Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Around the World in nine hundred days

December 25th, 2011

Aim remains very firmly the same – cycle solo around the World – but now in a little shy of nine hundred days. Continuing east from Austin, Texas, to the Florida coast, and then on to the UK. Still leaves me almost 2,000 miles to cover in a little over a month.

Plans that made sense three or so years ago sometimes have to change. The World a very different place since I set off from Somerset in September 2009. Time now to return home. And, in stark contrast to the advice of Norman (now Baron) Tebbit, I plan to get off my bike to find work…

Naturally, I intend finishing with a bit of panache and style, riding across the UK back to the front door of my beloved Somerset cottage. From where I’d set off, bound for a ferry to France, over two years ago. Expecting to reach it around mid-February. Must remember to pick up the keys from my parents….

You can also listen to me chatting with Emma Britton at BBC Somerset about the change of direction -courtesy of the BBC iPlayer until next Saturday – by clicking here – about one hour 47 minutes into the show.

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Catching up…

December 20th, 2010

Deciphering dialing codes. Devising a few phonetic phrases in Mandarin. After all, what would she say when she’d ring through to the place I was staying? I’d primed the staff at the small hotel that I was expecting a call from the UK. Actually, I’d written on a scrap of paper – in Chinese characters – "2200 tonight – Emma Britton – telephone – Ken Roberts – Room 7017" – except our names. Far too difficult.

Bit rudimentary. But it worked. Probably helped by the fact that I’d be the only Westerner in town. Literally. A chance to catch up with Emma, host of BBC Somerset’s The Morning Show. It’d been over a year since we’d spoken. That’d been back in Taunton. Shortly before I’d set off. Amongst the things I’d taken along to the studio was a Christmas Pudding, my luxury item for devouring in Bulgaria. Long gone. But there was a Christmas Cake or two waiting in Hong Kong….

[To the surprise of many of his friends, Ken hates the sound of his own voice. And late-night – in China – radio interviews probably don’t find him at his best. But if you’re snowed in (and even if you’re not!) – and chances are you will be if you’re in the UK Europe – you could always listen to Emma’s show on the BBC iPlayer. 0900-1200 week days. White stuff permitting, the piece should be going out on air in the second half of the programme on Tuesday 21 December 2010. To listen live, or catch up a bit later, click on BBC Somerset iPlayer]

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