Campfires, camaraderie and a classic bike
‘Agood traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving,” wrote Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism, 2,500 years ago. That concept of self-sufficient, nomadic travel lies at the heart of the holidays provided by Legendary Motorcycle Adventures (LMA), a new company with a millennia-old ethos. Its portfolio of wilderness motorcycle safaris includes a 10-day GB Heritage tour and two-wheeled adventures in Spain, Morocco, Corsica and Sardinia.
Founders Sam Pelly and Ed Talbot Adams have distilled their maverick charm and practical knowledge into devising these unique and stylish expeditions built around the concept of “good travel”. Key to their appeal is the iconic kit – not just classic Royal Enfield motorcycles imported from India, but Outhaus canvas dome swags from Australia (for portable accommodation) and Kelly Kettle stoves from Ireland that require no fossil fuel but burn anything from sticks, pine cones and dry grass to camel dung and driftwood.
The Royal Enfield is a good-looking, retro-style bike – easy to ride and tough enough to cope with any terrain; the swags are quick and easy to erect anywhere and surprisingly comfortable to sleep in; and the Kelly Kettle is a true lifesaver, capable of boiling a cylinder full of water in just four minutes for tea, coffee, washing and making couscous, say, while leaving behind hot embers with which to make a slow-cooked tajine.
Despite a deep aversion to camping, and not having ridden a motorcycle for several decades, I was sufficiently tempted to sign up for an LMA trip from Andalucia in Spain to the Rif Mountains of Morocco. First, there was some more pressing business – acquiring my motorcycle licence.
A good motorcycle training school can get you qualified in just a few days, but waiting lists for a test can be months long and it’s hard to know which facility to choose. Luckily, LMA has a good relationship with Phoenix Motorcycle Training, which has 17 schools dotted around the country. They fitted me in at short notice, giving me a test date just in time for
The Royal Enfield is easy to ride and tough enough to cope with any terrain, above; Chefchaouen, left, is known as the ‘blue town’; Chris Caldicott gears up for adventure, right