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BOYS TRIPS

An antidote to being a grown-up

After decades of doing what I euphemistically call “boys trips” I wanted to share travel ideas with anyone who is interested, plus provide a forum for any other ideas I can wilfully steal. I hope I don’t sound like the pub bore ticking off countries visited – this is much more about the experiences shared, the friendships cemented and the anecdotes developed which will sustain me when I’m dribbling in the care home.​ My wish would be that we all experience the world more and build enduring friendships to help us do that.​

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This is probably not for you if you typically run up Kilimanjaro before breakfast and return smugly to the camp extoling the virtues of a sunrise.

This may be for you if you’ve signed up for an intermediate horse riding trip after 3 lessons and a donkey ride on the beach as a kid.

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This is probably not for you if you’ve got all the right kit packed in individually labelled plastic bags, together with a week’s supply of Kendal Mint Cake.

This may be for you if you have emerged from your tent on the first evening of wild camping wearing a red fleecy tracksuit and looking like Tinky Winky.

This may not be for you if you sit around the fire on a chair that collapses to the size of a Mars bar while holding court on places you “simply must see”, oblivious to the trail of bemused locals you’ve left behind.

This may be for you if you’re comfortable sitting in a bar deciding which characters from ‘Wind in the Willows’ you all most resemble.

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Cycling to Istanbul in 2020

Boy’s trips have always been about trying to reverse the aging process, but this one was always going to be a big one. Three old university friends in their sixtieth year cycling across Europe to Istanbul – in the time of Covid.

This is our story, punctuated by comments from friends and family who followed our progress. Sixty or seventy miles a day, trying to follow the Rhine, Danube and Black Sea coast all the way to one of the world’s greatest cities. It is less a tale of ‘derring do’ and more a record of the silliness that goes on in men’s heads when given too much time to think and misbehave. Hence the title ‘an antidote to being a grown-up’. 

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I’m happy to share routes for free if anyone wants them but if you’re interested the book of the trip is available on this link to Amazon. Any profits from this book will go to mens' mental health charities – I’m not looking to make money from any of this.

BOYS TRIPS

Let’s get the ego out of the way – I’m pretty proud of what we have done over the years but it’s nice to share for its own sake. I’ve tended to exclude the trips that were based in one place, as the motivation has always been around the journey and how we do it. A lot are before the times of digital pictures and the more I look back, the sketchier the details. I’m happy to try and help with additional information if anyone wants to know more.​

  • Gower Peddle, paddle and hike the Gower Peninsular

  • Mexico – Kayaking around Isla Espiritu Santo off the coast of the Baja peninsula.

  • Yukon –  Canoeing up the mighty Yukon River and wild camping/fishing for around 5 days.

  • Laos – Multi-activity traveling via zip wire, treks and canoes. 

  • Cuba – We did a combination of trekking and horse riding, snorkelling and wild swimming. 

  • Southern Brazil – Mainly horse riding from ranch to ranch, with some real cowboy stuff thrown in.

  • New Zealand – Alps to Ocean trail on a bike. 

  • Egypt – Desert trekking in the Sinai. 

  • Ethiopia – Trekking in the Simian Mountains. 

  • Mozambique – Mainly horse riding on beaches and up and down dunes, including swimming with horses in beautiful clear seas. 

  • Chile to Argentina – This was crossing a chunk of the Andes on horseback, going from Chile across to Argentina in some of the most remote and stunning countryside you will ever see. 

  • Sweden – Kayaking the archipelago islands off the coast of Stockholm. 

  • Colombia – Mountain trek to the “lost City”. 

  • Multi-activities in Sweden – Climbing Ice waterfalls, cross country skiing, ski-doos, dog sledding and riding on small Icelandic Cob horses. 

  • Morocco – Trekking in the Atlas Mountains. 

  • Finland – Dog sledding.

  • Spain – My first trip was cycling around Northern Spain in and out of Bilbao (which deserves at least one night for the old town and the Guggenheim).

  • Bhutan – Trekking in the High Himalayas. 

  • Mexico – Riding in the centre of the country staying on farms and estates. 

  • Alaska – Canoe and hike in the Arctic Circle. I often view this as a formative trip in my life. 

  • Peru and Brazil – This must have been around 18 years ago but none the less it still covers some iconic travel spots. 

  • Canada and Algonquin national park – This is where the concept of "boys trips" started for us and one of the best things I’ve ever done. 

  • Greece – Cycle from South Wales. Way before boys’ trips became institutionalised a couple of us cycled to Greece, straight after University. 

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Want to ask a question, comment on any of my trips above, read more stories or share yours? 

I wanted to create a space for everyone to join in so I have added a forum to this site. I would love to hear your thoughts, stories and travel tips so please feel free to join the forum and share or chat with others.

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