I first went to India with Adventure Ashram around 7 to 8 years ago.
Myself and my wife Kate drove an Indian traditional Ambassador car from Goa to Kerala in a Rally with about 20 other mad couples. We had never done an activity holiday like it! It was awesome and opened our eyes to beautiful India and its amazing people. The colours, smells and tastes, it hit every one of our senses.
Kate’s a very good photographer, and she was in the Tea Plantations helping the workers Clip the Tea, knee deep in mud in the Paddy Fields and took the most amazing photos. In fact she won Daily Telegraph Travel Photographer of the week and many of her photos from this trip were published in the paper!
Anyway, we met Alex (and Solomon from Grace Charitable Trust – but that’s another story!), who told me about motorbike trips that he ran all over India. They sounded like something that I’d like to do. Only problem was I had never sat on a motorbike, ever, let alone ridden one! A few years past, my work circumstances suddenly changed. For the first time I had a bit of spare time. I decided to cram my motorbike learning from scratch into just one week, including the test! Somehow I passed!
A few weeks later I was on a trip with Alex riding India’s Lost World. Not sure with one weeks riding lessons I was capable, but with Alex’s guidance and belief I persevered and wouldn’t let the mud, rocks, and off road riding beat me! Got back to France, bruised, but still in one piece and bought a Triumph Bonneville.
I have now been on 4 motorbike trips (and met some great guys) and another Ambi trip (with Kate) and have a few more planned. I fell in love with India, and now go there every few weeks/months to help Solomon and Grace Charitable Trust in Masinagudi. I am very grateful for that first Ambi trip in giving me something so very special in my life. I now have lots of friends in India and I consider it as one of my homes.
NEIL’S ADVENTURE TIP
Go with the flow. Be resourceful! Be respectful! India is India, they do things in their own way and in their own time. Chill, expect the worst, power cuts, water running out in the middle of a shower – usually when you’ve just soaped up! Oh, and expect a bit of Delhi Belly from time to time, it’s not food poisoning it’s just that you are getting used to their different bacteria!
R.I.P. NEIL COOPER
8th December 2019
I received the devastating news this morning that my very dear friend Neil Cooper has passed away while in India.
It’s come as such a shock to everyone.
I’m sure many of you also know Neil and will have ridden with him previously.
He was such a kind, generous and gentle soul and loved riding motorcycles.
There is so much more I could say about the guy and the incredible charity work he was carrying out here in India.
He’s affected and changed many lives in a very short space of time
He’ll be sorely missed by everyone, and me.
(Alex Pirie, Nomadic Knights Founder)
ABOUT ‘ADVENTURER’S TALES’
A compilation of recollections in celebration of 10 years of Adventure Ashram, ‘Adventurer’s Tales’ is a true celebration of a decade of purposeful adventure by our charity partner Adventure Ashram, a small but mighty charity.
Complete with some great adventure tips, it not only provides handy pointers for when out ‘on the road’, but also some thought-provoking insights into the heart and spirit of adventure. Written with humour, passion and integrity, this wonderful book is a fine tribute to 10 years of Adventure Ashram. Click here to buy a copy.
If you are planning an adventure with Nomadic Knights, please consider raising funds for one of Adventure Ashram’s projects and help to make a difference to the people and places you explore. Anyone planning an adventure can choose to support Adventure Ashram.