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 The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90

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Bob1
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PostSubject: Pretty girl   Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:31 am

Great reports as ever Paula.
Did Andy take up with the girls parents ?
You may have another mouth to feed on his/ there return!!!
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PostSubject: Picture of girl with bear - not!   Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:53 am

It appears that the photo is not the little girl who had the Ted - I am still waiting for that one.  I think I am missing a entire set of photos.
I think Andy politely declined the offer to purchase the little girl - well I have not yet been told that I have an additional person to collect at Gatwick!

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PostSubject: The travelling is done........   Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:50 am

They arrived at The bansang Hospital today to a fantastic welcome.  People lined the streets and played music - drums were beaten as they travelled the last bit to the hospital.  Andy keeps saying "they are all so friendly".  Very Happy 

At the hospital they were whisked straight into the "party" and there were endless speeches and major back slapping.

Unfortunately yet again they had virtually nothing to eat all day - an egg at breakfast and a piece of bread with a banana at lunch time.  Andy phoned at 7pm and there was no sign of any food to be had.  He felt unwell and so took himself off to the quiet eye ward to test his bloods - they were 18 - not good.  When I was speaking to him he was taking insulin and waiting for it to work - he has called again and the insulin did work.  He went back to the "party" where food was being served - he had a small amount.  Eventually they went off to Bintou's Paradise Lodge - their home for the next few days, and they were presented with another meal!  No 

At least over the next few days he will be able to get himself sorted out - hopefully - and we can only hope that the last 3 weeks has done no lasting damage.

He must now give himself a "pat on the back" for doing this ride and getting there in one piece - it is a great achievement and he should be proud of himself - I know only too well that it has not been easy for him.

He said that the last 30 miles were very dusty and the worst roads yet.  He and Joe at the back get the dust kicked up by the bikes in the front.  Of course the truck gets the worst of it but Jon and Peter are safely enconsed behind a windsreen.

Joe had a puncture and Dennis was not too pleased to say the least as they were so close to the end of the trip.  Andy said that he and Joe are just covered in dust whilst Dennis and Jill - travelling in the front of the convoy are still clean- relatively speaking.  I think a shower will be most welcome.  Smile 

I appreciate that the town and the hospital have been long awaiting this motley crew of C90s and their riders wth a jeep and trailer in tow but it would be good if they could have gone first to the accomodation in the town to have a shower.

At Bintou's Paradise Lodge they have rooms - one between two.  It is pretty basic as you would expect.  Andy got into the shower with his clothes on just to try to get rid of the dust.

I do not know how the Gambian people - especially the ladies - always look so stunning in their colourful clothes - with so much red dust everywhere.

Maybe we will get some photos tomorow - they should be quite interesting.  wow

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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang   Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:26 am

As always Paula brill report and some ace pictures . Glad Andy made it all the way and yes a big pat on the back , well done Andy . bet you proud of him as well Paula he done a fab job . Its been a pleasure reading all the reports and you should give yourself a big pat on the back , you have done a fantastic job of keeping us all informed of Andy's journey . Well done Paula and thank you .

Eric and Jacki
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PostSubject: What is it they say - this is Africa!   Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:13 am

Yes, this is Africa - and I am so glad I am not there.

The place they are staying has lots of rooms but again the penny pinching means they have to share.  There is no door to the room, there is not even a door to the toilet - just a curtain.  No toilet seat and no water after about 2am.  The electricity also goes off at around the same time!  The fan therefore stops then as well and the heat is unbearable - the room has no window and the bed is unbelievably uncomfortable.

So after virtually no sleep - today begins the time at the hospital.  Today they were supposed to have a tour of the hospital, not sure what happened to that. 

The hospital has been given 100 hectares of land to grow food to feed patients and staff - hence Dennis' aim to provide a tractor.  Today they are going to see said land.  Then they are going on to where the blood is taken - do not quite understand that but never mind! 

Andy did not feel up to riding and so he travelled in a truck with a Gambian film crew who are making a documentary about the hospital.  Joe had yet another puncture and so he rode Dennis's bike because Dennis was in the car with all the dignitaries:!: 

The children all sang and a lovely time had by all.  Andy said - yet again - that the people are just great and he has spent half the day chatting with the children. 

I am not sure of the events of the day but there were loads and loads of speeches - mostly thanking Mr Dennis.   
I thought the purpose of being there was to experience the life at the hospital and really see first hand that you have done just a little bit to help - so far it has all been about Dennis.  When I read back through all my posts I seem to see a thread here...................  


