Serendipity in MalawiI had to use my time wisely, while my friend was visiting me for three weeks in Turkey, but I spent every spare time searching for another option to cross Syria. I just didn't have the budget to fly across as had a previous overlander who was just a week ahead of me. Everyone told me I just didn't have any other options, but I had to discover this for myself as I know if it did boil down and I had to fly over Syria, I would later suffer the consequences by cutting my adventure short due to the lack of money. I would be even more annoyed with myself if I later discovered other options.
While hunting out these hidden opportunities, I started to discovering I wasn't the only one with this problem. A small group from Sweden was also on the internet 24/7 searching for different routes, and we teamed up to share our discoveries and our woes. My last option was to ride through Europe (if my budget prevailed) and head down the west coast of Africa. Not a bad idea, so I started e-mailing with a young guy called Tony Gahegan, who was about to start his adventure.
As my time in Turkey came to an end, I had made up my mind to just give the Syrian border a try before implementing plan a, b and then c. After a complete search of all my belongings, I was able to drive into Syria under police escort and not longer after that, I started the African leg of my adventure.
Tony and I kept in touch over time, as my original plan was to head down the east coast and up the west coast of Africa. Tony is also a Jupiter's Traveller and would be a great source of fresh information about borders and other difficult countries. As time went by I had given up hope of meeting Tony face to face, especially after we missed each other in Zanzibar by two weeks. But with all my motorcycle issues and Tony's own delays we were able to finally meet four months later in Malawi, exactly one year after we started emailing each other.
Tony has completed his African adventure and was in the process of selling his motorcycle. I just heard yesterday after three months of headaches he was finally able to free himself of the motorcycle so he can start his new adventure - working in India. I wish Tony luck, for this as I have spent some time in India and I do not think I could handle working there! I am still trying to recover from just a mere three months of travel!