Our very own Billy the goat is blogging his around the world trip with the motorbiking adventures Alissa and Andy from madornomad.com. Follow his highs, his lows and read about his different experiences from goulash to gunpowder.


It was supposed to be special - the first day of our long-awaited round-the-world adventure. But it wasn’t special - it was hell. And it got worse… fast.

The three of us, Andy, Alissa and I set off from the UK on our motorcycle to ride round the world with huge smiles.

However, not wanting to die on the first day was the only thing I could think about as we chugged along a blacked-out empty French motorway at 30mph. The wind threw us from lane to lane like stuffed toys. The rain was relentless and when it finally rested, the fog took over; a thick cold blanket which swallowed petrol stations and left us running on fumes - finding fuel with only drops to spare.

Only as we arrived at a friend’s house in Normandy at 1am (seven hours later than the planned three-hour ride) did we discover the cause of the weather; Storm Eleanor. We’d just ridden through an onslaught of 80mph winds and rain, severe storm warnings plastered the French internet and the entirety of the route we’d just ridden was on red alert. The ‘violent wind’ warnings peppered along the motorway signs were probably a good clue.

The ride from Normandy to Metz was no better. The rain hammered down even harder and time dragged like a broken clock. Eleanor realised we were making a run for it and made us pay by nearly smashing us into a bridge barrier.

We couldn’t outrun Eleanor, who tormented us all the way to Germany, leaving us physically exhausted, infuriated and soaking wet. By the time we arrived in Nuremberg I was so cold and wet I had to sit under a hair dryer for an hour.

Only as we left Vienna did the weather change, the sun shone through a pale blue sky and we thought, for a brief moment, that things were going to get better - until we ran out of petrol on the motorway. Andy hitched a lift with a Hungarian lorry driver named John as Alissa and I guarded the bike on an Austrian hard shoulder.

Bored and tired we kept on, playing travel games to stop our eyes from clock-watching. Night fell and we stopped for fuel, only to end up in a 15-minute argument with an automated petrol pump. The bike had enough of us, the battery died and refused to start.

The next day we had 180 miles to cover before reaching our friend’s house in Divin, Slovakia. We packed up, pleaded with the battery to last and made our final push. Sixty miles in and the exhaust snapped off the pipe. We bodged it back together as best we could and made the decision to carry on, much to the dismay of the motorbike, which screamed in agony as it limped the last 120 miles. As we arrived at our friend’s front door the bike conked out, spluttered a bunch of error codes, coughed its final breath and died.

We spent three years in Divin, Slovakia. Or was it three weeks? Either way, it was a long time. What was supposed to be a three day stop to spend time with one of Andy’s closest friends, Rusty, turned into three weeks of waiting for parts

As the days passed, fluffy white snow replaced the fog. With each passing day the white stuff deepened and the temperature plummeted to -10C. But it didn’t matter, we spent our days in the forest, hunting deer (not goats… luckily), firing World War II guns and exploring Divin’s 13th century gothic castle, which I loved.

Twenty-one days after our arrival the bike was finally ready, we packed up and started the machine. We left pumped full of goulash with the smell of gun powder on our fingers and extra man stubble in my billy-goat beard.