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Teacher completes 37,000 mile African motorbike ride

| Posted in Funny News |

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Spencer Conway, 42, was shot at by armed bandits in Kenya, stoned by angry villagers in Egypt, robbed at the border between Namibia and Angola and held up for weeks at a time waiting for visas and spare parts during his nine-month journey through 34 countries.

He arrived back home in Biddenden, Kent, where he had an emotional reunion with his family including partner Cathi and daughters Feaya, 13, and Jez, 15.

Mr Conway, who has so far raised more than £26,000 for Save the Children, said: ”It’s amazing to be back, although I think I’m experiencing something like reverse culture shock.

”I went 2,000km without seeing another person at one point so it’s quite hard to adjust.

”It’s absolutely wonderful to be back though. As I neared home a whole load of bikers met me and drove me back to the village where a crowd had gathered to welcome me.”

Speaking back in March, Mr Conway said the terrifying encounter when three gunmen opened fire on him as he rode along an isolated stretch of dirt road on the border between Kenya and Tanzania was ”the most violent thing that’s ever happened to me”.

He said he was lucky to escape the incident uninjured although his bike did not fare so well, and he was forced to abandon it and continue on foot when one of its wheels fell off.

But Mr Conway, who spent most nights camped in the bush alone, said the experience did not put him off continuing with his journey.

The 37,000-mile trip on his trusty Yamaha XT660 took him first to Tunisia, then across Libya and down the eastern side of the continent to the Cape before returning along the Western coast, passing through the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), regarded as one of the most unstable countries in the world.

He also had to skirt several war zones and fell off his bike countless times as he crossed the Sahara desert twice, the Kalahari once and rode through glutinous mud and torrential rain on roads that were little more than jungle tracks.

Mr Conway, who left his job as an English teacher to undertake the trip last November, grew up in Africa where his parents worked for the British Council.

Although other motorcyclists have made long journeys across or through Africa, including for the BBC Two documentary Long Way Down, he is the first to have gone all the way round the continent without the benefit of a support team.

More information about his trip can be found at www.africa-bike-adventure.com

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