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David Atkins’ Motorcycle Adventures

Updated: May 20, 2020

My adventure began last March 2018 – I call it an adventure because boy has it been a roller coaster of a ride. When I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma last March it was a real shock as at the age of 74 I have been lucky enough never to have any serious illnesses. So having people fussing over me is not for me.


Before this problem arose, I was planning to go on a motorbike tour in India with my daughter and son in-law. so when I phoned my daughter to let her know about the diagnosis – I said bad news I have cancer – good news they are getting me ready to go to India!. This was my plan to get myself fit for India and the cancer was just a hurdle to get over.

I had my operation in Guys Hospital in September and my daughter wanted me to focus on getting well so designed a chart on the wall – called footsteps to India – i got a step closer to India every time i achieved goal in hospital – like walking the length of the ward – climbing the stairs. Many of my friends told me I was mad at my age and with my illness.... but nothing was going to stop me.


December came and I flew to Dehli with a group of bikers – 14 of us in total – we spent 3 days sightseeing and we saw the magnificent Taj Mahal. Then the excitement began – we flew to Siliguri (North East India) and took tut tuts to the hotel where our motorcycle where lined up ready and waiting. The first day had us riding up and up – up winding twisting roads to Darjeeling – this is a place I had always wanted to go to – I had watched many documentaries on the Darjeeling steam railway - I had made it and never thought I would – it was such an emotional feeling. Then i was surprised when they said we were going to ride on the steam train – a dream come true.


We rode for 10 days though the Himalayas rough roads, smooth roads and even up to 10,000 feet . I had to keep stopping and thinking this is real and I am really in India. So many of stories to tell including getting lost at the top of a mountain, riding in 1940s land rovers, eating lots of different curries. It was a trip of a lifetime.


I returned home after an amazing trip and then a few weeks later my son in law said – ‘Dave do you fancy a motorcycle tour in Columbia?’. It’s a