Bridport round-the-world adventurer back to tell his tale

IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Jason Lewis is back in town to promote his book.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Jason Lewis is back in town to promote his book.

First published in News by

ADVENTURER Jason Lewis is in Bridport to tell the story of his extraordinary 13-year round-the-world odyssey.

One of the last true action heroes Jason, 45, from Askerswell is giving a talk in the town hall at 7pm next Thursday to tell the story of how he pedalled, skated, rowed, kayaked and cycled around the world globe using muscle power alone.

His talk coincides with the official publication in the UK of the first book, in a series of three, about his life-changing journey.

The book The Expedition: Dark Waters has already been published in America – and won one literary award and been shortlisted for two more.

The second in the series, The Seed Buried Deep, is due out early next month and the final one in June or July.

Jason took the, some may say foolhardy, step of turning down a six figure advance from a major publisher for his story so that he could tell it in his own way.

But then Jason’s motives for embarking on his quest were never fame and fortune.

He said: “It has been a monstrous undertaking. The telling of the story has almost been an expedition in itself.

“Everyone thought I was a lunatic to turn down all that money and do it my own way.”

But he’s not the type of man to leave a ghost writer to tell his story and tell it badly.

He said: “I have put too much of my life into this to let that happen.”

And the awards and the healthy sales in America have vindicated his decision.

There is a feature-length documentary just finishing production which will be doing the rounds of adventure film festivals and be out later on DVD – and available here in four to six weeks.

He thinks it is the wrong format to sell to television but in the past few days has been approached by a couple of tv companies.

He has a few ideas for another project but is keeping them close to his chest until he is ready.

But whatever it is will have a strong educational element – as did his first expedition.

Something that he is proud is on-going with teachers still using his on-line resources.

He said: “When we were biking across Australia I had four teenagers and two teachers we developing curriculum along the way and sending lesson plans back to the website. Budmouth College was very much involved in that.

“And those resources are still very much being used.”

His expedition ended in 2007 and it is only now the books are done that he can contemplate his next move.

He said: “When I finished the trip I was so sick of travelling I couldn’t even look at a map it made my stomach turn but now enough time has elapsed I have got over that.”

A big spread about his achievement is finally going in this year’s Guinness Book of Records – and he will be filming with them in West Bay in the next few weeks.

He is also talking to his home crowd in Askerswell on May 8 in the village hall at 7pm.

Jason is raising money for the Brooke Hospital for Animals and there will be expedition T shirts and hoodies for sale at £5 and £10 as well as his book. Entrance is £3.

TIMELINE

JULY 1994: The journey begins from Greenwich pedalling across the Channel.

From France to Portugal then across 4300-mile crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Miami then Florida.

June 1995: Jason in-line skates overland across the US bound for San Francisco.

September 1995: Jason run over by a car breaking his legs. Nine month recovery.

April 1996: 1700 mile bike ride to Colorado.

June 1996: finishes cross country skating to San Francisco.

Feb to June 1997: bike California Highway to San Diego, through Baja, Mexico, before crossing the Sea of Cortez to mainland Mexico by kayaks.

Through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Sept to Nov 1998: San Francisco to Hawaii.

May to July 1999: Kailua-Kona to Tarawa 2,200 miles to the southwest with added septicemia April 2000: Tarawa to the Solomon Islands 1,100 miles.

July to August 2000: Tulagi to pedal the remaining 1,100 miles to Australia.

July to Oct 2001: Cycling 3,000 miles through the Australian Outback.

April 2005: kayaking from Lizard Island to mainland Australia to keep the human powered circumnavigation thread unbroken – kayak is attacked by a 17-foot saltwater crocodile.

May 2005: pedal Moksha 450 nautical miles across the Arafura Sea from Darwin to Dili on the island of East Timor.

June to Nov 2005: 3,000 nautical mile island hopping by kayak and bicycle up the Indonesian chain of islands to Singapore. Jason is attacked by bandits.

May to Nov 2006: bikes through Malaysia into Thailand. Across the Himalayas into Nepal through India to Mumbai - 10,000kms journey.

Feb 2007: Mumbai and pedal 2,000 miles across the Arabian Sea to Djibouti.

March to July 2007: Ethiopia to Sudan, paddle a canoe or kayak across Lake Nasser to Egypt, then bike through Jordan, Syria to Istanbul.

Oct 2007: Oostend to England and the end of a 40,000 mile journey.

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