It took more than a year for Charley to fully recover. During that time he wrote his seventh book, Long Way Back.
The book is not only about his recovery, but also his life, his Long Way adventures with friend and Star Was star Ewan McGregor, his dyslexia, his Dakar Rally attempt, the death of older sister Telsche from ovarian cancer at the age of 38 in 1997, and his own loss of a testicle to cancer in 2010.
“Sitting either in a hospital bed or wheelchair for months and months seriously focuses the mind and it seemed a pretty good way to use the recovery time,” he says.
We met Charley on the 2013 Flinders Ranges tour with Compass Expeditions and again in London in 2014.
Next month we will meet up with Charley again at the Bike Shed in London which he co-owns, so stay tuned for our interview.
The first runs from September 2 to 19 from Cape Town to Victoria Falls through South Africa Zimbabwe, Botswana and Lesotho and the second from September 20 to October 11 heads back down to Cape Town.
Prices depend on whether you ride a BMW F 800 GS or R 1200 GSA or take the support vehicle, but range from $A11,948 to $A12,892 for riders and from $7688 for passengers in the truck.
Charley says some riders take both tours back-to-back!
Check out this video from a rider who attended one of his 2011 tours.
“The last trip was an incredible feast of riding, socialising and discovering – a great bunch of people and a fantastic adventure yet again,” Charley says.
“We enjoyed the life on the road and stayed in some awesome lodges – sometimes way out in the desert or on the banks of the Zambezi river and some right in the swamps surrounded by crocodile, hippo and lion. Staying in some lovely lodges and some simple ones too gives you a real taste of Africa.”
He days the ride is “within the reach of most competent riders”.