n the 17th March 2012, Tom Nelson and Phil Saunders left London to embark on an epic journey. Their plan is to cycle around the world, have musical adventures and raise a large amount of money for the charity War Child.
Tom has worked for the last 4 years as a design manager for a residential developer in Surrey. He loves his job and the people he works with. However, as life passes by, he can't ignore the desire to get out and see the world from a completely new perspective.
Here is their journey so far:
When we last left the group they were on their way to Malawi with another stowaway having attached themselves to the journey; Bear.
Bear had joined the crusade with a training programme consisting of nightly parties and excessive food and drink on a Zanzibar holiday before joining the crew and, despite what may well be the worst preparation imaginable for days of cycling, he fared quite well with the demands. He brought a fresh perspective to the guys, commenting on the difficulty of the daily challenges that the Dynamo's face whilst also highlighting how spectacular the experience of a 'normal' day was. It was bear who brought a fresh understanding to the riders regarding the exciting lifestyle they are currently having. Bear's viewpoint could be summarised into the quote that he deployed in times of need; 'We will look back on this with fond memories'.
Bear departed the group and returned home to the UK but the Dynamo's continued their journey with a renewed vigour. The group entered Zambia and announced that they had left 'Real' Africa and were now entering 'Tourist' Africa. Along with that declaration the group had to then deal with the drastic changes in their lifestyles. They would now be able to buy branded foods from branded stores that would be found in the UK, a delight for their palletes and stomachs but not for their wallets.
After some bungee jumping in Zambia at Victoria Falls and some other sightseeing the team were really putting the miles behind them until they finally reached South Africa. Upon arrival civilisation hit the dynamo's and they are trying to find their way now that they are surrounded by English speaking people and the creature comforts that developed cities offer. They are currently riding south towards Cape Town before they depart Africa and take on their next continent.
It has been a while since the last update of the Daring Dynamo's and much has happened since cycling through Sudan and on to their current location, Malawi.
The group rode through Sudan in relative isolation, finding residents to be relatively distant and reserved. Ethiopia however, was somewhat more 'in your face' as a nation, children mobbing the riders, not so much begging but almost demanding money from the team as if it were a right of passage. Prostitutes shamelessly frequenting every 'hotel' in what is considered a 'Christian' nation and every trader aggressively trying to rip them off at every conceivable juncture. The Dynamo's, needless to say, did not have the best of times in Ethiopia to begin with although the nation's scenery was majestic and awe inspiring, if not difficult, to ride through.
Despite the endless hordes of followers and the immense mountain climbs followed by pot hole ridden downs the trio made it out of Ethiopia and into Kenya where one of the team contracted Malaria.
What should've been terrible news for the trio turned out to be quite the blessing as they paid £4.50 for the testing and medication for the condition before kindly being taken into the Sosian Game Ranch fora short period time, being served full English breakfasts, diving off of waterfalls and searching for lions and elephants on a daily basis. The team entered Kenya expecting to be met with regular attempts at robbery and hostility but found that 99% of the people were extremely friendly and welcoming.. All except Sam. All that needs to be said about Sam is that he attempted a scam of epic proportions against the Dyanmo's that included a quick trip to Uganda, holding bikes for ransom, an exploding toilet with sewerage littering accommodation, shady loan sharks, and corrupt police. All is well however as the Dyanmo's as they continued their journey into Tanzania, the best cycling/camping experience Africa has offered to date and into Zanzibar for Christmas with friends.
Soon enough the team was at it again, cycling towards and through Malawi but with a new addition to the team. The bear has now joined the crusade as the journey takes on another interesting twist.
The Daring Dynamos are still riding through Sudan and onto Ethiopia where they will be tackling some pretty brutal mountain ranges. You can help them reach their £75,000 sponsorship target by donating below, you can also track their progress here.
