiple bouts of Delhi Belly, countless crashes and being policed through Pakistan by six armed security guards have all added to the rich tapestry of the trip.

Nature has played its part too, as mangy aggressive mongrels snapped and growled at my heels as I headed through Greece. Whilst wolves howled and harrassed me during my time in Turkey. In Oz I am watched by curious wallabies during my nightime riding. Stupid black boulder like cows and big red kicking kangaroos clutter up the road as I ride past. Whilst sleeping rough at rest areas I have been woken up by dingoes looking for some dinner by rummaging through the rubbish bins. Then there has been the small matter of snakes, spiders and even emu's as they use the tarmac like a trampoline to bounce across the road with their poor wee chicks stumbling and stuttering behind them.

I believe many of these moments are classed as 'Character Building' but how big does a character need to be? I was reasonable happy with the size of mine before I left! After all, I am simply a tourist on a bike!

However I look at it, it has been a wonderful trip and I am now only a few days away from reaching my original destination of Adelaide. As I still having some months, muscle and money left I have decided to push on and pedal through New Zealand, across America and Ireland then cycle up from Stranraer back to Aiberdeen. This will add some symmetry to the cycle ride. So I guess I have covered two thirds of the kilometres, in two thirds of the time. I have also burned two thirds of my budget and thanks to events like tonight the trip has raised two thirds of the 12000 pounds target.

I believe many people have donated raffle prizes for tonight. Equally, others, not able to attend have still payed for a ticket, so thanks again for your more than generous contributions. It is only fair that I should donate a prize too. So one lucky winner will get a free massage, healing or yoga tuition upon my return - that gives them seven months to get suitable stressed. If none of the above appeals to the winner then I can always bore them with a ninety minute monologue on moments from my trip. Having said that, I do fear for my family and friends who undoubtedly will have to endure months of endless stories without even having to reach into their pockets to purchase a ticket - perhaps they should invest in a big box of cotton buds now!

As I write this I am literally holed up in an underground campsite in Coober Pedy, the opal mining capital of the world. Nowadays it is very rare that I sleep inside, so this seems even more surreal than usual but the whole trip has been like a big dream - Thanks to everyones effort and support I have reset my alarm for another seven months time.

See you then.

Much love...Eric xx

25 comments:

Ale said...

Wow! You have been great Eck!

Anonymous said...

Well done Eric!
Enjoyed meeting you in Melrose the other weekend.

Cate

Anne and Hugh said...

Hey Eric,
congrats on getting to adelaide! Marvelous work. We hope you enjyed your swim and that your IRiver is going well! Drop us a line if you are still in town. All the best for your future travels.

Anne and Hugh (Melrose)

Anonymous said...

Hey its Pete and Mel (from Melrose)
that's great you made it .. let us know if you're sticking around and need somewhere to stay, or want to meet up for a drink1
Cheers
Mel
mercurypurple@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

"Well done!" doesn't come close, mate. Unbelievable journey, and the fact that you are keen to keep going (in stead of just getting a flight home) is testement to your character. You're truly a giant amongst men.For what it's worth: "well done!"

Pete & Mhairi (Aibarrrdeen)

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric, many congratulations!

I work for TNT Magazine (aimed at travellers/backpackers, www.tntdownunder.com) and we'd love to interview you. We'd obviously plug your fundraising...

If you're interested, please email me at
editor AT tntdownunder.com

Anonymous said...

Awesome Achievment Eric!
If you're sticking around in Adelaide for a bit come over & have dinner with another Smart!
Otherwise best wishes for a safe and stimulating trip home.

Best regards

Lara

Anonymous said...

Congrats Eric on an amazing achievement. As a long time ME sufferer, I really appreciate what you are doing for us all over the world.
Hope the next stage of the journey goes well. Can't believe you went swimming in this weather in Adelaide - it's been freezing.
Jen

Matthew said...

