News from Jupiter

Last Days In Ceylon: 47 Years Ago

January 29, 2023

I’ve been asked for more raw notes from my notebooks. Here are my last days in Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was still called, 47 years ago.   Puttalam: On shore of a lagoon. Junction town. Single row of huts. Some thatched, some tiled. Small veg market has chilis, kohl rabi, cabbage, carrot, tomato, limes, eggplant, potatoes, yams, etc. In short, an excellent variety. Fish market, […]

Leaving Bolivia: Forty-Eight Years Ago This Week

January 22, 2023

Forty-eight years ago this week, I was about to leave La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. Travelling with me but separately were Bruno and Antoine, two Frenchmen in a small white four-horse Renault van whom I’d met coming into Bolivia a week earlier. These are my notes. January 14 Bruno, Antoine and I agree to meet at 7am to leave. I wake at five. It’s […]

An Interview with the General (December 11th, 1975)

December 11, 2022

In December of 1975 I was in Chile. At that time the entire country was under a fierce military dictatorship. In this same week, 48 years ago, I was in the capital Santiago where a nightly curfew was strictly imposed by lethal means. I was deeply in love at the time with a Chilean journalist who belonged to Chile’s upper social stratum and lived in […]

December 4th, 1973

December 4, 2022

On this day, 49 years ago, I drifted along the Nile from Aswan to Wadi Halfa on a ferry consisting of two rickety boats tied together. One of them, the second class, was occupied by Nubian camel drivers. The other first-class boat carried Europeans. My ticket was second-class, but I found the snoring intolerable and smuggled myself into first class and slept out under the […]

Flashback to Cairo, 1973: No more gold at the Golden

November 27, 2022

I don’t know now who it was that sent me to the Golden Hotel in Cairo, but it was an inspired recommendation. Right in the centre of the city, on a busy but fashionable street, it should have been too expensive, but despite the noble façade the rooms were quite spartan and the facilities very basic. In reality it was pretty run down and although […]

A Forgotten Perspective On The Pyramids

November 20, 2022

During the course of this past week I have been relieved to learn that the world is probably not flat after all, and that the flat-earthers seem to be losing their grip, so I’ll leave that subject and go on to something else. I still have all the notebooks I filled during my first journey around the world, so I thought it would be interesting […]

Audiobooks and other news

November 6, 2022

Yesterday I recorded the final chapter of Don’t Boil The Canary. It’s a huge relief. I had no idea, when I started doing this nine months ago, just how demanding it is. For one thing my voice has been constantly on the brink of collapse, and a frog has taken up permanent residence in my throat. When the idea of recording Jupiter’s Travels first came […]

Persuading You To See For Yourself

September 17, 2022

I suppose it’s about time I started believing what people tell me. For forty years now they have been saying that it was my book that inspired them to get on their bikes in the first place, and then out into the world. I have always been afraid of letting all that praise go to my head but now, at 91, perhaps I can let […]

Threats To Our Common Interest

July 24, 2022

Forty-eight years ago, when I was riding through Tanzania on my way to Mbeya, I came across an elephant. *   “It stood a little way back from the road and facing me, arrested in the act of chewing a trunk-load of grass. The grass stuck out on either side of its mouth behind the trunk, like a cat’s whiskers, giving it an undignified and […]

A Wonderful Week

July 3, 2022

I’ve had a wonderful week in England, right across the spectrum of motorcycle travel. First there was the enormous ABR meeting at Ragley Hall, and then, on my last night, an intimate evening in a pub with sixty fellow bikers. I must admit I was nervous of the ABR. Huge meetings like that have never been my thing although I compromised for years in the […]