News of the volcanic ash cloud closing airports last Thursday could not have come at a worse time for leading motorcycle expedition company, GlobeBusters.
Julia Sanders, Co-Founder of GlobeBusters said; "We had two of our expeditions starting last week-end. Our ‘Silk Road Expedition’ had foreign riders flying in from Poland and the USA to meet the team in London. One person only just scraped into the country 30 minutes prior to UK airspace being closed.
"But our worst headache by far was the start of our ‘High Andes Expedition’. All the riders and our support crew had direct flights from London to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday and Monday. Our priority was to make sure dreams were not shattered. We had to go into crisis management mode".
This meant that Julia cancelled her plans to travel with the Silk Road team for its first stage to Istanbul. She instead immediately headed back to the GlobeBusters HQ in South Wales on Saturday afternoon, after seeing the Silk Road team depart from the Ace Cafe in London that morning.
"We’d identified that Madrid airport was still open and had direct flights to Buenos Aires running" said Julia, "so we recommended that our riders took a ferry to France and then do a one-way car hire to Madrid Airport. It sounds drastic, but it was the only way to ensure riders could get to Buenos Aires on time".
GlobeBusters Support Driver, Alan Routledge, started his support duties earlier than expected by picking up some of the High Andes riders at Dover and driving the 1,000 miles to Madrid overnight to ensure that they made the flight. "I’ve done a lot of endurance rallies before, said Alan, "so driving the miles wasn’t too much of a shock to the system".
The rest of the High Andes riders made the mammoth overland journey to Madrid the following day and last night GlobeBusters received confirmation that all had arrived safely in Buenos Aires.
"We’re used to adventure on our trips", said Julia, "but it normally starts after we have left Europe and not before!"