Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Over the ocean

January 7th, 2012

Searching for a one-way transatlantic flight that doesn’t cost more than a return has to be up there with the efforts of a Papal Conclave to elect a new Pope. And don’t be tempted to purchase a return and fail to show for the second leg. They’ve thought of that. Punitive charges levied onto your credit card.

Of course, you can find singles for roughly half that of a return. Takes a bit of searching on the web, lots of patience, and hoping the online flight discount site you’ve found is legitimate. And being very sure about when you want to fly. Unless you want to pay a change fee amounting to over half the original ticket price.

At least payment with a credit card affords some protection. And there’s a quick check you can normally do once you’ve made the purchase. Log into the airline’s own website and see if they’ve a record of your booking. Fortunately, in my case, they had. Travelling with British Airways on a code share with American Airlines. The one enjoying bankruptcy protection….

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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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The Anchorage Plan

September 1st, 2011

The first few days in Anchorage had been pretty frenzied. Rewarding, a good deal being achieved, and enjoyable to boot. But it was time now to take stock, ensure that I got done what really needed to be done. First snows weren’t that far away.

There’d always been a plan for Anchorage. Not the detail I’d been obliged to devise for the on-move from Australia. More of a check list of things that had to be done. Service and re-assemble my trusty steed. Get to grips with bears, understand the threat and how to deal with it. Seek local advice for the most sensible route into Canada and then south to Seattle.

There was also some PR to be done. And, just as important as the other tasks, be sociable. For two reasons. Firstly, I love to chat with people. And secondly, I’ve come here to learn about Alaska and Alaskans. Closeting yourself away with a tube of lithium grease hardly strikes me as consistent with this. Of course, there are jobs that must be done. And done they shall be. Question of balance.

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