first_imgLinkedin WhatsApp LimerickNewsWilliam’s three-year cycle around the worldBy Staff Reporter – January 24, 2018 1957 Twitter William contemplates a spectacular view on the Huascaran Circuit in the Peruvian Andes.1,105 days after leaving his home, Limerick man William Bennett was greeted by family and friends after an epic cycle that took him across five continents and 58 countries.   27 year-old William reached the end of his 58,000 kilometre round-the-world journey last Saturday with an overwhelmingly positive view of the world, despite having survived tropical diseases, breakdowns and multiple robberies.After five years of preparation, William set off on his odyssey in January 2015, cycling across Europe, where he endured days of sub-zero temperatures as he traversed Poland and western Ukraine during their harsh winter months.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up This steep learning curve would serve him well as he crossed the Bosphorus Strait and started his long cycle across Asia which took more than a year to complete. He passed through Iran, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, countries which have always held dangerous reputations but where he encountered some of the most welcoming people in the world.William is welcomed home by family and friends at the Coolquinn Athletics Club last Saturday.Photo:Kieran Ryan“During my crossing of Iran, not a day went by where I wasn’t invited for lunch or welcomed into a family home to spend the night. In countries like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the biggest danger was accepting too much vodka from the friendly drivers who would pull over and demand that you eat and do shots with them before midday,” he said.The stark beauty of the “Stans” of Central Asia was in contrast to his first day in Mongolia where he was attacked by a bandit.“After seven punches to the head and with no way to escape, I had no choice but to fight for my life, throwing a punch so hard that it shattered my knuckle and broke my attacker’s jaw, dislodging two of his teeth and knocking him unconscious.”He underwent surgery on his hand before restarting his journey two months later, crossing the length of China in winter before reaching the more relaxed, easy-going countries of South-East Asia.With 200km gaps between water stations in the Australian outback, William said that “at one stage I had no choice but to carry 15 litres of water and close to ten kilograms of food with me. My loaded bicycle made for some pretty slow progress on the dirt tracks of the outback.”After catching a flight to South America, he restarted his journey in Colombia, cycling from the lush jungles of the Amazon to the heights of the Andes in southern Ecuador, the majesty of Peruvian Andes, across Bolivia to the plains of Paraguay and the steep forest highways of southern Brazil.“Africa ended up being by far, the hardest part of my cycle. Between the vast, silent deserts of Namibia, dodging the roaming elephants of Botswana, the bandits of Northern Kenya, the stone-throwing teenagers of Ethiopia, the howling headwinds in the Sahara and the armed police escorts through Egypt, Africa proved to be a fitting final challenge to the journey.”A 4,000 kilometre winter dash across Europe faced the Limerickman before he arrived home last Saturday.“On a journey that long, it is inevitable that you will meet some bad people but from my experience, those make up less than one per cent of the people you will generally encounter. The vast majority of people I met were hard-working decent people just trying to raise a family and live a good life.“I lost count of the number of people who would offer me food, buy me dinner, come to my rescue when I became badly sick and who would invite me, a complete stranger, into their homes to spend the night.“It has been an eye-opening and enlightening experience and one that I am so happy to have had the opportunity to undertake,” the Limerick adventurer declared.See more Limerick news here Emailcenter_img Facebook Advertisement Previous articleTaoiseach sees new infrastructure as key to region’s successNext articleMinister a no-show to answer on UHL overcrowding Staff Reporter Printlast_img

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