Travel

Nuclear Tourism in Ukraine

A colourful Ukrainian banknote holds place in a black and white notebook resting on the keyboard of a small Apple laptop

To mark the 30th anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in history I’m publishing my notes from a trip to the Ukraine back in 2010. The contents of the following three pages started out as excitedly scribbled paragraphs in a little black Moleskine,…

A Lap of France

Bike parked under tree, Chateau in background

I need a break, and the new bike needs a proper run, so the both of us head across the water for a spot of mindless self-indulgence. Swapping campsites for cheap hotels and minimal luggage I’m going to spend a week going where the wheels take me, recording the usual irreverent observations and mediocre photos here for posterity. This is cruft, mere content, so I’m not going to bother with separate posts. Read at your own peril.

Leaving Las Vegas

Arty-farty shot of a red sportscar parked by the side of a very long, straight desert road

I’m not sure exactly where I found my mojo today, but something happened between sneaking out of Sue’s place and pausing for air in the middle of Death Valley, something that turned the world right-ways round again. It may be down…

Of Fear and Loathing

Vintage photograph of a dude on a yellow folding Brompton bicycle

House of The Rising Sun plays on the radio while I’m sitting in Eat, a down-to-earth yet trendy cafe in downtown North Vegas, wondering what to make of their signature dish: Shrimp and Grits. I ordered it because I have no…

A Day on The Interstate

Interior shot of Ford Mustang and my knees

The day begins much like those before it with jet lagged cursing at the is-it-morning-yet alarm clock. Jump out of bed, throw things in bag, throw bag in car, throw car at at pre-dawn San Francisco. Get my bearings as…

Vegas or Bust

A red Mustang lurks in a hotel garage

10:50 on a Sunday morning and I’m not out enjoying my new bike on the first dry day since I took delivery nearly two weeks ago. I’m at the airport. Not in the shiny A380 I first thought was waiting…

Just another Motorcycle Trip

Motorcycle parked at the start of a rutted trail in rural England

It’s been ages since I had a good long ride (actress to bishop) so as the kids head back to school I’m heading south with everything an expedition needs: bike, tent, and a keen novice. That’s right folks, there’s somebody mad enough to come with me on a three week camping trip that optimistically aims to take in France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain before looping back to Blighty for a shower and detox.

Lap of Britain in a VW California

Black and white photo from the centre of a long, straight road as it snakes off towards the horizon

Nothing is as big a turn off – on any level – as a caravan. Their sad, beige contents are usually flimsy, they smell of chemical toilets, and they make your car handle like a combine harvester. You’re unwelcome everywhere you go, except for authorised caravan sites where you can mingle with your balding peers and bicker about the latest outrage in the news.

Why anybody would voluntarily do this is beyond me, but a camper van – now that’s an entirely different proposition. For a start you’ve got a vehicle which drives like a car, reverses like a car, and fits in a regular parking space. There’s leather, alloy wheels, a rack for your surfboard and a towing hitch for the trailer with your dirt bikes. Could this be the ideal mix of camping adventure and home comforts? We rent a VW California and take it for a lap of Britain to find out.