Charity cyclist back home in Dorset after journey including machete attack

PEDAL POWER: Peter Gostelow cycling through the Sahara on his charity bike ride from Dorset to Cape Town, South Africa

PEDAL POWER: Peter Gostelow cycling through the Sahara on his charity bike ride from Dorset to Cape Town, South Africa

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A CHARITY cyclist is back home in Dorset after an epic 22,000-mile journey.

Machete-wielding attackers, elephants on the road and African jungle terrain were just some of the obstacles Peter Gostelow faced as he cycled from Godmanstone to Cape Town in South Africa.

The 33-year-old set off on his trip three years ago and has achieved his target of raising £15,000 for the Against Malaria charity.

Having returned from his amazing African adventure, Peter has been catching up with family and friends and is now looking to take some time out from travelling – he also spent three years cycling from Japan to England between 2005 and 2008 – to write a book about his experiences.

He said: “It’s been a bit surreal because I’ve come back and many things haven’t changed. I’m just finding my feet, I’m going to be giving some talks and writing a book about the journey.”

Peter covered the vast majority of his route, which took in 30 countries, alone and either camped or stayed with people who offered him a bed for the night.

The former teacher’s darkest moment came as he was set upon by a gang with machetes as he walked alone through Dakar in Senegal.

He suffered a serious cut to his wrist as he tried to defend himself and took some time to recover from the ordeal.

Peter said: “It took a while before I was strong enough physically to cycle and also it was quite difficult mentally.

“I lost confidence in myself and other people.”

However, Peter said his faith in human nature was restored by the amazing hospitality shown by people along the way, often from those with very little themselves.

He said: “I was on the receiving end of so much hospitality from people who had far less than myself.”

Peter went through several sets of tyres and chains but his bike itself made it through the arduous journey in one piece.

Despite his intention to take some time out of travelling and write his book, he admitted he may well be tempted to get back into the saddle for another adventure in the future.

To read more about Peter’s experiences and find out more about his chosen charity visit www.thebigafricacycle.com Peter will be giving a talk about his incredible journey at Cerne Abbas Village Hall on Saturday July 28.

The talk starts at 7pm and tickets cost £5. People can pay on the night but to reserve a ticket call 07787828463.

Comments (1)

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11:13am Sun 22 Jul 12

Dennis Fairchild says...

Two weeks ago I had reason to visit Southwell Business Park and in so doing I noticed a 'city' of windowless portacabins.

To my colleague I said,'My goodness there must be a major building programme going on here'. To which he replied, " I understand it is temporary accomodation for the police during the Olympics".

I told him he must be winding me up as there were no windows in the portable buildings. See echo photo Friday July.


John Apter, Hamshire Police Federation is quite right to voice the disgust of his fellow officers albeit will fall on deaf ears !
Two weeks ago I had reason to visit Southwell Business Park and in so doing I noticed a 'city' of windowless portacabins. To my colleague I said,'My goodness there must be a major building programme going on here'. To which he replied, " I understand it is temporary accomodation for the police during the Olympics". I told him he must be winding me up as there were no windows in the portable buildings. See echo photo Friday July. John Apter, Hamshire Police Federation is quite right to voice the disgust of his fellow officers albeit will fall on deaf ears ! Dennis Fairchild
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