Two-year journey across Asia to UK ends in South Africa
A young Chinese economist who has clocked up 62 000km on a cheap Japanese motorcycle is counting the days until he ends his epic adventure in South Africa.
Winding his way through the Eastern Cape on a 250cc motorbike, Jieming “Jay” Sun, 27, says he cannot wait to complete the last 500km of his two-year-long trip before jetting home and settling down to sell coal on the international market.
“It has been the adventure of a lifetime. Not once did I have a bad experience,” he said.
“Anybody can do it. All it requires is determination and the curiosity to see what is out there,” he said.
After a few years in Shanghai, Singapore and Indonesia trading coal on the international market, Sun got itchy feet in March 2015 and quit to ride across Asia to England.
While planning his trip, Sun asked a person who had been on an epic motorcycle adventure what it was like.
“He said it was as easy as getting on your bike and leaving the next day,” he said.
“I did not believe him until I left and saw that you can sort out things along the way.”
Sun took a tent and spent the first few months of the trip chugging along the old Silk Road through Kazakhstan and Central Asia, sleeping under the stars when he could.
Finally arriving in London he decided to press on for Africa and realise his dream of visiting it.
“Everybody said it was dangerous and I should be careful, but all I have of the trip is good memories of good people I met,” he said.
One of the many good Samaritans he met along the way was avid motorcyclist Rod McGregor Mann, who spotted his overloaded bike crawling along the R67 in Port Alfred.
“I saw he had a Chinese number plate and waved and gave him the thumbs-up as I overtook,” he said.
Minutes later they were chatting on the roadside before McGregor Mann invited him to spend the night.
Sun is winding his way along the Wild Coast for Nottingham Road in KwaZuluNatal, where he will stay with friends before flying home later this month.
McGregor Mann said they now had a lifelong friendship.
“He says that when he jumps on the jet for Beijing I can have the bike,” he said.
“I absolutely love him.”