THE ARCTIC RIDER STORY

"Gordon Stuart (AKA The Arctic Rider) is on a mission to ride his motorbike across the Arctic Circle in every country possible, while raising money and awareness for causes close to his heart."

“It started in 2011 as a charity ride to the Arctic Circle that didn’t really go to plan, and has become a near obsession with the Arctic, an obsession with riding a motorbike, and an obsession helping organisations who help others” - Traverse Magazine, November 2017.

To date, Gordon has raised over £13,000 for charities, ridden over 14,000 miles as part of the challenges.

Gordon is an Ambassador UK-brain injury charity Cerebra and global youth leader forum One Young World, and fundraiser for special care babies charity Tiny Lives. He is keen motorcyclist, writer, and film maker.

Day Twenty Seven - Back on home soil

Hi Everyone,

Wow I can't believe its almost over. What a four weeks it has been. This afternoon I said farewell to the continent as I set sail for Dover.

Setting off around 10am I went in search of some breakfast, although 3 towns later I still hadn't seen any people let alone any shops open. I did however find a petrol station so I filled up and headed for Calais. Again the wind wasn't on my side. I'm starting to think that Belgium is actually just the EU's idea of a wind tunnel experiment. I had been due to catch a ferry at 7.30pm however I arrived at the port a good 7hours early. Wen I got to the ticket office I was told to go through passport control and then ask if there were any spaces on the earlier ferries. I managed to get on the 3.30 ferry so I only had 2 hours to fill by that time. Luckily I'm quite experienced in filling in time after my 4 days stuck in the far end of Sweden.

I got chatting to two Italian guys in the que for the ferry, although we had to communicate in French as my Italiano doesn't expand any further than pizza and there English wasn't much better. I'm not quite sure of their names but if I was to guess I'd say Mario and Luigi. I established that they had driven from near Milan on their 50cc vespa scooters and were on their way to stay with a friend in picadilly. Now I don't know about you but I'd need to be driving a tank before you'd get me going through picadilly circus at rush hour. These guys didn't seemed fazed.

My wait at the port also led me to a cafe... well what looked like a cafe. From the outside there was a big sign saying 'cafe'. This must have been lost in translation though as it should have actually said '3 overpriced vending machines stocking crisps that taste like reindeer feet'. So I filled up on a lunch of crap crisps and wine gums I'd been saving since Kirsty imported them to Oslo for me.

The ferry was somewhat boring except for hearing lots of people talking about feeling 'seasick'. As any of you navy type readers can guess it wasn't rough at all and also its a massive ferry. Tut tut. They should try being on Example on a sea weekend to Whitby when a first year is at the helm.

Then at about 4pm GMT I rolled onto British soil for the first time in 26days which felt pretty odd. Not just for the fact I was now driving on the correct side of the road again but for the first time in a month I was riding a road I had ridden before. It also felt strange that I actually knew where I was going and wasn't trying to read a map whilst riding.

I did 100miles upto Witham in Essex where I'm staying the night at Kirsty's mum's place. Luckily I've been spared having to put the tent up in the garden and I've got a nice warm bed and some Irn Bru to keep me right.

So the final day tomorrow will see me head 300miles back up home to Whitley Bay and my final destination. In going to be honest, throughout the trip I've been keeping to the speed limits and saving money on fuel by driving slowly but somehow I think tomorrow may be different especially when I start seeing the tyne tunnel signs.

A big thanks to everyone who has supported and sponsored me and  taken the time to read my blog. You have been in my thoughts everyday when I've been riding and your kind words have been such a motivation. And to have raised nearly £1300 for Cerebra is amazing and is more than I could have hoped for but please if you haven't already chuck a few pennies in the pot as it all adds up and will change the lives of many children and their families.

Until tomorrow..

Ride safe,

Gordon xx

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