website by simon

all uncredited photos are by Simon Banwell


 Berlin - Beirut - BSA

Why? Because of a lot of things, partly genetic and partly psychological, but mainly because of the car that takes up most of the website - Trudi. It's far too long since I went to Africa in a Trabant - nearly 4 years now. On that trip I discovered that lots of things are possible (such as getting a Trabant through the Sahara) and especially the more so when people tell you that they're not. I also met some wonderful like-minded people, who I'm still in touch with. Unfortunately, although I tried to encourage them to do a trip with a group of Trabants, we in Germany are very fortunate with the time we get off work, and no-one seemed willing to spend all of their hard-earned holiday and cash driving a Trabant with me to the North Cape in December or around the Black Sea or any of the other schemes I came up with, although that still surprises me. So I decided that I should plan with one person in mind and that made a bike trip seem more interesting. I could not get the Black Sea idea out of my head, and a friend gave me a guide book to Moldavia for my 40th birthday (I am still unsure why) and then when I was working in Turkey, I never made it down to the Syrian border, although I'd very much wanted to and suddenly I noticed a city beginning with B not all that much further ....... and things started to fall together. 4 years ago I went from Berlin to Banjul so now it seems to square the circle to be going from Berlin to Beirut. Also, at that time, I was really impressed by Johns quiet commitment to MAG, the charity he had chosen to do the Plymouth rally in his 2CV for, and resolved that when I next did a trip, I too would raise money for them. Finding out on their website that they have a project in Beirut and that their headquarters are in Manchester, a city I was due to visit some three weeks later, just confirmed to me that I was doing the right thing. All the signs were there, the Gods were looking down on me and smiling as they did so. And that, in what for me are very few words, is basically why.