Inspiration Personified

Strong guy!We were wandering the streets of Kuala Lumpur, when we looked across the road and spotted a motorbike. No ordinary motorbike – this one was decorated with stickers, flags and photographs and a big sign that advertised its owner’s hopes to go around the world.

Of course we couldn’t resist investigating further and a few minutes later we were shaking hands with Vladimir Yarets.

Vladimir turned out to be one of the most inspiring characters we’ve met in quite some time. Both deaf and mute, he’s riding around the world to mark his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. What was most amazing was how he could convey details of his trip, using only a few posters as props and a multitude of hand gestures.

We don’t speak a word of sign language but Vladimir told us all kinds of stories about his trip, just with his hands and facial expressions.

If only we’d been so creative and capable when staying with so many good samaritans in places like the Middle East, Central Asia and Morocco, where we were separated by language! We spent a good half hour talking to Vladimir and came away very much impressed by his determination and joyful personality. An inspiration to us all.


  1. David Piper
    24th November 2008 at 3:03 am #

    So many great adventurers out there. Truly humbling sometimes

    Just read your books list and had to laugh out loud when I read what you’d put about ‘Long Way Round’. None of my non cycling friends could understand why I thought that a book about two luvvies with satellite phones, fixers, minders and an unlimited budget wasn’t up to much.

    If you get to a bookshop (maybe in Singapore) try Anne Mustoe’s book ‘A Bike Ride’. You probably know it, but if not she is the queen of all epic rides, and the book is fantastically well written and informative.

    Keep up the good work

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