Leamington man rode motorcycle through three continents

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On his trip he experienced life in Europe, Turkey, the Ukraine, Russia and North America.

On his trip he experienced life in Europe, Turkey, the Ukraine, Russia and North America.

He set off from Leamington on his Yamaha XT600 on April 29 and he got back to a “big breakfast” of Old Speckled Hen in the Star & Garter, then up the road for a pint of Saddleback in the Woodland Tavern.

The software engineer, who lived in Dale Street, Leamington, before his trip, and is now staying with a friend in Milverton, said: “I’ve got no wife or any kids that I know of, and I thought ‘Why not?’ So I did.”

While on his travels the 38-year-old said he experienced the kindness of strangers and nothing but friendliness.

He said: “As soon as you stopped to take a wheel off people would stop to see if I needed help, particularly in eastern Europe and Russia. Or in a queue people would tell me they had room for me to sleep and vodka to drink, And believe me, they could drink vodka.

“It seemed that the less people had, the more kind and generous they were. It was the sheer friendliness of people and I never felt threatened.

“That was spiritually uplifting. I’m not a spiritual person myself but it was very moving.”

While he was in the Ukraine he experienced the nervousness caused by the Russian military support for the eastern separatists.

“I didn’t see any fighting but it was very tense. The border guards had machine guns and on the European side they wanted to know why I had a Russian visa. But Ukrainians were still commuting into work in Russia.

“The Russians were very friendly. I would be getting on my bike to leave and they would give me cash and food and always ask if I had a place to sleep.”

On the long road from European Russia to Vladivostok on the Pacific, after a few beers and goulash, Paul would camp out overnight in truck-stops.

“People have to do that to avoid the bears and Siberian tigers,” he said.

It was in Russia when he forgot he’d taken the off-road tyres off and while overtaking drove into thick mud.

Luckily, he only suffered a pulled muscle and a British truck stopped to help.

“It was the Red Bull racing team. They had been to a race. They stopped to see if I was okay and gave me some Red Bull. Then I made my way to the next stop. ”

In Vladivostok his bike was put on a ship and he sailed to Vancouver, Canada, where he started his journey to meet up for Christmas with his dad David, who lives in New England. He then left the bike for its sea journey back home before his own flight to England .

The journey included a trip to Mexico, where he witnessed the start of a military operation against criminals, and in a car park in New Orleans got talking to famous blues singer Willie “Sonny Boy” King. “He saw my bike and got talking because he used to have a Yamaha.”

Some of his most vivid memories are from Arizona and Nevada. “It was wild camping – sleeping under the stars and seeing the Milky Way and listening to the coyotes while falling asleep by the fire.”

But it was the little things in life from back home that he really missed. “Bread, cheese, beer and a good English fry-up.”

And on his return on New Year’s Day he enjoyed a fry-up and a welcome back at his two favourite Leamington pubs.