Yet another day with no food since breakfast and Andy sounded awful.  It seems that people are telling him that  he looks really ill but it is all to easy to make the right noises.  I get the feeling now that Andy thinks he has been a burden throughout the trip.  That is really sad because I don't think he has at all.  I would have thought that sorting out and preparing all the evening meals on the journey was a fairly hefty contribution.

When he called he was waiting for the camera crew to give him a lift back to the accommodation - they apparently were due to be paid as they have finished their work, however, the Director of the hospital refused them anything let alone the agreed fee.  I have no idea of the politics but it has been muted that the hospital would be much better run without this man.

The camera crew were heading back to Banjul and dropping Andy at "Paradise" on the way.  He had no idea where everyone else had gone as they were nowhere to be found.  He assumed they are already back at Paradise.

There has been no mention of servicing the bikes - but Andy did say that the bikes they are using from previous years all look pretty tidy. Something was said about putting up mosquito nets tomorrow - something I would have thought they could have done themselves - but what do I know  

On the plus side it is only Andy who is not coping very well - the others all seem to take the heat, the sleeping conditions and in fact everything in their stride.  They are all clearly very tough.

Never mind only three days to go.



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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:21 am

Well done Andy what a massive effort i cant even imagine riding in those conditions it must have been such a relief to get to Bansang . A big cheer for Paula as well for her commentaries and banter ,hope Andy feels better soon ,well done both of you Cocktail
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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang   Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:39 am

Chin up Andy you done really well mate , can't wait to here all about it .

see you soon Andy ,

Eric and Jacki.
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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:06 am

Well done to all involved ,Andy ,Glad to see you got to Bansang ok,although the trip has taken its toll on you,lets hope when  you get home and have some quality sleep and regular meals you will soon be back to your old self.
Paula thank you for all the reports and posting the photos ,they have been fab.
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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:35 pm

Have just read through your log Paula, some amazing pics and Andy and co should feel really proud of their achievement in all reaching Bansang hospital. Hope that Andy is feeling better today.
Wish I had checked in more regularly to update on their progress.
Looking forward to next update Paula and hope all OK with you.
Graham
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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:37 am

Well done Andy a fantastic achievment I have been with you all the way, have a well earnt rest and look forward to seeing back in the UK,Paula thank you for all your work to keep us informed.

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PostSubject: Chubby and his friends   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:44 am

Now that bikes and riders have made it safely to Bansang I thought it as well to extol the virtues of the extraordinary machines.

The only problems on the trip (aside from Peter's who did not make it beyond Portsmouth) were punctures and general hiccups that could be fixed on the road side.  Thanks of course go to Dr Jon their calm, never tiring very capable driver and Joe - Mr Honda man.  Nearly all the photos show Jon and Joe leaning or kneeling over the poorly bike.  They never failed to sort the problem.  wow 

To sum up:

Andy's Chubby used 1/2 a litre of oil over the whole trip.
Steve's and Chris' bikes used quite a lot of oil but they got there and are both still running well.
Both Andrew D and Dennis's bikes needed new chains near the start and these were administered.  Sadly (possibly due to the replacements being cheap and not genuine parts) the chains are completely knackered (technical term) on arrival at the hospital.
Joe seemed to have more than his fair share of punctures.
Someone (cannot remember who) had a shock absorber snap clean in two!

Personally I think that is very very good for 4000 miles over all sorts of roads, bumps and potholes.  thumbs 

Well done to those dear little bikes and I hope they will be used for many more miles administering medical help to people who would otherwise not have access to it.  Very Happy 

Thank you to everyone who donated spares and thank you to Bitz a Bikes for making Chubby run so well.  Clap

Sadly Crying or Very sad Chubby lost his Air Ambulance Bumble Bee somewhere in Maritania - Jill also had one - maybe hers survived.


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PostSubject: The Four Teds have homes   Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:46 am

I have now got photos of the children who will love our 4 little Teds who have been waiting for a home:-

The first little boy was not quite sure and gave Ted 1 back!










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PostSubject: Andy - the final few days in The Gambia   Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:27 am

Sadly, Andy felt very ill last night and Anita (the lady who runs the Bansang Charity) arranged for him to have an air conditioned room in a Research Centre about a mile away from the hospital.  It was only available for the one night but Andy said it was just bliss.  Very very clean, with a bathroom that actually had running water and 24 hour electricity.  Gosh what luxury :!: Thank you to Anita for her help organising this.

