Welcome to Taffy's Travels
Welcome to Taffy’s Travels –and to a world of outlandish adventures and exciting voyages of discovery. Come with me as I traverse this planet in a way that no ordinary mortal would ever dream of –unless like me they are crazy of course! Now with the release of my latest two books entitled ‘Timeshare –a journey into the unknown’ and ‘Chronicles of a Biker’ -along with my first two books ‘Battle of the Greyhounds, Part I -America’ and ‘Battle of the Greyhounds, Part II –Australia’ (and my forthcoming books ‘Asia –Me & My Girl’ and ‘Africa and India –Me & The Kids’), you too can enjoy reading about my unbelievable exploits and encounters, along with my never-ending list of trials and tribulations -all from the comfort of your own arm-chair, or while relaxing on the canvas of your latest sun-bed.
In the summer of 2000 I set myself a personal challenge, which I aptly entitled ‘Around the world in 80 Ways’, as my aim was to circumnavigate the Earth by using 80 different modes of transport. To be perfectly honest it was only a fun challenge in the beginning, but then the more I looked at the options open to me the more intrigued I became about actually completing the task, which I had already unwittingly begun as a child! Whether I covered a hundred metres or a thousand miles by whichever means of transportation I used (which may well include hitching a lift on various animals) would be totally immaterial, so long as my body had moved from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. And so the stage was set. As a teenager I had already covered thousands of miles in the UK by utilizing various modes of transport, from mopeds to cars, push-bikes to scooters (and even skate-boards to space-hoppers) and after undertaking 3 tours of Europe on various motor-cycles in the early 80’s I was able to add ferries and rafts, sailboats and cruise-ships –and even speedboats and pedalos to my ever-increasing portfolio.
However it was only after the new Millennium had dawned, some 17 years later, that I began counting in earnest, the different ways in which I had traversed this planet –and only then did the challenge become a reality to me. What also became a reality was the need to encapsulate my travels in serious journals, so that anyone else wishing to travel the world could enjoy reading about my escapades -and indeed learn by my mistakes, before embarking on a voyage of discovery of their own. In America I managed to notch-up a total of 17 ways (besides primarily using buses of course), after traversing all 48 interlocking states, and a few more were added in Australia, by the time I had completed my circumnavigation of this amazing continent, but now, after finally visiting the Far East, Africa and India I have made-up these numbers considerably, as our friends in the southern hemisphere seem to insist upon travelling in (or on) just about anything and everything which is capable of moving!
By the time I have traversed the majority of the countries in South and Central America –and thus completed my ‘6-continent challenge’, my target of ‘80 Ways’ should have been attained –although this will not stop me from undertaking further journeys of course, (such as circumnavigating Canada –or following the Silk Route overland to India), as there will still be at least half of the countries on this planet that I have yet to visit -and so it will certainly ‘not’ be the end of ‘Taffy’s Travels’.
It was back in 1981 when I first began my travels in earnest, as I journeyed my way through Europe and across to North Africa on various motor-cycles, notching up a total of 13 countries, several islands and travelling over 9,000 miles by road (and nearly 2,000 nautical miles on ferries) via 3 ‘voyages of discovery’ in just over 2 years. Nearly 10 years after completing these journeys -and after having read the best-selling paperback ‘Jupiter’s Travels’ by Ted Simon, I transposed his 4-year motor-cycle journey around the world into a movie called ‘Freedom Run’ and shortly afterwards I flew out to California to Ted’s home, where we worked on the idea together, contacting film and television companies on both sides of the Atlantic, before finally leaving my new-found friend to travel south into Mexico. Although the film idea received rave reviews in the U.K., the BBC decided that a 6 part series for television entitled ‘Steps of Jupiter –20 years on’, in which I would emulate Ted’s journey, only in various stages and Ted would then meet me at strategic points along the way, would be a more ‘affordable’ project and so we set about planning and preparing the first programme, which involved me riding a motor-cycle from Cardiff to Cape Town.
Unfortunately the BBC pulled-out at the eleventh hour and so my days of fame and fortune ended right there and then –along with my marriage! Realizing that the only way I was going to see this big wide world was by personally funding the trips, I moved out to Tenerife in 1998, to work in the lucrative world of time-share –and in 2001 I met Sally –the woman who would share my life, (along with her son, Jim), for the next 7 years. In 2007 Sally encouraged me to write a book about our ‘unbelievable’ lives in Tenerife (and also our 15 months in Cyprus), including our ‘Shirley Valentine’ romance and how we ran away together -around all 7 of the Canary Islands -which is another story of course. (Sorry, but you will just have to read my book ‘Timeshare – a journey into the unknown’ to find-out how ‘love really does conquer all’!) Now, 14 years later I am living back in the UK with my children –and enjoying every minute of it, I must confess –even though I do miss Tenerife’s unbelievable climate of course.
As for ‘Chronicles of a Biker’, well, writing this book involved digging-out journals which were around 30 years old, and then researching 92 towns, cities and villages which me and my various friends and partners either stopped in or travelled through during our 3 amazing journeys back in the 80’s. The completed manuscript also includes the stories of my 13 crashes, (some of which, I have to say, were quite horrific) along with several misdemeanours, which saw me notching-up a total of 7 endorsements and 2 driving bans during my 12 years of riding and racing motor-cycles around Europe and the UK! ‘Asia -Me & My Girl’ and ‘Africa and India –Me & The Kids’ actually tells the continuing story of a 60,000km journey (30,000km of which were overland) that my daughter, Hayley and I undertook between August and December, 2011, my two sons, Liam and Carl (along with Hayley’s boyfriend, Craig) flying out to join us in India for a memorable holiday at the half-way stage of the trip.
As for ‘Battle of the Greyhounds, Part I –America’ and ‘Battle of the Greyhounds, Part II – Australia’, well these 2 books not only tell the stories of 2 amazing journeys around 2 incredible continents, but they also allow the reader to compare one Greyhound Bus company against the other –to see which one they might like to travel on first!
While I continue working on my latest books (along with planning the South American journey of course), please take time out to follow the links above if you wish to learn more about the adventures I have briefly discussed here –and feel free to drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with your comments (be they good or bad) on any –or indeed ‘all’ of my books -once you have read them of course!