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27 September 2011 / leggypeggy

Our African buddies—Gary and Lene

Gary and Lene stay warm and enjoy the view from outside their yurt at Lake Song-Köl in Kyrgyzstan.

To be honest, Gary and Lene aren’t African, but they are our buddies and we all travelled together in Africa for many months in 2009. We were thrilled to learn that they would be on the London to Sydney overland with us this year.

Some people work to eat or live. These two work to travel.

Earlier this year, Lene, who is Norwegian, quit her long-time job as a social worker, supporting severely troubled young people in Stavanger. Her goal now is to keep travelling for as long as possible. She has already visited more than 120 countries—and is still counting. A few days ago, she swung off our trip to see a few others parts of China, as well as Macau and Taiwan. She’s been to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before, so will meet up with Gary again in Thailand in October, so they can start their next planned travels in Bhutan, Burma and beyond.

Gary is a Kiwi (New Zealander). He leaves the truck next week to make his way to Thailand to meet Lene. He has a philosophy about work—it should pay well enough so he can keep travelling. His love affair with being on-the-road began in 1991, when he did his first overland trip in Africa. Ever since then, he’s tried to squeeze in at least one adventure trip per year. He was a real asset in Africa—throwing himself into whatever tasks were needed to make the trip run more smoothly.

Our trip goes for another 11 weeks and it won’t seem right without Gary and Lene. We wish them well and hope we are lucky enough to re-connect with them on some other overland expedition.

NOTE: If you have access to Facebook, please feel free to share this post with others. I can’t get on Facebook in China, so it’s impossible for me to let people know I am adding to the blog now. Thanks.


Leave a Comment
  1. Three-Cookies / Nov 15 2011 3:05 am

    I met a Kiwi backpacker in Singapore and Malaysia who travelled for 11 months a year, He had a house in NZ and the rent paid for the travels. I wonder if thats Gary? Approximately how old is Gary? The person I met would be 40-50 years old I think. Its a small world nevertheless.


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