He did get a good sleep and this morning he had breakfast with the camera crew he spent yesterday with.  He said they were great company.  This morning he was meant to be taken to Anita's house for breakfast - that never materialised and so he had a great breakfast with the camera crew - fish, onions boiled eggs and bread with coffee.  Delicious were his words and he took a photo!



The crew also showed him the hospital including the fairly new children's ward.  The old ward housed several children in one filthy bed and no isolation for contagious illnesses.  The new ward gives one bed for a mother and her child and isolated areas for contagious diseases.

Andy found good homes for the final two Teds and for the notepads and crayons I had packed in his bag.

The "Paradise" he stayed in on the first night does have air conditioned rooms and one was available (although it switches off at 2pm the room is still loads cooler than a room with only a fan).  However, this was not put to him as an option and so he is now in Banjul - the capital.  He is in the hotel where the others will stay on Thursday night just prior to their flight on Friday evening.

He left this morning with Mike who went on last years trip and goes back to the hospital as often as he can to give his dentistry skills.  It takes four hours to get to Banjul - but an interesting journey no doubt. 

He could have stayed on in an air conditioned room but he got the feeling that Dennis and certain others were glad to see him gone - can't be doing with an ill person.......Rolling Eyes 

In fact one of the "team's" parting words were "Bloody Wuss".  Wow what a team - long before the start of all this we were told that Dennis would split the group and he has done exactly that.

Jon and Joe had kindly offered to remove the spotlights from Chubby and swap the shock absorbers - thank you to them for that.
Andy had put really super duper ones on with a view to bringing them home for the other Chubbie here.  The ones he is leaving on are almost new so should give many miles of comfortable riding.  Bounce 

When Andy spoke with me last night he just did not know what to do - I told him to speak with Anita.  He is now in a beautiful hotel in Banjul - he has a fridge and so can keep his insulin in there.  He has a great spotless room with a comfy bed and there is a swimming pool. The rest of the team will get to enjoy this on Thursday night.

He sounds better already - he is getting regular food and getting his sugar levels stable again.

I still think he has achieved what he set out to do - that is ride a C90 to The Gambia and hand it over to the hospital there - and he has done this DESPITE Dennis.

It could have been so much better if he had just had a small amount of time to manage his diabetes through the trip - but hey ho - he has done it and he is getting back to being well again - so all is well that ends well.  Party 

He has wi fi now and has already "Skyped" me tonight.  I also have loads of photos to put up so as I have said before - watch this space!

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PostSubject: Senegal to The Gambia at Faraffeni   Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:39 pm

I have received lots of photos and I know how you all love to look at pictures!

Here is one traunch - I am doing a bit at a time as I do have other things to do you know...................

This is the trip from down through Senegal and into the The Gambia at Faraffeni.

Enjoy





































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PostSubject: The journey inland to Bansang   Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:38 am

The next lot of photos show the journey accross The Gambia inland to Bansang.  The journey took them via The Wassu Stone Circles - a World Heritage Site.






















































































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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:52 am

We'll done Andy on a great achievement.
I,m sure when you get home you will look back upon this and think of all the good times, think about the positives, and you should be proud of overcoming all your personal problems.
I,m sure your chubby will help people for many years to come......
Once again well done and hope to see you in the near future,
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PostSubject: Party Time at Bansang   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:16 am

It seems that the speeches and celebrations started as soon as they arrived and continued and continued, and then started again the next day; and the next.................

Andy was feeling very unwell by this time and I think it all got too much for him - he went and spent time with the children.














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PostSubject: Andy's brilliant LS2 Helmet and Mort's tyres and inner tubes    Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:36 am

I have already mentioned Bitz a Bikes for giving little Chubby the final once over but I also want to single out two other fantastic gifts we had.

Firstly to Rob Morton of Bikeit for tyres and tubes
http://www.bikeit.co.uk/

As you can see from the number of punctures along the way they were invaluable.

Secondly to Gavin McCaffery for a lovely new LS2 helmet
http://www.ls2helmets.com/uk/

The helmet was very comfortable and perfect for the cold start and the very high temperatures at the end of the journey.

Andy had intended to bring it home, however, he did meet an "Ambulance Driver" who he thought merited a great helmet.




