Chester Meetings, Saturday September 20th 2014

Globetrotters in Chester


  • Encircle Africa by Public Transport-Ian Packham
  • ‘Walking in Norway with George and Dotties Rambling Club’ – Mike Challinor

Doors open 1pm for 1:30pm Start till 4:30pm
Entrance Fee £3.00 includes refreshments and two talks
Grosvenor Museum
25-27 Grosvenor Street, CH12DD

Enquiries to Hanna tel:  01244383392 or Angela tel: 01244 629930

Please feel free to print the poster and place on any notice boards that you may has access to.

2 thoughts on “Chester Meetings, Saturday September 20th 2014

  1. The first talk was titled: ‘Encircling Africa: by public transport’ by Ian Packham

    Ian has been the first person to travel solo and unsupported around coastal Africa by public transport. In other words transport that was available to the public and you had to pay for it.
    He soon realised that our idea of busses with a timetable etc. was quite rear in most places, it ended up often sharing a taxi with other people if the driver was willing to take you there or getting a place on a minibus that might be going the way he was heading.
    He spend 2 years preparing, learning French, Arabic and Portuguese so that communication would be helped a great deal while on the road.
    The journey started in Gibraltar on the ferry to Morocco and from there mainly by taxi and bus onwards. He was nervous initially about this continent, people had warned him to be careful etc., but he found that everyone was very friendly and chatty. He felt that the fact that he was stepping into a transient community every time he set foot into a minibus he was part of the scene. They were all traveling together. Onwards into Guinea where the roads became extremely boggy and on the back of a motorbike at this time, practically no infrastructure so when it rains the roads become impassable. He found at this stage that at different stages there were checkpoints and they always wanted money, he realised that corruption is just part of daily life.
    When in Togo he visited a fetishes market to find an idol to keep travellers safe. He met a fetish priest there and was given a cowrie shell as a present, to keep him lucky. He treasured this present for the rest of the journey. He stopped to climb Mount Cameroon, which was quiet a climb, then through Congo reaching halfway point onwards to Cape town, 6 months into the journey.
    Onwards along the eastern side of Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania ever onwards into Egypt where his passport had to be renewed in Cairo which took 2 months. Egypt felt very much like the Mediterranean certainly after spending this time traveling. Some of the countries were difficult to enter by land, so he had to fly into Libya which was a lovely experience with people enjoying the outdoor cafe life.
    Ian had to be creative in the last part of his journey, pop back into Europe and complete encircling around Africa via Tangiers and back into Gibraltar where he realised that he completed his journey and was able to tell his tale to anyone who would listen.
    We greatly enjoyed the story of his adventure and we would like to thank Ian for his entertaining presentation, what a journey!
    Ian’s website is:

  2. The second talk was titled: ‘Walking in Norway with George and Dottie’s Rambling Club’ by Mike Challinor

    It all started as an informal rambling walking club quite a few years ago and journeys were organised in the local areas, paddling local rivers, looking at urban landscapes and wilderness places.
    Trips in the UK, then Bulgaria and Canada were quite popular and so in 2007 the first trip to Norway was organised. They flew to Bergen and travelled by coastal steamer to Tafjord.

    Mike showed us some lovely vistas of the wilderness in the Norwegian mountains. Later on he took his family to areas such as the Lofoten Islands and at times they stayed in DNT huts(Den Norske Turistforening) which on average cost about £30 per night and give you a decent stay with log fires and cooking facilities. They also stayed in tents which was a good alternative for a remote stopover. The DNT has a network of about 500 huts and mark the walking trails(20.000 km) with a big red T painted on rocks or other places where you can easily follow them. In 2011 they visited Fjordruta and Isfjorden in 2012 where Salffjellet National Park was mentioned, this fired Mikes imagination and he started this adventure with 3 other climbing buddies.

    They wanted to traverse the Svartisen Glacier and after flying into Bodo they took a ferry across the fjord. All food and equipment had to be carried along so each of them had about 20kg on their backs. It was advised to take a guide when walking in this region, but they had found info on the web that explained the good and the bad to look at and that it could be done without guides. No pathways to follow, they had to look ahead and follow the best way forward.

    They stayed in huts along the way and were truly on their own, with the vast landscapes around them. The higher huts were fairly basic but they were often very pleased to arrive there, able to have a fire and have some rest and relax. They found that the glacier had receded more than expected and also that climate change had affected the landscape around them. The weather improved when they started to come down towards the sea, but they were truly exhausted by the end of their journey. But extremely pleased that they had made it they stepped onto the midnight train on the end of the valley that brought them back to the everyday world. We all were all reminded by Mike that Europe still has some wilderness places with fantastic views and spaces, we would like to thank Mike to have introduced us to this part of the world, it was a great presentation

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