Meet the Adventurers

Five modern Scots. Six epic journeys. A total of 69,399 miles travelled. Meet our five modern adventurers, and learn more about their epic journeys! 

Ewan McGregor

"A holiday doesn’t have to be lying on the beach – it can be exploration and adventure. [I’m used to] taking motorcycle trips after movies as a way to get out on my own, to get back to making my own decisions." 

After some serious off-road test-driving, Ewan and Charley Boorman selected BMW Enduro R1150 Adventures for their round-the-world trip - Long Way Round - in 2004, which would see them ride 22,345 miles, through 12 different countries in 115 days!

There is a personal message on the BMW's fuel tank from Ewan: "I love this bike. She took me around​ the world and introduced me to the most beautiful people. Take care of her". In one of the header images above, you can see the message.

Karen Darke


"I wanted to feel close again to the beauty and freedom of rugged, natural places... I realised that paralysis hadn't excluded me from the wilderness. The only threat to my freedom had been in my mind."

After a devastating fall off a sea-cliff in Aberdeenshire, Karen refused to let paralysis prevent her from continuing her life-long passion for the outdoors. Her sheer vitality, determination and her Australian-imported tandem enabled her to handcycle 922 miles from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan in 1997. An incredible feat.

Mark Beaumont


"While publicly I may be regarded as a cyclist, full stop, my main idea has always been to find journeys that haven’t been tried or certainly haven’t been documented. Great endurance journeys give us a unique chance to explore the world and to learn about ourselves." 

Mark's Koga Signature bike was fully customised for his requirements for the long ride from Anchorage in Alaska to Ushuaia in Argentina. Mark's expedition started on 26 May 2009. 

Even though Mark had high-tech equipment, laptop and satellite phone, he still used old-fashioned road maps like this one of British Columbia. On the inside he has drawn his route with a highlighter pen, and made notes of good camp sites, B&Bs and their rates - this one also indicates on the map where he has to get to for an interview with BBC Breakfast!
This notebook of Mark's - the cover of which has been doodled by his sister - contains the most essential of information for a trip of this nature, all handwritten. From First Aid and Embassies advice to medical supplies being carried and some vital health-related phrases in Spanish, including 'me siento mareado' ['I feel dizzy'].


By the end of the journey - 18 February 2010 - Mark had travelled for 268 days, covering a distance of 13,080 miles.

Kate Rawles

"On good days, philosophy, like cycling, also transforms the ordinary. It questions all sorts of things typically taken for granted, bringing normal life sharply back into focus – albeit through a strange lens."

Kate appropriately named her Alves bike 'Rocky' - after, all her cycle was to follow the spine of the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Alaska. The project was in fact dubbed the Carbon Cycle since Kate - as an outdoors
philosopher - wanted to explore throughout her epic journey people's opinions of climate change in today's world.

By the end of the Carbon Cycle, Kate and her bike - built in Scotland by Charlie Ralph - had travelled 4,553 miles in 85 days, reaching Anchorage on 11 September 2006 - just in time to catch the last ferry!​

Andy Brown

"Everyone was happy, smiling and welcoming. Some called ‘Habari Safari?’ (How’s the journey?), ‘Nzuri Baridi!’ (Very cold!) and they laughed… being on bicycles made us acceptable to the villagers; they were used to aid workers zipping by in fancy cars, often without taking their eyes off the road."

It took Andy about a year to plan this three-southern-continents cycle ride from Sydney to Valparaiso. Although he and his companion Tim Garratt would be unsupported during the trip, they managed to receive donations from companies like Saracen of Birmingham who provided Saracen Limited Edition mountain bikes which survived the epic journey save the odd tyre.

This is Andy's map of Argentina from very nearly the last leg of the journey. If you look closely you can see where Andy has written the distance between different points on the roads as well as crucial reminders: 'V. BAD ROAD' and 'V. BAD DIRT'. Elsewhere on this map he has marked when a road has been impassable - yet another challenge for life on the road.

Andy and Tim made it to their last stop, Valparaiso in Chile, on 10 August 1992. They had achieved their goal to travel unsupported through Australia, Africa and South America in exactly one day less than a year. It was a world first! 

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