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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang   Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:42 am

As always Paula fantastic pictures they are a joy to look through . Andy should be proud of himself he has done so well , really hope he feels better and gets back to normal soon .

Paula tell Andy not to worry we are proud of him and me and Jacki think you and Andy are lovely people to know and love coming round to see you both .

Take care and give Andy our love , Eric and Jacki .
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PostSubject: Today   Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:05 am

Andy has called and he is feeling much better today - not 100% but 100% better than yesteray - he has been out for a walk, and although he is staying in a tourist area he still managed to spend time with local peope.

He met a man called Omar who was selling T shirts  - he has to sell three per day to make a humble living - their tourist season is short and today - like many days - he had sold none.  Crying or Very sad 

He chatted to a lady selling fruit - Andy bought some fruit - it was delicious - her commodity is of limited shelf life and so she looses what cannot be sold.  It is a harsh life when you cannot make a living as there is no help from the state.

This country is struggling at present and we are all feeling the effects of recession - compared to these peolple we have it easy.

Andy also encountered some ladies offering massage and if that was not enough you could have a "Nice Massage" - I will leave that for you to workout..............Laughing  

Andy was advised to take euros with him - this he did.  Interestingly, it is not euros they want - the better exchange rate is for sterling.

He is staying at Luigi's Complex - http://www.luigis.gm/ - run by an English couple. The lady's father spends five months every year with them in the Gambia and EVERYONE calls him Dad:!: 

"Dad" has a Douglas Dragonfly back in the UK and I am sure that "Dad" and Andy are discussing the merits of the beautiful machine.

Andy has met up with the Camera Crew who were so kind to him at the hospital - and so is hoping to buy them a drink later.

AS far as we are aware, none of the "team" have called the hotel to ascertain how Andy is, is it a classic case of our of sight out of mind?

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PostSubject: Thank you   Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:47 pm

I have had lots of calls for an update on Andy's health - thank you to all for your concern.

I was asked this question of the GS Forum:-

Was the rest of the group and the group leader that unaware of Andy's health issues?

I replied as follows

From the start Andy explained about his diabetes and Dennis assured hime there would be no problem. Andy has been type 1 diabetic since he was 10 year old and so is well used to "managing" his sugar levels in all circumstances. He has never been one to not do something because he is diabetic - he is a dab hand at adapting his routine to fit the occasion. At the second meeting we had huge concerns that Dennis had not heard anything he had been told about Andy needing a bit if time and privacy (not everyone likes needles!) to test his bloods and take his insulin according to what he was going to eat. That was when Andy was ready to back out of the trip. However, we sat with Dennis the next day and tried to explain how it all works when you are a type 1 diabetic. We really thought Dennis had listened - he said there would be regular coffee stops and opportunities to eat at regular intervals even if it was just a snack from the truck. So we were back on board again feeling quite positive about the whole thing.

Diabetes not not have to be a big deal if it is well controlled - and Andy does that very well in all circumstances.  However, I do not think there was an understanding in the group of the fact that if you allow your sugar levels to become too high or too low you will feel very ill and this can be life threatening.  affraid 

He was not given the opportunity to keep his blood levels stable and when he, quite rightly, made noises about this he was branded by some as a "wuss"

It could have - with a tiny bit of effort on Dennis' part, been so different.

All that aside - the most important thing now is that he is OK and will very soon be home!  Smile 

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PostSubject: The first scoots to go out in 2006   Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:06 am

I have been doing a report on the BMW GS Forum as that is where all this started - a group of friends took a truck out in 2005 and then 12 bikes in 2006.

The instigator was Bill Oates and he put this on the forum last night.

For those who don't know.....the lady in the centre here is Anita, the driving force behind the children's ward (1/4 built when we first went) and the renovation of the hospital.......she was the person who inspired the initial donation of the first Landrover back in 2005, Then the dozen scoots taken on the first scoots trip in '06 and everything else with it.....and everything that's followed since


 

She's one of those exceptional people who sort of glows from inside.......a real dynamo, and someone who has that really odd aura around them.

Here is a picture of that team in 2006 sitting on the unpainted hospital steps with Anita.



I think you will agree that the painted steps do look much better


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PostSubject: The camera does not lie?!   Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:26 pm

I just had to put this post in - there are three photos which, for me, sum up the feel of the trip this year. 

