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ABC News article on Eric the Postie
Sunday 18 October 2009
Long ride home from Adelaide to Aberdeen
By News Online's Cassie White
Posted Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:11am AEDT
Scotsman Eric Smart sounds extremely happy for someone who's just cycled 23,000 kilometres.
In fact he's so happy about it, that after a short break he'll be mounting up again and pedaling for another 12,000km.
Eric began this epic adventure 17 months ago in his home town of Aberdeen, Scotland, with no plans but to end up in Adelaide.
"My plan was to have as little plan as possible," he said.
"I gave myself two years, but found myself here in Adelaide after 17 months. I've got seven left, so I now intend to cycle across New Zealand, San Francisco to New York, through Ireland and back to Aberdeen."
By the time he's finished, Eric will have racked up a mean 30,000km through 19 countries over two years.
And the reason for all this pedal power? For 20 years, Eric suffered Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), a debilitating condition which can cause severe tiredness and fatigue, painful muscles and joints, and poor memory and concentration.
"The trip is to celebrate my recovery from poor health. I love travel, cycling and I'm a people person, so it was just to celebrate those things and bring awareness to ME."
Eric's plan is to raise $24,000 and he's not far off - his latest count is about $15,000.
His story is inspiring and heartwarming, but Eric says he found both those things and more in the people he's met during his travels.
"I'm never really alone. The warmth, love and compassion in every country I've gone through has been incredible," he said.
"I've been travelling for 17 months, through 16 countries and people have been just amazing. Nothing stolen, no moments of trepidation, no acts of violence against me - and I sleep in the streets.
"I sleep in bus shelters, under bushes - occasionally I sleep in backpackers to shave and wash my clothes, or I get invited into people's homes - it's just been incredible.
"I just cycle, sleep, and eat whenever. Every country I've cycled through at night, arrived at major cities in the middle of the night. I meet a broader range of people and have a greater mix of experience doing it this way."
The full article can be found here.
You can make a donation for Eric here:
And you can read about Eric's exploits on his blog, Aberdeen2Adelaide.
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