An intrepid couple who left Dewsbury Moor to travel the world in 1989 have finally embarked on the second leg of their trip – using the very same motorbike they rode off on 27 years ago.
Stewart Newsome and Sandra Saunders only got half way around the globe after leaving their Moorend Lane home, stopping in Australia to live until May last year. But on retiring the fearless duo clocked up a further 40,000km travelling from Alaska to Argentina on their trusty BMW R100GS.
And they have just set off on their next adventure through Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Sandra, 55, said: “As we headed off from the UK in 1989 our plan was to travel around the world but we only got half way. Events happened and it brought the whole trip to a halt. Then we had two kids very close together in 1993 and 1994. We made all the big plans to get full immigration for Australia.”
After that first leg, which had included tours around 20 countries, they settled in Perth where Sandra taught as a chemistry lecturer and Stewart, now 65, was a stay-at-home dad.
Then retirement came and they took eight months to plan the next stage of their world tour.
Beginning in May 2015, the couple shipped the BMW out to Los Angeles before cruising across the North American mainland to Toronto, Canada, and then Alaska.
From there, they drove back down through the Americas, taking in the USA, and many South American countries.
Highlights included the sprawling, super-dry Atacama Desert, as well as the USA’s Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Parks.
Sandra said: “We were pretty well kitted-up. But we probably had wet weather gear on half a dozen times.
“In the last month back in Yorkshire we’ve had to wear our wet weather gear more than in the past 12 months.”
Nevertheless, the pair have enjoyed vising old spots such as Scarborough.
“We’re taking trips out looking at old haunts. It’s so nice to see parts of the country where we used to go on family holidays.
“Now we’re ready to move again.”
After riding through Europe, they plan to visit places which they were unable to get the motorbike into during the first tour such as Iran, Burma and Indonesia. But they will keep in touch with daughters Sairha and Lacey . “Obviously communications have changed from when we set off in 1989. There was no internet and mobile phones. We were reliant on picking up mail when we got to big centres.”