Rear View: The End of the Road

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End of the Road

I sold my bike. I did love it very much, and it was the perfect bike for me, but I'd used it barely 3 times in the last year so it was hard to justify keeping it. Especially when I have a bathroom to refurbish! I do hope its new owner gets as much fun out of it as I did, and I'll always treasure the fond memories I have of Zucchero– taking it to Skye last year, on and off many ferries, losing sight of Dai and making my own way to the hotel, even dropping it and picking it up all by myself. There will be other bikes, sure, but for now I'm back to being a pillion, and I'm fine with that.

We received very good news indeed last week: Calum's Road in The Gambia has been finished! Last time I spoke to Heather Armstrong of the Horse and Donkey trust was at the ceilidh in Skye, and she'd been very worried that the contractors were going to pull out of the deal. Time was against them too, as much of the laying of the foundations for the road had to be done before the rainy season started. So even if alternative construction firms could be found, there wouldn't be time to negotiate with them.

But fate must have dealt them a good turn, and it has been very moving and delighting to be seeing pictures of the
road being completed.
I hope we'll be able to get back out there later this year for an official opening ceremony. After the rainy season of course! There's an ambulance sidecar which needs to be taken to the village for starters.

It is amazing what a difference one person or a small group can make. This road project cost £65,000, a paltry sum when compared to the gazillions regularly bandied about in the Western financial press. But it was also three times the annual budget for that region, in one of the poorest countries in Africa, and thus an impossible task for the locals to take on. The bikers managed to raise over £50,000, which is not bad, as my sister remarked, 'for a bunch of men!'

I think Calum Macleod would be proud of their achievements in his name.

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