At ALL the meetings - and yes I was there - Dennis put a huge emphasis on the fact that the group should ride together.  There is no point he said, zooming (that is if you can "zoom" on a C90!) off as you only have to wait for everyone to catch up.  I will ride, he said, at the speed of the slowest rider. Rolling Eyes 

This picture is one of many that shows Joe riding in front of Andy - Dennis and the rest of the group are nowhere to be seen - whatever happened to keeping the rider behind you in your mirrors  :?: 
 

This next shot has Joe (not seen in this picture) lying alongside the truck having passed out.  Jilll is with him but does Dennis look the slightest bit concerned  :?: 



And finally, this is the thorn that caused Andy's front tyre to puncture.  However, Dennis was very quick to tell Andy that the puncture was down to his bad riding - he must be hitting all the potholes and caused the puncture. 
Did he apologise when the thorn was discovered?  I wonder - what do you think boys and girls  :?: 



I will now climb down from my soap box and shutup    PD

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PostSubject: This is me signing off    Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:56 am

The garage is vacuumed, all the bikes have had the feather duster treatment and their tanks, side panels and mud guards have been “Mr Sheened”.  Andy wanted to put covers on them all – and yes they have gathered a bit of dust in four weeks, but I did not want to be in and out of the garage looking at a row of covers – albeit very nice covers – it is just not the same.  And anyway I would have only had to keep peeking under the covers to check they were OK and not missing “Himself” too much.  :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: 


Just had a call to say flight is on time and so I will shortly be setting off for Gatwick Airport to bring Andy, Jill and Jon back to Somerset.


I have enjoyed writing this report over the last 4 weeks and I really hope that you have enjoyed reading it – I am very grateful that Andy could get his pictures to me as those have brought the entire thing alive and I have a better idea of what I am writing about.


I appreciate that if someone else was writing this report it would read as if it was a different place and time; as everyone sees things very differently. I have recorded it through Andy's eyes and his perception of events. For me Andy's perception is his reality and to me that is what has mattered.


Thank you to so many of you for messages of support for me to pass on to Andy but also for those of you who have supported me with mails and phone calls – it has been difficult at times to be upbeat about it and I am quite relieved that it is completed.


Andy had many reasons for undertaking this trip and one was the desire to give a little something to those who do not have the benefit of our NHS.


Another major reason was that Andy wanted to prove to himself and other diabetics that these things can be done.  Diabetes does not have to be a big deal if it is well controlled - and Andy does that very well in all circumstances.  Sadly,  I do not think there was an understanding in this group, of the fact that if you allow your sugar levels to become too high or too low you will feel very ill and this can be life threatening.  Crying or Very sad    

He was not given the opportunity to keep his blood levels stable and when he, quite rightly, made noises about this he was branded as the weak link.



Although the end did not turn out as Andy would have wanted – he completed the trip and delivered little Chubby to The Hospital.  Personally, I think that is a great achievement.  Clap 


If anyone out there feels they would like to do this trip, I understand that Dennis intends to do the next one in 2015.  I realise that hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if I had the time again I would have sent Andy off with a very robust vacuum flask and maybe some cup a soups or hot chocolate sachets.  At times the “snacks” we had packed on the truck were unreachable (unless the truck was totally unloaded) and that is when you need to be self sufficient.  With a flask of hot water, a few tea bags, coffee sachets or soups you can at least have some sustenance.  Idea Idea 


I will admit that I have been critical of Dennis’ attitude towards Andy, and I have no compunction about that, however, I do not in any way wish to take away the importance of what Dennis is doing.  Without his devotion to this cause, knowledge of the route and sheer effort the hospital would be far worse off.  His heart is most definitely in the right place.  He is a very strong fit man but sadly does not appear to be able to make allowances for those who are not quite as fit.
This is most definitely a great cause – thank you to those of you who have given so generously.  If you are able, it is not too late to donate –


http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndyPowell
I am sure that Andy will add some more photos and write a report in his own words so please so watch this space…….

Moped Moped Moped Moped Moped Moped Moped 


 

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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang   Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:23 am

Hi Paula i would just like to say well done Andy it was a great achievement , he has sent some brill pictures and your reports have been amazing and i have thoroughly enjoyed reading the most nights , thanks to you Paula we had an idea of how hard the trip was and what a great achievement Andy made .


Thank you very much Paula and look forward to seeing you and Andy very soon , will love to hear all about the trip from Andy .

Take care and see you soon , Eric and Jacki .
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PostSubject: Re: The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90   

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The Road to Bansang- Andy's trip to the Gambia on a Honda C90
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