A newly-married Keighley couple are on their way to the southern tip of South America as part of a mission to travel around the world on their motorbike.
Darren and Leigh Mitchell (nee O’Sullivan), of Branshaw Grove, Exley Head, left home on May 7. They have since been battling some of the extremes of nature, as well as immense distances.
Mr Mitchell said: “We wanted to get through Russia, Mongolia, Siberia and Alaska in the same summer. Our aim was to reach the furthest point north that can be reached by road, which is Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.
“Arriving a month later than we’d hoped, we almost failed to cross the Atigun Pass, amid snow and a temperature of minus ten centigrade. We reached Deadhorse, on Prudhoe Bay, on September 10.
“We rode 900 miles on the Dalton Highway, which is now famous for being in the TV show Ice Road Truckers.
“We’ve had close encounters with bears while wild camping in the Yukon, and had our tent ripped apart in a storm in Croatia. Now we’re riding south all the way to the tip of South America – Tierra del Fuego – before crossing over to Africa.”
He and his partner are riding a Yamaha Tenere XT660Z.
Mr and Mrs Mitchell, both 51, have been together for ten years. They tied the knot last Thursday in the Chapel of Flowers in Las Vegas. Their wedding featured a live webcam link, enabling family and friends from around the world to watch the ceremony.
Mr Mitchell said: “Leigh had breast cancer a few years ago and recovered after excellent treatment at Airedale Hospital. I was made redundant from npower a year ago, so we took this opportunity to see the world.
“We’ve always travelled on our motorcycle and have in the past visited all of Europe and North Africa, but this is the first time we’ve gone round the world.
“So far we have ridden 22,000 miles on this trip through 18 countries.”