October - The Sahara desert had been a cruel mistress to the Dynamo's, with sweltering heat, strong headwinds and nothing but open road and sand for company the lads were having a very mixed experience of what Sudan has to offer. Particular highs including stopping off with some Chinese road workers, throwing around fish, being laughed at in the showers and eating food in an air conditioned room. The lows however came at virtually every reststop come crapping hole and fly infested siesta spots. There was also an adrenaline pumping run in with a desert Camel Spider to contend with but finally the boys reached civilisation and were welcomed to their friend Emily's air conditioned flat, cooked dinner, clean water and a night out to a local gig. Despite the comfort and fun had it would seem that it was only a brief respite as the dynamo's have now got their Ethiopian Visa's and are back on their way through the desert and onto the Ethiopian mountains.
September- The desert has so far not taken any of the dynamo's prisoner. With Tom experiencing 6 punctures, including the blowing out of his decent shwalbe tyre the lads are at a dilemma as to how to proceed. New, well made, tyres being shipped from the UK will cost upwards of £300 which is an infeasible amount whereas getting the tyres shipped to Sudan would be cheaper it is still 1500km away. Do the dynamo's pay the extra money to secure their passage to Sudan, through some of the hottest and most isolated area's of the Sahara, or do they risk using their lower quality tyres that are already suffering and hope that they make it without another tyre explosion? That is the dilemma currently facing the team. On a more positive note, however, the boys found themselves staying at the Nemo Dive Club and Hotel during their travels along the Red Sea coast where they got to experience some beautiful sub aqua diving for a few days. On September 14th the trio finally headed towards Sudan via a 24 hour ferry crossing having been held up by the man responsible for issuing a Sudanese Visa going on holiday for a week.
August- The lads continue to cycle the globe and arrived in Egypt from Turkey and were met with some rather unfortunate hardships. Tobias' bike was not in good working condition and the required parts to fix the bike were not available in Egypt. Having perused the local bike shops and having no luck finding the required items for his bike, Tobias went and found a welding shop and got the part made himself before hitting the road again. While in Cairo the dynamo's got to experience their childhood dream and witnessed the pyramids, a breathtaking experience apparently, before heading out through over 2000km of desert.
July- July saw a dramatic turn of events for the daring dynamo's when VISA rule changes made for some emphatic alterations to the route plan! Rather than aiming to ride through the Himalaya's the group had to decide between a seemingly endless ride across China before flying to India or heading south and taking Africa head on, including the Sahara Desert mid summer! Due to the 'no flying over land' principle and the desire to experience a plethora of music the decision to head through Africa and on to Cape Town was made. By July 20th The dynamic duo had become a trio, acquiring the services of Tobias, the American 'Amigo' and the group had been on the road 125 days, travelled 4675km and visited 16 countries!
June- Having rested well and picked up a nice sun tan in the lovely Croatian sun the dynamos headed quickly through Albania and before long were climbing the mountains of country number 13, Macedonia. June also saw the duo pass through Bulgaria before reaching Istanbul, Turkey, in mid July.
May - Tom and Phil cycled through Germany and Slovenia and despite getting thoroughly soaked, slogging their way up some huge hills and experiencing some very cold conditions, they're absolutely loving life. May also saw Tom and Phil reach the 9th country in their journey, Croatia, where they enjoyed a nice break.
"Why by bicycle? Well, there are many ways to experience mother nature and human culture, but the saddle will offer a front row seat. Away from the popular tourist trails we hope to truly explore the regular day-to-day life and musical influences of the worlds we travel through."
Phil is looking to break out of the mundane 9-5 lifestyle and fulfil his wish to travel before he makes any serious commitments to life. Experiencing different cultures and religions, completing a great adventure and raising money for a worth while cause.
"I wish I could say I had dreamed of doing this all my life. I also wish I could say this wasn't a case of Nelson getting me drunk and convincing me it was a good idea. But I can't. However, I have always wanted to go travelling, and the endless list of reasons for wanting to do that are also applicable to cycling around the world. We weren't built to sit around in offices, drinking Espressos and wasting out lives staring at computers."
Whilst they cycle over 30,000km and through at least 26 countries, they we will be searching for the ultimate musical experience. With a shared love of music, they will be exploring its different forms in the various cultural surroundings discovered on their travels.
War Child is an international charity that protects children living in the world’s most dangerous war zones and protects children from the brutal effects of war and its consequences. They currently work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Uganda and D.R. Congo.
Their staff are living and working in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones helping thousands of kids to rebuild their lives.
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