I reckon this image of adventurer Alastair Humphreys is pretty rare as for once he is not filthy dirty, stinking of sweat, caked in desert dust, awash with sea sick or have icicles hanging from his unshaven face!
This was the squeaky clean, scrubbed up version complete in his dinner suit with just a hint of that long wild fair hair that has accompanied him on his many rather extreme travel jaunts around the globe.
Speaking to an invited audience of City of London insurance brokers I suspect they took one look at the personal mega liability risk standing in front of them and quickly drew up massive premium payments in order to offset their potential insurance risk on the rather eccentric world travel adventurer!
Having left his home as a young man in order to cycle around the world, doesn’t every one?
That journey took him though the Middle East and then down the whole length of Africa not finished there he hitched a ride on yacht sailing to Rio in Brazil then made his way down to Tierra del Fuego the Southern tip of South American then cycled all the way back North to Alaska. Crossed the Bering Straight in a ship then took on Siberia in the snow!
AROUND THE WORLD
Working his way down into China, Japan and back home via many Asian countries and then through Eastern Europe over the English Channel with a short 200mile ride back to home to Yorkshire after spending 3 years on the road in the saddle and covered over 46,000 miles.
The travel drug runs deep in Alastair’s veins as with just a few weeks notice his next trip took him onto the ocean and joined in a 3 man rowing team who were one man short and thought he would like to join them. At this point I was beginning to think that Alastair was one man short in his brain too when he explained that rowing for two hours on two hours off for days and days in a tiny boat crossing the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the West Indies was a sensible thing to do.
Blisters on the bum, seasickness, poor food were just some of the down sides to the trip but the humour, the personal achievements of completing the journey plus the times of peace, calm and beauty that contrasted with the storms and gales they endured at times on the crossing.
THE MICRO ADVENTURE
Another circular adventure was rather more simple and a ride around one lap of the Isle of Wight, the island that lies due south from the city of Southampton just 3 miles off shore. Cycling for two days brought Alastair back to where he arrived on the Red Funnel Ferry in Cowes. Whether it’s 3 years or 2 or 3 days for Alastair its just the fact of having an adventure that counts for him.
Adventures for Alastair are now somewhat different, perhaps shorter and smaller but his latest book describes his desire to take on what he calls ‘Micro Adventures’ these can be anything like for instance walking around the M25 Motorway that surrounds London. Not on the road itself but along the fields, gardens and industrial estates that run alongside this 120mile long circular road.
He even implored his audience to engage with the ‘micro adventure’ idea even if it was to just go and sleep out under the stars for one night around the area where they live.
Somehow I could not see these City insurance business people heading to hills of Richmond Park in the next few weeks but they certainly admired Alastair’s drive dedication and endurance plus I think they were grateful that they had not been asked to assess the risks for his travel insurance!