In the space of 10 minutes, a nightmare situation can become a dream scenario. It’s the perfect example of a day on the road. Leave a shitty place, find a worse one, get lost, get soaked, believe, endure, persevere, make a stupid mistake, get help, and finally fall asleep on a beach with a full tummy and the sound of crashing waves. This is how a hard road rewards the persistent.
So my fourth book is out! Yes, in print and also available in digital form as either PDF or ePub. I’m a paper man myself but about 25% of books sold are digital so a chunk of the market not to be ignored. Your money, your choice!
When I say my book, I am embellishing and inflating the truth a little. Yes, I was there and yes I did the sketches and wrote some of the chapters but really I am vainly basking in what should be my co-author’s spotlight. Anne had the foresight and resolve to doggedly fill in a journal as we travelled. That journal is the underpinning of this book, it corrected several of my oft-told anecdotes that over the years had lost their veracity and taken on their own truth. Never letting the truth get in the way of a good story may be a ‘Des-ism’ but Anne and the journal have kept this tale honest. Interestingly I feel the book loses nothing by that earnest, accurate approach.
‘Youth is wasted on the young’ is a tedious, moralising homily often uttered by the elderly. Whilst I think there is a grain of truth in it, I also temper that thought with the wisdom of having ‘been there and done that.’ With the wisdom that age-related experience brings… foolhardy, carefree adventures would never be contemplated. I observe discretely and silently a website dedicated to motorcycle world travel called Horizons Unlimited. Earnest young travellers are always seeking advice about planning, and gear and provisions and potential bureaucratic hassles. It almost seems unfair that these RTW (Round-the-world) adventurers should be able to avoid all the learnings that were the essence of our big ride. I feel a little sad that many of these ‘wannabees’ won’t experience their own home-grown adventure. Theirs will be partly tailored by others and possibly mistake-free. Oscar Wilde is credited with saying “Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.”
I would never be so bold as to advise anybody to do things our way. I’m happy to recount and share as a record of the times. We never claimed to be competent and the Ernie Diaries confirm this. We were just young and naïve … such a wonderful time in our lives. If only we could bottle that ethos and sell it – or occasionally sprinkle it on our more mature and conservative selves. I hope you enjoy our tale.