When people ask me about some of the people I have met on my travels I always refer to your bike trip.

Great stuff hope to do the same myself one day.

We drank until the early hours in Penang Malaysia......

Anonymous said...

Sitting up with a labrador patient helping her to have her puppies, (as every good vet should) and idly surfing the net in between contractions, found your spot. Happy to hear you made Adelaide safely. Hope the ribs are better. The Austin made it home beautifully and can't wait for her next outing. Hope your money, muscle and time don't run out for many miles yet. Best wishes, Gillian

Mike Holliday said...

Australia must have been a sight for sore eye. Keep peddling. I'll soon be back in India to do a project on the Naga Tribes in the North East.

la_vie_est_belle said...

Hi Eric!!Wow wow you arrived in Adelaide at last!How long will you be in oz until it would be cool to meet up again!

emma.cavanagh@gmail.com ....we met in lovely calcutta and drank chai at 5 in the morning twice in a row!

take care!

JOFA DN said...

how he was doing, I'm JOE (joulva@gmail.com) from the city Mukomuko bengkulu, now where ....

ginny said...

Hey Eric,
All the best for the last leg of your journey in NZ. It was a privelege to have meet you. Its been great to read your blog.
Ginny

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric,
we met in NZ at this weird surveyors monument. good luck for the rest of teh trip. by the way you told you were travelling without map or plan. I hope you realise that it is winter in the US so take the plane to Los Angeles (San Diego would be even better) and take a southern route!
I will follow your trip. good luck and have fun.
Jacques (from the Netherlands)

mIkO-cHiKo said...

well u bloddy busterd i can't belive u have any more power to continue... i'm envy at u my scottish friend. u'r an inspairation to all of us lazy people who travelling around with our comfort van's (but it was our pleasure to protect u'r sleep from the wind in the Uluru!!!)
hope u have all the best wherever you are.
i have lots of your ugly face pic's just let me know where to send'em to.
cheers
Raem (the israeli that got u free to the red rock)

Basho said...

You rock! Happy Xmas old boy. James Bell (www.outsidecontext.com)

Michael Moyer said...

Eric,

It was great meeting you at the San Francisco International Airport. I hope you enjoy the Starbucks coffee! :) Congratulations on all your achievements thus far and may God bless you as your ride to New York. I'll look forward to following your trip on this blog!

- Mike Moyer

Carlyn said...

Hey Eric! Good luck on the American portion of your trip! From Chris Jack and Carlyn Moran (the family you met in San Francisco before you rode over the Golden Gate Bridge) and Chris' mom Silvia Akinaga. Merry Christmas!

The West family said...

Happy journeys Eric! We very much enjoyed our Christmas dinner with you and hearing about all of your adventures. May your adventures continue to be amazing and we will be crossing our fingers for good weather. Cheers and happy pedaling!
Kathy, Ed, Ryan and Tenaya

Lise said...

Is that the twilight zone in Glenelg I see you sitting in front of???

Anonymous said...

Eric, we're going to be in Houston from Saturday 23rd Jan thru Friday 19th Feb if you're anywhere near to us. Mhairi's working but I have free reign to travel within a couple of hours flight so let us know where you are and when if you fancy a little company. You've dropped off the radar as far as your blog is concerned so I didn't even know you were in the states already. drop me a line: peterandmhairi@yahoo.com

All the best,

Pete & Mhairi Preston.

Julie Gregg said...

Hey Eric, It was great getting to meet you in Weatherford. Tx last night. Good luck on your journey. and if you ever come back make :-)

jgregg2005@hotmail.com

barry said...

eric i am amazed at your journey thare is only a certain type of person that could do something like this fair play to you barry yo met in ireland

Lianne said...

Hi Eric!

I met you this evening in Cookstown in Northern Ireland, what an amazing achievement! Really cool to have met you, hope you make it home safe for that pint. All the best,

Lianne (the girl from the petrol station)